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One run enough for Latos as Reds shut out Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Todd Frazier gave Mat Latos all the run support he needed, and Latos gave the Cincinnati Reds exactly what they needed to finish off a 10-game homestand in style.

Latos retired the first 10 batters and 15 of the first 16 he faced and mostly spared an overworked bullpen, and Frazier hit a long home run and the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 1-0 Wednesday.

"This is what we wanted so bad," Reds manager Baker said. "This sets us straight for a couple of days."

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With one out in the sixth inning of a scoreless tie, Frazier blasted a 2-1 pitch from Jeff Samardzija 480 feet to straightaway center field to increase his team-leading home run total to six. The homer, which bounced high off the batter's eye, is the longest at Great American Ball Park this season and the seventh-longest in the facility's 11-year history.

"I was just trying to get a fastball," said Frazier, who became the first Cincinnati player to homer in a 1-0 win since Sean Casey against St. Louis on Aug. 26, 2004. "I haven't seen too many lately. I got one, and I took advantage of it. I took a couple of steps and figured it was out, but I didn't know how far until I saw it hit the [batter's eye]."

Latos (1-0), the victim of two blown saves among his first four starts this season allowed four hits and a walk with four strikeouts. He had to rely solely on his two- and four-seam fastballs, too.

It turned out not to be a problem.

"In the bullpen, I had a really good slider and changeup," said Latos, who's strung together 11 consecutive scoreless innings. "I don't know what the hell happened. It's tough. Everybody in the big leagues can hit the fastball. I had to focus on hitting spots, keeping the ball down and away and getting them to hit it on the ground."

Jonathan Broxton replaced Latos with two runners on base and nobody out in the eighth. Both runners moved up on Cody Ransom's sacrifice bunt, but pinch-hitter Alfonso Soriano struck out and shortstop Zack Cozart went deep behind second base to flag down David DeJesus's grounder and throw him out to end the inning.

"I was going to throw it regardless, because there were two outs," Cozart said. "I saw out of the corner of my eye that he wasn't too close to the bag. I've been struggling at the plate lately, so to make a play like that makes you feel pretty good."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said that's just the way it's been going for the Cubs, who are 1-5 on their current road trip.

"That was an unbelievable play in that situation," he said.

Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his fourth save. Latos's effort left Cincinnati's starting pitchers with a combined 5-0 record and 1.54 ERA on the homestand.

Samardzija (1-4) had his fourth consecutive loss after beating Pittsburgh on Opening Day. The right-hander allowed seven hits and three walks with eight strikeouts and a wild pitch.

The Reds had baserunners in each of the first five innings, including the third, which Devin Mesoraco and Latos led off with singles before Samardzija struck out Shin-Soo Choo, Cozart and Joey Votto - the top three batters in Cincinnati's lineup.

The Reds wrapped up the home stand, one of two of 10 games on their schedule this season, with eight wins despite playing two games that lasted 13 innings, another that went 10, a third that was suspended almost 19 hours from one night to the next day by rain, and Wednesday's game, the start of which was delayed 89 minutes by rain. They won eight games on a homestand of 10 or fewer games for just the sixth time in franchise history and the second in two years. They went 8-2 against St. Louis, Arizona and Milwaukee on a homestand last July.

"This was a weird home stand," Cozart said. "It was a battle every game."

Notes

A sharp one-hopper by Julio Borbon, the second batter in the game, glanced off Latos's right foot. He recovered to grab the ball and throw Borbon out and stayed in the game after a couple of practice tosses in front of manager Dusty Baker and trainer Paul Lessard. ... Samardzija's effort to catch Choo's bouncer in the bottom of the first left him with a slight cut on his pitching hand, but it quickly closed enough to allow him to continue. ... Choo, who went into the game leading the major leagues with a .535 on-base percentage, has reached base at least once in all 21 of the games he's played this season.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Cincinnati

M. Latos
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 4
Cincinnati

T. Frazier
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
David DeJesus, CF4000003 .274
Julio Borbon, LF3010001 .500
   a- Dave Sappelt, PH1000010 .154
Starlin Castro, SS4010011 .276
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4010002 .182
Nate Schierholtz, RF3000010 .300
   b- Scott Hairston, PH1000001 .095
Dioner Navarro, C2000100 .154
    Travis Wood, PR0000000 .143
    Welington Castillo, C0000000 .328
Luis Valbuena, 2B3010000 .236
Cody Ransom, 3B2010010 .176
Jeff Samardzija, P1000010 .000
    Shawn Camp, P0000000 .000
   c- Alfonso Soriano, PH1000012 .282
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
Totals2905016  
a-struck out for Borbon in the 9th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Schierholtz in the 9th
c-struck out for Camp in the 8th
Batting
2B - Julio Borbon (1, Latos)
SH - Cody Ransom (1), Jeff Samardzija (2)
CS - Starlin Castro (1, 2nd base by Latos/Mesoraco)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Valbuena-Rizzo, Ransom-Valbuena-Rizzo
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeff Samardzija (L,1-4) 6711381 3.03
Shawn Camp 1100010 9.00
James Russell 1000010 0.00
WP - Jeff Samardzija (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Samardzija 103-66, Shawn Camp 9-6, James Russell 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Samardzija 4-4, Shawn Camp 1-0, James Russell 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Samardzija 26, Shawn Camp 3, James Russell 3
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shin-Soo Choo, CF4020012 .392
Zack Cozart, SS4010013 .205
Joey Votto, 1B4010033 .295
Brandon Phillips, 2B4000010 .273
Jay Bruce, RF4010010 .272
Todd Frazier, 3B2111101 .263
Xavier Paul, LF1000211 .333
    Chris Heisey, LF0000000 .183
Devin Mesoraco, C3010003 .286
Mat Latos, P3010020 .167
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
    Aroldis Chapman, P0000000 .000
Totals29181310  
Batting
HR - Todd Frazier (6, Samardzija)
RBI - Todd Frazier (18)
2-OUT RBI - Todd Frazier (4)
CS - Joey Votto (1, 2nd base by Samardzija/Navarro)
Team LOB - 7
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mat Latos (W,1-0) 7400140 2.16
Jonathan Broxton (H,2) 1000010 6.48
Aroldis Chapman (S,4) 1100010 0.79
Pitches-Strikes - Mat Latos 103-65, Jonathan Broxton 13-8, Aroldis Chapman 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mat Latos 7-9, Jonathan Broxton 2-0, Aroldis Chapman 2-0
Batters Faced - Mat Latos 25, Jonathan Broxton 3, Aroldis Chapman 4
Game Information
Attendance - 16426
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 48
Umpires - Home - Jordan Baker, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Marvin Hudson