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Oakland at Cincinnati

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Oakland (64-48)000000001151
Cincinnati (62-51) «01101000x381

Reds bounce back, Latos (11-3) keeps Athletics' bats cold

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Mat Latos couldn't get his curve to obey or his slider to work, but he had one thing in his favor. It doesn't take a whole lot these days to get the Oakland Athletics out.

Latos pitched into the eighth inning against Oakland's slumping lineup, and Jay Bruce hit a home run and made a run-saving catch on the warning track, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-1 victory on Tuesday night.

The Reds had dropped seven of nine and were coming off what players called an embarrassing weekend against St. Louis -- losses of 13-3 and 15-2.

They found an American League team struggling even more. The West-leading Athletics have lost five of six, getting shut out twice during that span. It was nearly three shutouts -- Derek Norris hit a two-out homer in the ninth off Aroldis Chapman.

Not bad on a night when the starting pitcher is pretty much reduced to a fastball.

"I didn't have my off-speed pitches," Latos said. "My curveball was above the shoulders and my slider was below the toes. [Catcher Devin Mesoraco] did a good recognizing it. He knew I didn't have my slider, and he and the defense did a great job behind me.

"I found it late, but before that, we were able to exploit some weaknesses we thought we saw in them. They put the ball in play and the defense did the job."

Latos (11-3) allowed four hits through 7 1/3 shutout innings, leaving him 3-0 in his past four starts. Chapman got his 26th save in 30 chances.

"He was in and out of trouble," manager Dusty Baker said of Latos. "He made the pitches when he had to. The defense made the plays when it had to. He left a lot of runners out there. He did a good job keeping us in the game."

Bruce hit his 23rd home run off Dan Straily (6-6), who has lost his past four starts. The right fielder also went a long way to run down Josh Reddick's fly ball to the warning track in the fourth, saving a run.

The A's made their first visit to Great American Ball Park -- opened in 2003 -- hoping to break out of their offensive slump in a hitter-friendly place. The A's are only 8-9 since the All-Star break.

Heading into the interleague series, the A's were batting .218 in their last 20 games, getting blanked four times. They were coming off a 4-0 loss to Texas on Sunday. Manager Bob Melvin said his players knew all about Great American's propensity to help hitters, and hoped it would provide some encouragement.

Didn't work out that way. The A's stranded runners in scoring position in the first, third, fifth and eighth innings.

"You've just got to play your way through it, fight your way through it, have better at-bats, get grittier, find a way to get the guy home," Melvin said. "We're not swinging our bats, there's no doubt about that.

"You go through these periods, yet you try to minimize them so they don't go on too long."

Coco Crisp tripled over first base with one out in the third but failed to score as the next two batters popped out. Their best chance came in the fifth, when they loaded the bases on Stephen Vogt's single, second baseman Brandon Phillips' error and a walk. Yoenis Cespedes grounded into a forceout.

Cincinnati didn't get much offense, either, but this time it was enough.

Bruce led off the second inning with a drive to left. Phillips singled home another run in the fourth, which was Straily's final inning. He threw 75 pitches while failing to last five innings for the third start in a row and seventh time in 18 starts overall this season.

Shin-Soo Choo led off the fifth with a double off Jerry Blevins and came around when the left-hander fielded Derrick Robinson's bunt and threw wildly to first for an error.

Notes

  • Oakland is 13-6 in interleague play, Cincinnati 7-9. The A's swept their two-game series in Oakland.
  • The Reds plan to activate RH reliever Jonathan Broxton off the DL before Wednesday's game. C Ryan Hanigan (wrist) and LF Ryan Ludwick (shoulder) are expected back by the end of the week.
  • 3B Todd Frazier was out of the starting lineup. He's in an 0-for-28 slump, the longest by a Reds player since Drew Stubbs went 0 for 32 last season.
  • RHP Bartolo Colon will try for his 15th victory on Wednesday, facing Cincinnati's Homer Bailey (6-10). Colon has gone at least six innings and allowed three runs or fewer in his past 15 starts, the longest streak by an Athletics pitcher since at least 1916.
 
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With 7 1/3 shutout innings, Mat Latos earns his third victory in his past four starts and improves to 7-1 at home.  (USATSI)
With 7 1/3 shutout innings, Mat Latos earns his third victory in his past four starts and improves to 7-1 at home. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

S. Choo
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Cincinnati

M. Latos
IP 7.1
H 4
ER 0
BB 3
K 3
 
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF4010000 .251
Eric Sogard, 2B4010003 .273
Jed Lowrie, SS3010102 .290
Yoenis Cespedes, LF3000104 .228
Brandon Moss, 1B4000003 .241
Josh Donaldson, 3B3000120 .292
Josh Reddick, RF4000011 .205
Stephen Vogt, C3010000 .200
   a-Derek Norris, PH1111000 .217
Dan Straily, P1000010 .000
   b-Seth Smith, PH1000001 .248
   c-Chris Young, PH1000010 .193
   d-Alberto Callaspo, PH1000010 .243
Totals3315136  
a-homered for Vogt in the 9th
b-flied out for Straily in the 5th
c-struck out for Neshek in the 7th
d-struck out for Otero in the 9th
Batting
2B - Eric Sogard (19, Latos), Jed Lowrie (28, Latos)
3B - Coco Crisp (2, Latos)
HR - Derek Norris (8, Chapman)
RBI - Derek Norris (25)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Norris (16)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Donaldson-Sogard-Moss, Donaldson-Sogard-Moss-Vogt-Lowrie
E - Jerry Blevins (2, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dan Straily (L,6-6) 4622131 4.41
Jerry Blevins 1.1110020 3.43
Pat Neshek 0.2000000 2.34
Dan Otero 2100010 1.74
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Straily 75-48, Jerry Blevins 24-14, Pat Neshek 6-6, Dan Otero 22-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Straily 2-6, Jerry Blevins 2-0, Dan Otero 5-0
Batters Faced - Dan Straily 18, Jerry Blevins 5, Pat Neshek 2, Dan Otero 7
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shin-Soo Choo, CF3220101 .284
Derrick Robinson, LF3000003 .253
Joey Votto, 1B4020010 .323
Brandon Phillips, 2B4011001 .261
Jay Bruce, RF4111022 .274
Devin Mesoraco, C3000002 .250
Zack Cozart, SS3000010 .242
Jack Hannahan, 3B3010010 .219
Mat Latos, P3010011 .137
Totals3038216  
Batting
2B - Shin-Soo Choo (26, Blevins)
HR - Jay Bruce (23, Straily)
SH - Derrick Robinson (4)
RBI - Brandon Phillips (84), Jay Bruce (75)
CS - Derrick Robinson (5, 2nd base by Blevins/Vogt)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Brandon Phillips (7, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mat Latos (W,11-3) 7.1400330 3.21
J.J. Hoover (H,7) 0.2000000 3.04
Aroldis Chapman (S,26) 1111031 3.05
Pitches-Strikes - Mat Latos 108-67, J.J. Hoover 3-3, Aroldis Chapman 21-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mat Latos 8-12, J.J. Hoover 1-1
Batters Faced - Mat Latos 30, J.J. Hoover 2, Aroldis Chapman 4
Game Information
Attendance - 34640
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - John Hirschbeck, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Jim Reynolds