Right-hander Mat Latos suffered the loss Monday night as he made his injury-delayed season debut against the Cincinnati Reds at Petco Park.
However, aside from a pair of home-run balls, the 23-year-old was impressive in his first outing.
Latos, who opened the season on the disabled list with bursitis in his valuable right shoulder after an unsettling spring that saw him battle his command and emotions,
allowed three runs on four hits over six innings. He struck out seven -- the first four on called third strikes -- and issued two walks.
Latos threw 94 pitches with 58 going for strikes.
His downfall was a pair of homers -- the first a solo shot on a hanging curve by Jonny Gomes in the fourth and the second a two-run shot on a high fastball by Chris Heisey an inning later.
Said Padres manager Bud Black: "I thought Mat threw the ball well. His stuff was good. His velocity was good. There was crispness to his breaking ball. Mat was focused. He was locked in."
Said Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley: "For me, when Mat throws the fastball where he wants, it's a great sign. His velocity was back to normal."
Latos' fastball averaged 94-96 with a couple hitting 97 mph. His slider was 87-88 and his change was 83.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.