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Reds make rare trip to Baltimore

Sept. 2, 2014 at 10:44 AM   |   Comments

Mat Latos will try to stretch his unbeaten streak to seven games in a row on Tuesday night when the Cincinnati Reds begin a three- game series with the hosting Baltimore Orioles.

Latos has won three times over his streak, which began following a loss on July 27. He snapped a string of three straight no-decisions by besting the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, though he allowed four runs over seven innings while striking out 10 to just one walk.

The victory improved the right-handed Latos to 5-3 on the year with a 3.15 earned run average ahead of his first ever meeting with the Orioles.

"It was definitely something that we needed," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Latos' performance. "He made some outstanding pitches, he was down in the zone and commanded the bottom of the strike zone."

The Reds avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates with Sunday's 3-2 win. Chris Heisey homered twice, a tying two-run shot in the fifth before a go-ahead solo home run in the ninth.

Heisey's bat allowed Johnny Cueto to join the 16-win club, with the hurler settling down to log eight strong innings despite giving up a home run on his first pitch of the game and another solo homer in the second.

"He's the definition of an ace in the big leagues, for me," said Heisey. "I'm sure a lot of other people feel the same way. To give up those two early runs and just bear down to get us a win, he's the best we got and I think one of the best in baseball."

The Orioles would like a strong start tonight out of Bud Norris, who comes in winless versus the Reds. In seven previous meetings, he has gone 0-3 with a 5.11 ERA.

The right-handed Norris has struggled in back-to-back outings after winning three starts in a row. He lost to the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 23, giving up four runs over two innings before a rain delay ended his outing.

Norris then faced Tampa Bay on Thursday, yielding four runs over six innings as he was charged with six hits and a pair of walks. He got a no-decision, leaving him 11-8 on the year with a 4.00 ERA.

The American League East-leading Orioles had a four-game winning streak stopped with Monday's 6-1 loss to Minnesota in the finale of a four-game series.

Nick Hundley followed a Twins error with a game-tying three-run homer of Phil Hughes in the seventh inning, but Minnesota scored three runs in the eighth to go back ahead.

"(Hughes) had been throwing (the cutter) really well," said Hundley. "That one he kind of left out over the plate and fortunately I didn't miss it."

Nelson Cruz hit his MLB-leading 36th homer of the season, a solo homer in the ninth, but Kevin Gausman was charged with five runs -- four earned -- over 7 1/3 innings to take the loss.

These two franchises have split six previous regular-season meetings. The Reds won two of three in Cincinnati during the 2005 campaign, while the Orioles took two of three at home in 2011.

[SportsNetwork.com]

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