Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 8/3/12
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Mat Latos has dominated Pittsburgh on the mound throughout his career. On Friday night, he also did damage at the plate. Latos pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning and hit a two-run homer as the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds opened a three-game series against their closest pursuers with a 3-0 win over the Pirates. Perhaps the only person happier than Latos was Reds manager Dusty Baker. "It was Latos' night, hitting and pitching," Baker said. Chris Heisey hustled for an inside-the-park home run and Aroldis Chapman closed out the win that gave the Reds a 4-game lead over the Pirates. The Reds have won 14 of 15 and moved 24 games over .500 for the first time since 1999. They are 15-3 since All-Star first baseman Joey Votto left the lineup with a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery and 3-0 since second baseman Brandon Phillips was sidelined with a strained left calf. Phillips is expected to start Saturday, Baker said. Latos (10-3) allowed four hits in 7 1-3 innings. Jonathan Broxton got a key double play to end the eighth and Chapman recorded his 24th save. Latos hit his third career home run, connecting in the fifth against Wandy Rodriguez (7-10). "Swing hard in case you hit it," he said about his approach. "That's the best I've got." Zack Cozart added three hits for the Reds. The series was Cincinnati's first against a team over .500 after five straight against clubs with losing records. Latos allowed just one runner past second base, none after the first inning. He struck out five, walked three and improved to 4-0 in five career starts against the Pirates. "Fastball command and getting strike one was a big key," Latos said. "My slider wasn't as sharp as normal. My breaking ball wasn't was sharp, but the defense was stellar today." Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle already had seen enough of Latos before Friday. "He has just enough to get you with that high pitch, and he can bury a pitch in the dirt when he wants to," Hurdle said. Broxton entered with runners on first and second. The newly acquired reliever got pinch hitter Gaby Sanchez -- acquired from Miami right before Tuesday's trading deadline -- to ground into Pittsburgh's third double play of the night. Chapman struck out two in the ninth. He hit Andrew McCutchen with a pitch with two outs. The Reds already led 1-0 in the fifth when Latos followed Ryan Hanigan's two-out single with a 367-foot drive into the left-field seats for his first homer of the season. Asked if he hit a fastball, Latos replied: "You're asking me?" "I believe it was. It was a blank to me," he said. Rodriguez confirmed the pitch was a fastball. "I was surprised he swung," Rodriguez said. "It was a fastball on the outside of the plate. That was a big, big mistake. I was really surprised." "Wandy was dealing pretty good," Baker said. "That was a big, big blow. Three-to-nothing isn't very much in this ballpark, and 1-0 isn't very much." Rodriguez, acquired by Pittsburgh from Houston for three minor leaguers on July 24, has lost his last four decisions and is 0-1 in two starts with the Pirates. He allowed seven hits and three runs with no walks and four strikeouts. Heisey put the Reds ahead in the second when he lofted a drive to deep left field that eluded Starling Marte's attempt at a leaping catch. The ball glanced off the wall and rolled toward left-center field, and Heisey was waved home by third base coach Mark Berry and just beat the relay to the plate. "When I hit it, I knew it would be close," Heisey said. "When I hit second base, I saw it hit off Marte's glove and roll toward center field. I didn't see McCutchen close, so I knew I had a chance." The inside-the-park homer was Cincinnati's second of the season and the second of Heisey's career. He hit one on Aug. 2, 2010, at Pittsburgh. Jay Bruce hit one on June 15 against the Mets in New York. NOTES: The sellout crowd was Cincinnati's 10th of the season. The Great American Ball Park single-season record of 12 was set last season. ... Reds manager Dusty Baker, assessing McCutchen, said, "If I had to pick an MVP, it would probably be him." ... The father-and-son acting team of Martin and Charlie Sheen was on hand. Martin Sheen is from Dayton and his son is an avid Reds fan. ... Hall of Fame Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman had his head shaved on the field after the game. He told bench coach Chris Speier earlier this season that he would have his head shaved if the Reds won 10 straight games, a streak they achieved last Sunday.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Former NFL LB Armstrong, wife reportedly killed by 16-year-old son

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

Is it time to start taking West Ham seriously?

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker