CINCINNATI — Mat Latos retired the first 10 batters and 15 of the first 16 he faced and Todd Frazier hit a long home run to help the Reds complete a wacky, impressive, 10-game homestand with 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
With one out in the sixth inning of a scoreless tie, Frazier blasted a 2-1 pitch 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.
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.
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.
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.
Chicago’s Jeff 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.
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.