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Reds Blank Pirates behind Latos, Bullpen; Division Lead Grows to 4-1/2 Games

Updated on August 3, 2012

Reds Blank Pirates behind Latos, Bullpen; Division Lead Grows to 4-1/2 Games

by Robb Hoff

August 3, 2012

The Cincinnati Reds finally squared off with the upstart Pittsburgh Pirates in the much-anticipated series between the top two teams of the N.L. Central Division.

And the Reds delivered a knockout punch with a 3-0 shutout win.

Reds starter Mat Latos delivered a dominant performance, scattering four hits over 7-1/3 innings. Latos also creamed a Wandy Rodriguez fastball for a two-run homer.

Johnathan Broxton relieved Latos in the eighth and induced an inning-ending double play.

In the ninth, it was the Cuban Missile Aroldis Chapman, who again laid waste to the hitters he faced with the exception of Andrew McCutchen who was drilled in the arm with a 100+ mile an hour fastball.

The Reds offense didn't exactly come out like it had during the previous series with the pitching-challenged San Diego Padres. And it didn't help that the meat of the Reds order didn't feature Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce but rather Ryan Ludwick, Scott Rolen and Todd Frazier, who collectively went 0-for-10.

Outfielder Chris Heisey started in right field in place of Bruce and provided the only other punch for the Reds offense in the form of an inside-the-park home run.

The win gives the Reds the upper hand in the series and sets the stage for another showdown tomorrow night at Great American Ball Park, where more than 38,000 attended Friday night's game.

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