Mat Latos walked to the plate with runners at first and second and two outs in the fourth Saturday. The Reds needed a two-out hit like Ohio needs a sunny day — both have been in short supply this summer — and manager Dusty Baker, from his typical perch in the dugout, urged his starting pitcher to surprise the Mariners. They intentionally walked Ryan Hanigan to pitch to Latos.
“C’mon big Latos, show ‘em you can hit,” Baker said.
Hours later, reliever Sean Marshall dumped a bucket of shaving cream on Latos’ head as reporters surrounded him at his locker. It wasn’t a way of celebrating Latos’ pitching performance. Although he got the win, he wasn’t great, giving up four runs in six innings.
Latos overcame his shortcomings on the mound because he did what Baker asked. He doubled to right to score two runs in the fourth and tie the game 3-3. That Reds added 10 more runs in a 13-4 victory over Seattle in front of 34,965 at Great American Ball Park.
“After putting the guys in a 2-0 hole in the first inning, it’s kind of aggravating,” Latos said. “It was a good time to get a hit. The offense really picked us up.”
After giving up a two-run home run to the third batter of the game, Kyle Seager, Latos struck out the next six batters. He finished with 11 strikeouts, and four Reds relievers — Manny Parra, Sam LeCure, Alfredo Simon and Logan Ondrusek — combined to hold the Mariners to two hits and no runs in the last three innings.
The Reds (50-37) improved to 4-1 on the homestand with their second win in 11 tries all-time against the Mariners.
Pittsburgh (53-33) lost 4-1 to the Cubs, and the Cardinals (52-34) beat the Marlins 5-4, so the Reds trail Pittsburgh by 3½ and St. Louis by 2½ in the National League Central.
The Reds hadn’t scored more than 10 runs in a game since June 11 and had scored a total of eight runs in their last three games. They were due to break out of the slump and did so thanks to contributions from all over the lineup.
Cesar Izturis started at shortstop for the first time since June 12 and went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Jack Hannahan filled in for Todd Frazier at third base and went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Jay Bruce went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and four runs scored. Every starter had a hit, in fact, except Joey Votto.
The Reds went 8-for-17 with runners in scoring position after going 3-for-28 in their last three games.
“That’s the name of the game,” Baker said. “Most of the time when you lose you’re not getting them and the other team’s getting them. You’re not going to get in a whole bunch of situations where there are runners on third and less than two outs or the bases loaded and no outs or something like that.”
Mariners at Reds, 1:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410