Mat Latos made the most of two extra days of rest, pitching his second career complete game and striking out a career-high 13 batters Monday as the Reds beat the Brewers 3-1.
Latos was pushed back to Monday because Reds manager Dusty Baker wanted to slot him in between Mike Leake and Bronson Arroyo in the rotation.
“Leake and Arroyo are very similar,” Baker said. “Plus the extra day with the off-day, too, gave us the liberty to do something.”
Whether the extra rest helped or not, Latos responded with easily his best effort for Cincinnati. He entered with a 5.20 ERA in 14 starts, and his previous high for innings pitched in a game this year was 7 1/3. Inefficiency had been a hallmark of his season, but he needed just 109 pitches to get through nine tonight, even with all of the strikeouts mixed in.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.
The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.
Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.
The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.