Mat Latos, Reds 4-Hit Pirates, Who Fall To 4.5 Games Back

Aug 3, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds left fielder Chris Heisey (28) slides in safe under Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Rod Barajas (26) after hitting a in the park home run during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Mat Latos, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman held the Pirates to four hits, all singles, in a 3-0 defeat that gave the Reds a 4.5-game lead on the Bucs in the N.L. Central.

Wandy Rodriguez solved the control issues he showed in his Pirates debut, but gave up two homers. In the second, Chris Heisey hit a long fly ball to left that Starling Marte just missed catching at the wall. It caromed away, and Heisey streaked around the bases and just beat the throw to the plate.

Then in the fifth, Ryan Hanigan singled to right, and Latos himself blasted a Rodriguez fastball to put the Reds up 3-0.

That's where it would stay. Latos got some strikeouts with his fastball, but he also got 11 ground ball outs. Latos got the Pirates to ground into two double plays (and Broxton got one more), with Clint Barmes grounding into one in the fifth with two on and one out.

Sorry about the gamethread today, y'all -- I tried to do one before I left to go out to dinner, and I was getting 503 errors throughout the network. I didn't return to the internet until much too late.

UPDATE from David: The big story last night was Aroldis Chapman drilling Andrew McCutchen with a 100+ mph fastball with two out in the ninth. Cutch was some kinda hot in the dugout, maybe as animated as I've ever seen him. And with good reason.

I'm guessing most guys in the Reds dugout weren't happy about it. Nobody will be digging in against James McDonald, and I have no doubt this series is now going to get ugly. I'll take Jay Bruce in the "Who Gets Drilled First" pool.

It wasn't Cutch's best game. He didn't back up Marte on Heisey's inside-the-park homer and he was thrown out attempting to steal second. He hasn't homered since July 17 and doesn't have an RBI since July 22. He's also been thrown out in his last four steal attempts. His last successful steal dates all the way back to June 19. It probably wasn't the right time to be drilling him. If the Pirates go on a huge run here, people are going to point to this as the catalyst. Either way, last night's beanball is going to dial up the intensity of this rivalry for a long time.

And just for the record, the Pirates-Reds game was the lead story on SportsCenter.

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