The Cincinnati Reds have experienced no shortage of injuries to important players this season, although they will be getting back another key piece back Saturday. Mat Latos, who will make his season debut for the Reds in the second of three games in Milwaukee against the Brewers, has been sidelined all year after undergoing elbow and knee surgeries prior to this season. In addition to Latos, Cincinnati has also sent Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco to the disabled list.
The Reds have no intention to take it easy on their 14-game winner from a season ago as they attempt to chip away at Milwaukee's seven-game advantage over them in the National League Central, pairing him against a team he has yet to defeat in four all-time starts at Miller Park. The Brewers tied a season high with four errors in Friday's 6-5 series-opening loss, leading to four unearned runs and wasting a four-run rally in the seventh inning. Milwaukee is also hoping for its own boost to the pitching staff Saturday as reliever Tom Gorzelanny is expected to return following offseason shoulder surgery.
TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, Fox
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Mat Latos (2013: 14-7, 3.16 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Yovani Gallardo (4-4, 3.71)
Latos, who is expected to replace Tony Cingrani in the rotation, proved his readiness by going 2-0 with a 3.09 ERA over five rehab starts with Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville. The 26-year-old Virginia native has enjoyed limited success against the Brewers, going 2-4 with 3.64 ERA in eight career starts - including an 0-3 mark in Milwaukee. While Latos has dominated power hitters Ryan Braun (2-for-17) and Mark Reynolds (0-for-7) over his career, he has enjoyed much less success against Carlos Gomez (8-for-15, two homers and seven RBIs) and Jean Segura (7-for-14).
Gallardo, bouncing back from a poor outing in which he surrendered a season-high six runs at home, worked seven frames in a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 2010 All-Star set season highs in pitches (121) and strikeouts (eight), yielding four hits and a walk en route to his third scoreless effort of the season. Gallardo gave up four runs in six frames to take the loss on May 3 versus the Reds and is 7-7 with a 4.44 ERA in 21 career starts against them.
1. Gomez has an 11-game hitting streak and reached base in 28 consecutive games - the longest active run in the majors.
2. Cincinnati leads the majors with the fewest errors (27) and in fielding percentage (.989).
3. Segura, who got the night off Friday, is batting .139 over his last nine games.
PREDICTION: Brewers 4, Reds 3