Silence of the bats

Published 1:34 am Thursday, July 30, 2009

CINCINNATI — The fastball zoomed in at 97 mph. The slider bit late and hard. The changeup? A swing-warping 82 mph.

With everything going so well, rookie Mat Latos was one pitch from being unhittable.

Latos allowed only a solo homer over seven innings, and the bullpen completed the one-hitter Wednesday night, leading the San Diego Padres to a 7-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and their first consecutive wins in a month.

‘‘Everything clicked,’’ said Latos, who gave up Jerry Hairston Jr.’s homer in the fourth. ‘‘My changeup was down, my slider was good, the fastball I felt I could throw anywhere.’’

During the Padres’ midseason meltdown, the 21-year-old Latos has been a bright spot. He has made three starts since being called up from Double-A, and gotten better each time. On Wednesday, he allowed one hit and a walk, retiring 21 of the 23 batters he faced.

‘‘Let’s enjoy tonight’s win,’’ manager Bud Black said. ‘‘It was a great win for a young pitcher. I don’t want to draw any major conclusions about anything, but in-between the lines, there’s a lot of things I like.’’

Latos, an 11th-round draft pick in 2006, threw only 86 pitches. Greg Burke and Mike Eckstrom both threw an inning to finish San Diego’s second one-hitter of the season.

‘‘Their guy pitched a great game,’’ Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ‘‘He’s a big-time prospect, and it looked like he was throwing downhill. That young man was throwing good. He was close to a no-hitter.’’

He had a 5-0 lead before he took the mound. Adrian Gonzalez and Kyle Blanks homered in the first inning off struggling Aaron Harang (5-12), who leads the majors in losses.

San Diego won consecutive games for the first time since June 27-28. The Padres have lost 20 of 26 since July 1.

Like the Padres, the Reds have been in a midseason meltdown, losing 14 of their last 18. They have fallen 10 games under .500 (45-55) for the first time this season.

Reds’ boxscore

Wednesday’s Game

Padres 7, Reds 1

San Diego Cincinnati

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Gwynn cf 4 0 1 0 Tavers cf 4 0 0 0

Eckstn 2b 5 1 1 0 HrstnJr lf 4 1 1 1

AdGnzl 1b 4 1 2 2 Votto 1b 4 0 0 0

Kzmnff 3b 3 2 1 0 BPhllps 2b 3 0 0 0

Headly lf 3 1 2 0 Gomes rf 3 0 0 0

Blanks rf 4 1 1 3 Encrnc 3b 3 0 0 0

Alfonzo c 4 1 0 0 AlGnzlz ss 2 0 0 0

ECarer ss 3 0 2 1 Tatum c 2 0 0 0

Latos p 2 0 0 0 Harang p 1 0 0 0

Venale ph 1 0 0 0 Roenck p 0 0 0 0

GBurke p 0 0 0 0 L.Nix ph 1 0 0 0

Ekstrm p 0 0 0 0 Fisher p 0 0 0 0

Totals 33 7 10 6 Totals 27 1 1 1

San Diego 500 000 020 — 7

Cincinnati 000 100 000 — 1

LOB—San Diego 9, Cincinnati 6. 2B—Gwynn (9), Kouzmanoff 2 (20), E.Cabrera 2 (8), Encarnacion (6), L.Nix (20). 3B—Gwynn (4). HR—Ad.Gonzalez (27). SB—E.Cabrera 2 (13). S—Eckstein, H.Blanco, Arroyo. SF—Kouzmanoff.

IP H R ER BB SO

San Diego

Latos W,2-1 7 1 1 1 1 4

G.Burke 1 0 0 0 1 0

Ekstrom 1 0 0 0 0 0

Cincinnati

Harang L,5-12 7 9 7 7 4 5

Roenicke 1 1 0 0 0 2

Fisher 1 0 0 0 1 0

Harang pitched to 2 batters in the 8th. WP—Roenicke. Umpires—Home, Scott Barry; First, Jerry Crawford; Second, Phil Cuzzi; Third, Tom Hallion. T—2:35. A—17,201 (42,319).