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Latos named ‘player of week’

NEW YORK (AP) — Cincinnati Reds starter Mat Latos has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period ending July 1.

Latos was a perfect 2-0 in two complete games last week, leading the Majors with 18.0 innings pitched and ranking second in MLB and first in the National League with 20 strikeouts.

The 24-year-old became the first Reds pitcher to record back-to-back complete games since 2006, when Aaron Harang notched victories on Sept. 24 (at Chicago) and Sept. 29th (at Pittsburgh).

Latos allowed just a single earned run in each of his starts, good for a 1.00 ERA (2 ER/18.0 IP) for the week, which reduced his season ERA from 5.20 (through June 18) to 4.42. He earned his seventh victory (7-2) of the season on Sunday afternoon, two-hitting the N.L. West-leading Giants in his complete-game, 2-1 win at AT&T Park. The righty fanned seven in his 9 innings of work and did not allow a walk en route to his second victory over San Francisco this season.

Latos notched a career-high 13 strikeouts in his outing one week ago, June 25, walking only two and scattering four hits in a 3-1 victory over Milwaukee at Great American Ball Park.

He threw 80 of his 109 pitches for strikes and during a span from the first through fifth innings threw 26 consecutive strikes, marking the longest streak by a Reds hurler since records have been kept, going back to 1988

The Broward (FL) Community College product also matched a career high with two hits.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Latos is only the third Reds’ pitcher since 1900 to collect at least two hits as a batter while recording 13-or-more strikeouts (Jim Maloney twice, 1963 vs. Chicago and 1966 vs. New York Mets; and Ron Villone, 2000 vs. St. Louis).

This is Latos’ first career weekly award.