GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -Right-hander Mat Latos had some trouble with his control but no problem at all with his pitching elbow on Tuesday, an encouraging sign for the San Diego Padres in their 7-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Latos missed a start last week because of tenderness in the elbow. In his return to the mound, his control was off but his results weren't bad.
``His pitch count got a little elevated,' manager Bud Black said. ``I think he had 50 pitches after two innings. His elbow came through it OK. It was a good workout.'
Latos is in the competition for the fifth starter's spot. He looked a little rusty after his elbow-induced layoff.
``I'm excited about spring training, but not my outing,' Latos said. ``My fastball - I couldn't place it every place I needed to. It was all over the place. I threw a couple of good ones when I needed to, but I fell behind a lot of hitters.'
So did Cincinnati's Aaron Harang, who had a second straight challenging afternoon. Harang gave up five hits and five runs in only 4 2-3 innings during his last spring training appearance. The right-hander will make his fifth straight opening-day start for the Reds on Monday against the Cardinals, tying a club record.
His results weren't very good lately. In his last two spring starts, Harang gave up 14 hits and 12 runs in 7 1-3 innings.
Kyle Blanks hit a two-run double off Harang in the first inning. Scott Hairston pulled a 1-2 pitch for a three-run homer in the third, putting San Diego ahead 5-1.
``I felt great,' Harang said. ``I made two bad pitches. It was a good pitch to Hairston, but it was early in the count and I was pounding it in. He just opened up and turned on that one.'
Harang has lost 31 games over the last two seasons, with injuries bothering him both years. He made some changes to his delivery this spring to try to regain his touch. He was having problems pitching out of the stretch.
``My timing out of the stretch was tough, so this last week I ended up throwing two bullpen (sessions) and worked mainly on that,' Harang said. ``I felt great with that today.'
Harang also had a throwing error, one of three by the Reds that prolonged his time on the mound. There were six errors in all.
``That was a Twilight Zone game,' manager Dusty Baker said.
The Padres hit three homers for the second straight game. Oscar Salazar and Everth Cabrera added solo shots off Cincinnati's bullpen.
NOTES: Will Venable stole second base off Harang in the first inning. San Diego has 48 steals this spring, most in the majors. ... Reds SS Orlando Cabrera (.175) and 2B Brandon Phillips (.125) were sent to a minor league game to get extra at_bats. ... Reds GM Walt Jocketty said LHP Aroldis Chapman will likely start the season in the minors. That leaves RHP Mike Leake and LHP Travis Wood competing for the fifth spot in the rotation. Both will pitch in split-squad games on Wednesday.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved