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Latos looking to build on previous start

Latos looking to build on previous start

CINCINNATI -- Mat Latos hopes his second win comes as easily as his first. After the young right-hander picked up his first win in just his second start with the club, Latos will go for his second Thursday against the Reds.

Latos pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits on July 24 against the Nationals. He had the chance to earn the win in front of many of his family members, as his hometown of Alexandria, Va., is just across the Potomac River.

"It really didn't hit me right away," Latos said of the win. "Obviously, I was pumped. It's always good to get the first one out of the way."

Latos said he was much more relaxed in his second start despite so many familiar onlookers on hand. Yet every start will be a new challenge.

"Every outing is a new team, so you still have to prepare regardless," Latos said. "My first start, I had that adrenaline rush, but other than that, I was fine."

Latos was called up from Double-A San Antonio on July 19. In his first start, he threw four innings and gave up two runs in a loss to the Rockies. Padres manager Bud Black said Latos needs to maintain the same approach he had while he was in the Minor Leagues.

"The game between the lines doesn't change, wherever you are," Black said. "He came in with a lot of confidence and he should because he's thrown the ball well."

It's not a seamless adjustment to the Major Leagues, and Black said younger players can have a difficult time learning how to conduct themselves off the field when they are called up.

"There's a drastic difference from being a Major Leaguer to a Minor Leaguer," Black said. "There's a learning curve."

Pitching matchup
SD: RHP Mat Latos (1-1, 3.72 ERA)
The hard-throwing 21-year-old Latos got his first Major League victory in his second start, holding the Washington Nationals to two runs (both solo home runs) on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Latos, as he did in his debut, pumped the strike zone with mostly fastballs early on before mixing in a slider later in the start. He threw 94 pitches, 58 for strikes and generally was around the plate. The only two mistakes he made were when he hung breaking balls to Cristian Guzman and Ryan Zimmerman.

CIN: RHP Aaron Harang (5-11, 4.25 ERA)
Harang hit his first Major League home run in his past start against the Cubs on Friday, but not much else went right for him, as he gave up four runs in six innings during an 8-5 loss. Harang still has not recorded a win since May 25, going 0-7 with a 5.17 ERA in that span. He will look to break his career-worst losing streak against the Padres. Harang started against the Padres in San Diego on May 15 and took the loss, giving up five earned runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Kevin Kouzmanoff is batting .320 over his last 14 games. ... Everth Cabrera is hitting .476 on the Padres' road trip. ... Heath Bell earned his first save since July 18 in Tuesday's win. ... Adrian Gonzalez has hit safely in his past 12 starts.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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On radio
• XPRS 1090, XEMO 860 (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: Padres (Tim Stauffer, 0-2, 3.21) at Reds (Johnny Cueto, 8-7, 3.78), 9:35 a.m. PT
• Friday: Padres (Chad Gaudin, 4-9, 4.57) vs. Brewers (Braden Looper, 9-5, 4.79), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Padres (Josh Geer, 1-7, 5.96) vs. Brewers (Jeff Suppan, 5-8, 5.27), 7:05 p.m. PT

Steve Gartner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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