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CLE@CIN: Latos strikes out seven, goes 6 1/3 strong

Sunday's series finale at PNC Park between the Reds and Pirates will be a matchup of unbeaten right-handers.

Matt Latos (5-0, 3.01 ERA) will be on the hill for the Reds, while Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.30 ERA) gets the nod for the Pirates.

While the Reds' right-hander didn't go deep in his last outing against the Indians, Latos gave Cincinnati a chance to win by giving up just one run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. Latos also struck out seven.

"He kind of came as advertised," Indians manager Terry Francona said after the game. "He's got a lot on his fastball, but he'll throw all his pitches in any count. That makes it really effective. I thought our second or third time through the order, we were better, but you have to respect all three of his pitches at any time in any count."

Doing well against the National League Central this season, the right-hander has four of his five wins against the division.

Meanwhile, Gomez comes into Sunday's game on the heels of the best start of his career. In his sixth start on Tuesday against the Tigers, the right-hander tossed a season-high seven innings, allowing just three hits. However, he did get the no-decision in the Bucs' 1-0 win over the Tigers.

"Awesome" is the way teammate Neil Walker described Gomez's work. "When you've got a guy sinking the ball and keeping the game going like he was, it makes the game fun."

Gomez has allowed three hits or fewer in four of his last five starts, cementing his spot in the starting rotation after beginning the year in the bullpen.

The Pirates have won each of the six games Gomez has started this year and are 9-2 overall in his 11 appearances.

Reds: Heisey continues to make progress
Left fielder Chris Heisey, on the disabled list since April 29 with a strained right hamstring, continues to take little steps in his progress towards returning.

Heisey hit on the field and threw to the bases before Thursday's game in Cleveland. He's also been doing full sprints and agility drills.

"The next step will be base running and full shagging in the next day or two," Heisey said on Friday. "If I can do that a couple of days in a row and not have soreness, then maybe they'll think about sending me on a rehab assignment."

Heisey's previous rehab assignment lasted only one inning of one game, when he had a setback. He admitted the soreness isn't 100 percent gone yet, but he's not far away.

Pirates: Close games becoming commonplace
Nine of Pittsburgh's last 15 games have been decided by one run, with the Pirates going 7-2 in those contests.

In addition, the Bucs are 24-12 this year in games decided by two runs or less, including a 14-7 mark at home.

Worth noting

• Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips will likely miss Sunday's game with a left forearm contusion sustained from being hit by a pitch from Pirates reliever Tony Watson in the eighth inning on Saturday. Phillips was replaced by Cesar Izturis on defense to start the bottom of the frame.

• The Reds' top pick from the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, right-handed pitcher Nick Travieso, who they took with the 14th overall pick, was promoted to Class A Dayton on Friday. Travieso, 19, has been at extended spring in Arizona.

• The Pirates have won 11 of 16 starts made by their left-handers at PNC Park.

• The Bucs are a perfect 30-0 this season when leading after eight innings, the second-best record in the Majors.

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