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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, May 16th (All times Eastern)

Cincinnati Reds (24-16) at Miami Marlins (11-29), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Mat Latos (4-0, 3.04) Miami - Jose Fernandez (2-2, 3.65)

(Sports Network) - Despite winning a fourth straight start last time out, Cincinnati starter Mat Latos wasn't too pleased with his effort on the mound.

Latos gets a chance to extend his personal winning streak on Thursday night in the finale of a three-game series as the Reds aim for their first road sweep of the Miami Marlins.

Latos had good reason to be upset as he allowed seven runs -- six earned -- on nine hits and three walks over six innings of a 13-7 win over Milwaukee on Saturday. He did help himself out by going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, but it was of little consolation.

"I gave up six runs today, actually seven," said Latos. "I could care less how many hits I had."

Latos opened the season by not factoring into the outcome of his first four starts and has won each of his past eight regular-season decisions, having not lost since Aug. 24.

The 25-year-old right-hander has a 3.04 earned run average this season and faced the Marlins on April 19. He did not get a decision despite striking out 10 batters over seven innings of one-run ball. That left Latos winless in his career versus Miami at 0-3 with a 6.10 ERA in six meetings.

The Reds took three of four in that series with the Marlins at home and have won the first two contests of this meeting, giving them a chance at their first three-game sweep in Florida since May 31-June 2, 2004.

Young right-hander Jose Fernandez aims to extend his first career winning streak on Thursday night for the Marlins in an attempt to salvage the finale.

Fernandez is coming off consecutive wins over Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers, picking up the first two victories of his career. He shut out the Phillies for seven innings and yielded just one hit on May 4 before besting the Dodgers last Friday. The 20-year-old scattered three runs over six innings while fanning seven in his seventh career start.

Fernandez is 2-2 with a 3.65 ERA on the season and that includes a loss to the Reds on April 18. He was touched for a season-high five runs with six hits and three walks in four innings.

Run support could be a problem for Fernandez as the Marlins were shut out for the seventh time this season in Wednesday's 4-0 loss. Shin-Soo Choo paced the Reds' offense with four hits and a pair of solo homers, while Mike Leake danced around baserunners to throw 6 2/3 scoreless frames.

Leake fanned six and scattered nine hits with one walk for the Reds, who have won a season-high five straight games as well as nine of their past 11.

"This ballpark is big," Choo said. "Some balls fly, some don't. I'm not thinking about hitting homers. I'm just swinging hard."

Derek Dietrich, Rob Brantly and Greg Dobbs collected two hits apiece for the Marlins, who finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 men on base in dropping their fourth straight contest and seventh in the last eight.

"We got guys on base, but you've got to keep grinding," Dietrich said. "We just didn't get the hit when we needed to."

Alex Sanabia was tagged for all four runs on nine hits and three walks over six innings to absorb his fifth straight loss.

05/16 10:28:35 ET

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