GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Cincinnati Reds gave up a lot to get Mat Latos, and manager Dusty Baker likes what he's seen from the right-hander this spring.
Latos pitched five strong innings to lead the Reds to a 6-2 victory over a split-squad of Texas Rangers on Thursday night. He yielded a leadoff homer to Julio Borbon to start the game, then allowed just three more hits while striking out three and walking none."He located his fastball for strike one," Dusty Baker said. "When you are able to get that first strike you can do a lot of things. His slider was outstanding. He just hung one to (Julio) Borbon in the first inning."The Reds gave up three players drafted in the first round and former All-Star Edinson Volquez to get Latos from the Padres in December. Cincinnati was willing to part with top talent to get a pitcher who could go deep in games and take stress off the bullpen. Latos was the second Reds pitcher to work five innings.Rangers starter Scott Feldman gave up two runs and eight hits -- including six doubles -- in 4 1/3 innings. He was a starter for Texas from 2008-10 but was a long reliever and spot starter for the Rangers last season.Feldman is competing with Neftali Feliz, who was the closer for a spot in the rotation. They will both pitch again on Monday."I want to start," Feldman said. "I just show up and try to get guys out and have a good attitude. It's not my decision but I have the peace of mind that I can get guys out."Zack Cozart and Devin Mesoraco had two doubles apiece for Cincinnati. Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen also doubled, and Dioner Navarro homered off Joe BeimelBorbon also singled for Texas.
Ryan Madson, who the Reds signed as free agent to be the closer, still has not pitched in a spring game. He was held out with a sore elbow but looked good according to general manager Walt Jocketty after pitching in a simulated game on Tuesday. ... Cozart has six extra-base hits in his last five games. ... Brad Hawpe was the designated hitter for Texas in both games Thursday. He was 0 for 3 against the Chicago Cubs in the afternoon and 1 for 3 with a double against Cincinnati. ... Texas has hit 11 home runs in its last nine games.