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SF@CIN: Latos blanks the Giants over seven

Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton had been 10-0 since the beginning of 2011 when receiving three runs of support or more.

But that changed last Tuesday when the Cardinals knocked Morton around for six runs over 4 1/3 innings in a 10-7 loss.

The 27-year-old will look to get back on track against the Reds on Sunday in the rubber match of their weekend series.

"In general, the pitches were up," Morton said after his loss to the Cardinals. "I did a poor job of minimizing damage and it went downhill from there."

Coming back home to Pittsburgh will help Morton, who has allowed three earned runs or less in seven straight starts at PNC Park dating back to last season.

In 10 career starts against the Reds, Morton is 4-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 61 2/3 innings. The righty experienced his most success against Cincinnati last year, going 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA and two complete games.

Squaring off against Morton will be Reds right-hander Mat Latos. In three career games against Pittsburgh, the 24-year-old is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA and 19 strikeouts.

Latos last pitched April 29 versus Houston, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. He left the game training 5-3 but the Reds came back to win the game and let Latos off the hook.

"It was great to watch the hitters do the things that they did," Latos said. "They picked me up on a day I was feeling a little under the weather. It was not a good outing."

Reds: Cozart up top
Zack Cozart made his 11th start in the leadoff spot for the Reds on Saturday, a position he's finding comfort in this year.

"It's been a little adjustment, because I think I only hit leadoff 20 or so games in the Minor Leagues," Cozart said. "So, I hadn't really done it, but so far I feel comfortable there. I'm not changing my approach or anything."

Following Saturday's game against the Pirates, Cozart led all National League rookies in runs scored (16), extra-base hits (12), total bases (45) and multi-hit games (eight).

"Hitting leadoff or two-hole, our job is to get on base for Joey [Votto] and Jay [Bruce] and Scott [Rolen] and those guys," Cozart said. "It makes it easier on us knowing that we're going to get some pitches to hit, and when we get on base they're going to knock us in."

Pirates: Hanrahan's stock rising
With Joel Hanrahan converting 45 of his last 49 save opportunities since the start of the 2011 season and closers around the league dropping by the wayside with injures, the Pirates reliever's name continues to surface around trade discussions.

"I haven't really thought about it," Hanrahan said. "My goal here is to go out and get through this season, and be here and help this team win."

Hanrahan agreed to a one-year, $4.1 million deal last winter to avoid salary arbitration. He will be eligible for free agency following the 2013 season.

Worth noting
• Pedro Alvarez had a seven-game hitting streak snapped on Saturday.

• Out with an strained left hamstring, infielder Miguel Cairo made his second rehab appearance on Friday at Class A Dayton. He started at third base and went 0-2 against Lake County. Comments