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CIN@STL: Latos blanks the Cardinals over six frames

Mat Latos revealed that he pitched despite feeling ill during his last start. This season, he has left opposing hitters feeling the same way.

The 25-year-old, who has submitted six quality starts in seven outings this year, will take to the hill against the Brewers on Saturday in search of his fourth win in as many decisions.

It's a welcome sight for Reds manager Dusty Baker, who watched Latos labor through the beginning of the 2012 campaign, when the right-hander sported a 5.20 ERA through his first 14 games. Latos eventually turned his season around, posting a 2.43 ERA over his last 19 outings.

"You hope he's getting better," Baker said. "He had a slow start last year. If he has the kind of finish he had, who knows what he can do? Especially a young person that has the experience he's had and the time already, the next best thing is to try and keep him healthy.

"He'll get better and better and better. We'd like to take him deeper in the games. That's the next step for him. I'm just glad we've got him."

For the first time, Cincinnati will see Milwaukee righty Hiram Burgos. The 25-year-old will pitch for the first time since May 1, as the Brewers skipped his turn in the rotation because of a pair of off-days on their schedule.

Burgos reported to Miller Park at about 2 p.m. CT on Thursday to log a bullpen session. He downplayed the potential effect of the long layoff between outings.

"I had to do it because the team needed it, and I was fine with that," said Burgos, who has compiled a 1-0 record and 3.00 ERA in three starts this season. "I stayed in the bullpen for the [previous] series with the Texas Rangers, and [Thursday] on the day off, I threw a bullpen. I was still on the mound. I did my workouts. My arm feels good. Whenever I get the chance to pitch, I have to do my job."

After nine days off between starts, he'll have that chance on Saturday.

"I'm ready to pitch," Burgos said. "Like I always say, I want the ball."

Brewers: Estrada pushed back
• The Brewers put Burgos back into the rotation on Saturday so they could push Marco Estrada back two days. Estrada has yielded 13 earned runs over 8 1/3 innings in his last two starts. He is scheduled to start Monday in Pittsburgh.

"I would say if it could have worked out where we could have completely missed a start with him, we would have thought about doing that," manager Ron Roenicke said.

Reds: Heisey takes next step in recovery
• Outfielder Chris Heisey, on the disabled list since April 29 after suffering a right hamstring strain two days earlier against Washington, is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Monday at Double-A Pensacola. Heisey is hitting .173 with two home runs in 23 games.

"We hope he goes out to play," Baker said. "Even though he wasn't doing quite as well as he wanted to or we wanted to, we still need him, especially [with] our left-handed strong lineup and especially off the bench."

Worth noting
• Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan, who came off the disabled list before the game, went 2-for-4 on Friday to boost his average to .119 from .079. He entered the game with three hits in 38 at-bats this season.

• Brewers right fielder Norichika Aoki leads the Majors in infield hits with 11.

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