DENVER (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds posted their 10th straight win and matched their best streak in 14 years, with Mat Latos pitching eight strong innings and Drew Stubbs homering Sunday in a 7-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

The Reds’ winning streak is their longest since they took 10 in a row in 1998. They are two short of the franchise record, done twice and last accomplished in 1957.

Cincinnati opened a three-game lead over Pittsburgh in NL Central, its biggest edge since mid-June.

Jay Bruce also homered and Stubbs drove in three runs. Ryan Hanigan and Zack Cozart each had two hits each for the Reds, who have won 17 of 19.

The Reds have swept four of their five series since the All-Star break and they are a season-best 21 games above .500.

Latos (9-3) allowed four hits and struck out eight.

Josh Rutledge homered for Colorado, which has lost three straight and nine of its last 11.

The Reds took a 3-2 lead into the fifth, then broke it open against Jonathan Sanchez (0-2). Cozart led off with a single and Stubbs hit his 12th home run of the season.

One out later, Bruce hit his 20th homer into the second deck in right to make it 6-2 and chase Sanchez.

Sanchez, acquired from Kansas City for Jeremy Guthrie on July 20, didn’t fare much better than the pitcher he replaced. In his home debut, Sanchez allowed six runs on eight hits, struck out three and walked two. He has failed to pitch at least five innings in either of his starts for Colorado.

Miguel Cairo added an RBI single in the eighth off reliever Mike Ekstrom to make it 7-2.

Cincinnati took the lead with carbon-copy plays in consecutive innings. In the second, Chris Heisey led off with a triple and scored on Cairo’s sacrifice fly. Cozart followed suit with a leadoff triple in the third and came home on Stubbs’ sacrifice fly to give the Reds a 3-2 lead.

The Reds struck first when Brandon Phillips’ single scored Stubbs from second base in the first. The Rockies answered in the bottom half when Dexter Fowler walked and Rutledge homered.

NOTES: 2B Phillips left the game in the fifth inning with cramping in his left calf. … The Reds went 5-1 against Colorado this season. … The Reds open a six-game homestand with Mike Leake (4-6) facing San Diego on Monday. … Jeff Francis (3-2) will pitch the first game of a three-game series against St. Louis on Tuesday.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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