Latos drowns out trade talk in quality start

Marlins starter has solid outing vs. Padres, despite taking loss

Latos drowns out trade talk in quality start

SAN DIEGO -- What happens by Friday's Trade Deadline is out of Mat Latos' control. So all the 27-year-old right-hander was focused on Sunday was doing his part to help the Marlins salvage the series finale at Petco Park.

Credit the veteran for remaining locked in, as Latos, despite not being his sharpest, delivered a quality start, giving up three runs in six innings. Still, the Marlins couldn't manufacture enough offense, and they lost, 3-2, to the Padres, dropping three of four in the series.

The subject of trade rumors, Latos noted he is blocking all the speculation out. He's gotten some briefings from manager Dan Jennings, and is aware he is on the block. Teams including the Blue Jays, Cubs, Yankees and others are surveying available starters.

"I couldn't care less," Latos said of the rumors. "I'm not paying attention to that stuff. I told D.J. the same thing. I know this is all a business, and they have to do what they feel they have to do to make the ballclub better in the future.

"If I get traded, I get traded. I'll wait for the day where he calls me in the office. That's it. There are 24 guys in this clubhouse, other than myself, that I have to worry about taking care of, whenever it comes my fifth day, when I have to pitch. I owe it to them to be as focused as possible, and to go out there and compete and try to win a ballgame."

Bottom line on Sunday was Latos, who struck out five, kept it close. But he gave up a second-inning homer to Justin Upton and a sacrifice fly to Alexi Amarista in the second inning, putting his team in a two-run hole.

After Miami closed the gap to 2-1 in the fifth inning, Latos was charged with a run in the sixth inning. The Padres capitalized on an opposite-field double by Will Venable, and an RBI groundout by Matt Kemp, on a ball that caused shortstop Miguel Rojas to make a nice diving stop to get an out at first.

"I thought Mat really settled down after the two runs there [in second]," Jennings said. "I think three through five, he retired 11 in a row and did a nice job to give us that opportunity."

Latos, who has four straight quality starts, noted he didn't do enough to win Sunday.

"Would I have liked eight runs? I think every pitcher in the world wants eight runs," Latos said. "When a team gives you two runs, you should try your hardest to put zeros up on the board as much as possible. They scored enough runs for me to win. I gave up enough runs for us to lose."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.