MILWAUKEE—After a poor start in his last game, Wily Peralta insisted he would rebound in his next outing.
The Brewers starter did just that, pitching seven strong innings as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.
“I wasn't worried about my velocity. I felt good today and it was perfect weather,” Peralta said of his outing. “That day in Cleveland wasn't easy. Today the velocity was back and I was locating my pitches pretty good today.”
Peralta (5-8), who struggled mightily in his last two starts, held the Reds to one run and seven hits in a battle of teams fighting to stay out of the National League Central cellar. Peralta struck out six and, for just the third time in 16 starts this season, didn't issue a walk.
“I just thought he was very aggressive,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “His fastball was really good today, his slider was good. He overthrew some pitches today, but he was as good as he's been all year.”
Counsell couldn't explain Peralta's decreased velocity in his prior start.
“There are just some mysteries to the game we're not going to be able to figure out. (Today) he was back to what you expect from Wily. There were no injury concerns for me.”
Martin Maldonado, who caught Peralta on Sunday, said Peralta threw hard in the bullpen prior to the game.
“He really needed that game today,” Maldonado said.
Ryan Braun's two-out solo home run in the first off Reds' starter John Lamb (0-3) gave the Brewers the early lead.
The Reds tied the score in the second when a soft chopper by Brayan Pena got past Milwaukee's drawn in infield, allowing Todd Frazier, who led off with a double, to score.
Milwaukee grabbed the lead again in the third. Maldonado led off with a double, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Jonathan Lucroy's single. The Brewers extended their lead in the eighth. Jean Segura drove in a run with a triple and then scored on Lucroy's sacrifice fly.
Lamb, acquired in the deal that sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City last month, was making just his fourth major-league start. He gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out eight and didn't walk a batter.
Francisco Rodriguez recorded his 31st save in 32 chances one day after blowing his first save of the season.
Lucroy wants strong finish
After struggling at the plate for much of the season, Lucroy said it's important for him to be productive for the remainder of the season. He had a single and a sacrifice fly in four plate appearances Sunday, giving him a season-high eight-game hitting streak. “Any time you have a tough year and stuff doesn't really go your way, to be able to finish strong is a big part of feeling good about your season.”
Brewers: Counsell said struggling Matt Garza (6-14, 5.56 ERA), who spent time on the disabled list in July with shoulder tendinitis, will remain in the starting rotation for now.
“It's difficult to find the reasons why (he's struggling),” Counsell said. “Sometimes maybe we make it too complicated and it's just Matt needs to execute pitches better.”
Brewers: Jimmy Nelson (10-10, 3.81) will be on the mound Tuesday as Milwaukee opens a three-game series at home against Pittsburgh. Nelson is 3-1 with a 1.85 ERA in four career starts against the Pirates, all coming this year.