For the third time in seven starts, Cincinnati Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto fanned at least 10 batters, striking out 10 Milwaukee Brewers in eight strong innings as the Reds posted a 6-2 win Saturday at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.
Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo (2-1) took his first loss, done in by a rough fourth inning during which the Reds scored three runs.
All Milwaukee (21-10) could get off Cueto (3-2) and reliever Sam LeCure, who worked the ninth, was three hits, two of them solo home runs.
Aramis Ramirez got the Brewers on the board, leading off the top of the second with a homer to left field, Ramirez’s fourth homer of the season.
But things got ugly for Gallardo in the fourth. Brandon Phillips got a one-out single, moved up a base on Jay Bruce’s single to right and Gallardo loaded the bases when he plunked Todd Frazier with a pitch.
Mark Reynolds got the Brewers a bit closer with his seventh homer of the season, a shot to center field, leading off the fifth.
The Reds (14-16) added a run in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back singles by Ludwick and Pena, with Cueto driving in the run by grounding a single to right.
Gallardo worked six innings, allowing four runs on nine hits, with a walk and just one strikeout.
Cincinnati tacked on a couple of insurance runs off reliever Tyler Thornburg in the seventh, on an RBI double by Frazier, who later scored when Thornburg threw two wild pitches while Zack Cozart was batting.
Rob Wooten worked a scoreless eighth for the Brewers.
The only other Milwaukee hit came in the eighth when Jean Segura reached on an infield single to third base that Frazier bobbled while trying to make a barehand play on a slow chopper.
It was the Brewers first game since Ryan Braun was placed on the disabled list Saturday morning. Logan Schafer was activated for the game; he started in left field and was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Milwaukee will try to salvage a split in the four-game series Sunday afternoon at 3:10 p.m. Central. Kyle Lohse (4-1, 2.70 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Brewers, with Alfredo Simon (4-1, 1.60 ERA) set to go for Cincinnati.