Matt Garza did something no other Milwaukee Brewers pitcher had ever done on Saturday, throwing a dazzling two-hit shutout as the Brewers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday at Great American Ball Park.
Garza (6-5) became the first Brewer pitcher to shut out the Reds in Cincinnati, which has been a divisional rival of Milwaukee’s since 1998.
And the right-hander was brilliant while throwing his first shutout since 2010 and the fourth of his career. Garza walked two and struck out nine, facing just three batters over the minimum.
It was good that Garza was so strong, because Homer Bailey (8-5) was almost as good.
That was all the Brewers got off Bailey, who allowed a run on seven hits with four walks, striking out eight in eight innings.
It was just the fourth time Milwaukee has shut out the Reds at Great American Ball Park since it opened in 2003, and the first of the complete-game variety.
On June 15, 2013, Yovani Gallardo shut down Cincinnati on three hits over six innings before three relievers—Tom Gorzelanny, Donovan Hand and Jim Henderson—finished off a 6-0 win over Bailey and the Reds.
The first time the Brewers blanked the Reds at GABP was Sept. 12, 2004, when Ben Sheets threw seven shutout innings and Luis Vizcaino and Danny Kolb tossed an inning each in an 11-0 Milwaukee blowout.
Garza’s last shutout was almost four years ago—July 26, 2010, when he threw a no-hitter at the Detroit Tigers while pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Garza retired the first 12 batters he faced before Brandon Phillips led off the fifth with a single to right-center. Garza didn’t have to stay in the stretch long, though, as Jay Bruce lined a shot to first baseman Mark Reynolds, who doubled off Phillips.
Zach Cozart had a double in the sixth inning for the only other hit for Cincinnati (44-42).
The Brewers had a couple of chances to score in the middle innings, but the Reds’ defense came through to prevent it.
In the top of the sixth, Ramirez singled with two outs and Khris Davis—back in the lineup after missing a couple of games with a sore shoulder—doubled to right. Ramirez attempted to score, but Reds right fielder Jay Bruce hit Cozart, who fired a perfect relay to catcher Devin Mesoraco for the out.
In the seventh, Reynolds led off with a walk and with two outs, Scooter Gennett doubled to right. This time it was Bruce to Phillips to Mesoraco to gun down the runner at the plate.
Ryan Braun left the game early, leaving the game after one inning due to back spasms.
Ramirez was 2-for-4, raising his average to .286, as the Brewers had seven hits on the day.
The series wraps up at 12:10 p.m. Central on Sunday, with Gallardo (5-5, 3.51 ERA) taking on right-hander Mat Latos (1-1, 2.45 ERA) in the rubber game of the series.