CINCINNATI — The Milwaukee Brewers efficiently pushed aside the Cincinnati Reds.
Milwaukee had only six hits — two of them homers by Scooter Gennett and Domingo Santana — and five of the six batters who walked scored and to help the Brewers win 7-0 and avoid a three-game sweep.
Junior Guerra pitched six shutouts innings, Manny Pina drove in two runs and Chris Carter scored all three times he walked. Milwaukee snapped Cincinnati’s five-game winning streak, a run that matched its season high.
“We put runners on base and hit home runs,” manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s the recipe for us.”
The shutout was the second of the series between the NL Central rivals. Cincinnati won 3-0 on Monday. The Brewers had lost four of their last five games.
“We walked six guys and five scored,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I think we hit more balls on the screws than they did, but they took advantage of walks.”
Guerra (9-3), in his third start since coming off the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, allowed just one baserunner past second base — Jose Peraza on a one-out triple in the third inning. Guerra bounced back to strike out Tyler Holt and get Joey Votto to ground out to first baseman Chris Carter.
Guerra allowed just three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He also hit a batter.
“He’s putting together a pretty good season,” Counsell said. “He’s got a good sense of the moment and what he needs to do in certain situations.”
Milwaukee improved to 14-6 in Guerra’s starts this season.
“He’s very poised,” Gennett added. “He’s been consistent all year. He gets ahead, and he’s able to execute when he gets behind. He pitches in, which is huge.”
Corey Knebel, Jhan Marinez and Taylor Jungmann each pitched an inning to complete Milwaukee’s seventh shutout, matching last season’s total.
Carter and Gennett drew back-to-back walks to start the second inning and Santana singled to load the bases with nobody out against Tim Adleman (2-4). Carter and Gennett scored on Pina’s bases-loaded soft single to left field.
“The second inning, the first three batters got to 3-2 counts,” Counsell said. “We won three 3-2 battles.”
Adleman walked Carter with two outs in the third inning and had two strikes on Gennett before the second unloaded his 12th homer of the season into the first row of the right field seats.
“It’s important to get ahead and tack on when you can,” Gennett said “That takes the pressure off your pitchers and gives them some breathing room.”
Santana broke the game open with a two-out three-run shot in eighth off Ross Ohlendorf, Santana’s eighth of the season.
Adleman allowed three hits and four runs with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings to slip to 0-3 over his last four starts.
RHP Abel De Los Santos became in the sixth inning the franchise-record 31st pitcher used by the Reds this season. The previous record of 30 was set in 2003.
Cincinnati pitchers teamed up to hold the top three batters in Milwaukee’s lineup to a combined 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts and a walk.
Carter has missed just two of Milwaukee’s 146 games this season. He is four games shy of matching the career high of 148 he set in 2013 with Houston.
Brewers: SS Orlando Arcia and CF Keon Broxton collided in short left-center field trying to track down Peraza’s bloop single. LF Braun scooped up the ball and threw Peraza out trying to stretch the single into a double. Arcia and Broxton stayed in the game.
Reds: 3B Eugenio Suarez was hit by a pitch in the left elbow leading off the second inning. He stayed in the game.
Brewers: Milwaukee’s 11-game trip continues Thursday with the first of four against the Cubs in Chicago. RHP Jimmy Nelson (7-14) is 0-6 with a 3.59 ERA in 11 career games against Chicago.
Reds: After taking Thursday off, Cincinnati opens a four-game series against Pittsburgh that includes a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. RHP Robert Stephenson (2-1) will start the opener for the Reds.