MILWAUKEE — Ryan Braun homered and Wily Peralta pitched seven strong innings to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
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 Division cellar. Peralta struck out six and, for just the third time in 16 starts this season, didn't issue a walk.
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. Martin 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.
Reds: Manager Bryan Price has seen his pitching rotation devastated by injuries this year. The current staff includes three rookies and two second-year pitchers. "It's exciting and it's frustrating. We're having to go through a lot of the growing pains," Price said. "Some guys might be up here a little prematurely and that's out of necessity. The benefits and rewards will play out in '16 and '17, but maybe not as much as we had hoped in '15."
Brewers: Manager Craig 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."
Reds: David Holmberg (1-4, 7.62 ERA) will pitch the opener of a three-game series against the Cubs in Chicago. Holmberg surrendered five earned runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings in his only career start against the Cubs on July 8 last season.
Brewers: Jimmy Nelson (10-10, 3.81) will be on the mound Tuesday as Milwaukee opens at 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.