CINCINNATI (AP) Freddy Peralta combined with three relievers on a one-hitter, Christian Yelich homered on the game's first pitch and Milwaukee shut out the Cincinnati Reds for the third straight game, a 3-0 win Saturday night that gave the Brewers sole possession of the NL Central lead.
Playing six straight games against the Reds, Milwaukee (51-42) has won four of the first five. The Brewers tied the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto for the major league shutouts lead with 10.
“I don’t care who you’re playing, you shut out a team three times in a row, that’s great work,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s been the same story - six innings from the starter and three great innings from the relievers. They’ve done a great job.”
Jake Fraley had the Reds' only hit, a broken-bat infield single with one out in the fourth. Cincinnati (50-43) has managed just seven hits in its last three games, none for extra bases.
Peralta (6-7) won for the first time since May 21 after going 0-4 in his previous eight starts. He struck out six and walked two in six innings, allowing just two runners to reach second.
“Peralta, tonight, did a nice job of pitching backwards,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He got ahead with his offspeed pitches. He had a really good fastball, slider. He was able to mix in the changeup.”
Peralta credited an improved changeup with making a difference.
“Today, I was feeling more comfortable,” Peralta said.
Evan Peguero, Joel Payamps and Devin Williams followed with an inning each, with Williams getting his 22nd save in 24 chances.
Milwaukee has pitched three straight shutouts for the third time after April 19-21, 1990, and July 19-21, 2013.
William Contreras homered in the fourth and Owen Miller in the seventh. Andrew Abbott (4-2) allowed two runs and three hits in six innings, and Miller homered off Buck Farmer.
Abbott tried to not think about the team-wide offensive slump.
“I don’t think there is a lot of pressure involved," he said. "Our guys are putting in the work, taking BP, doing everything they can. Sometimes you got it. Sometimes you don’t, but they’re going to figure it out.”
After a rain delay of 1 hour, 16 minutes, Yelich hit an opposite-field drive to left on a fastball over the plate, his 12th homer this season and 21st of his career against the Reds.
″He just ambushed a fastball the first pitch of the game," Abbott said. "I didn’t think it was going to get out. It did. You just have to bear down and don’t let them score more than one in an inning, if you can.”
Cincinnati honored their 2023 Reds Hall of Fame inductees Bronson Arroyo, Danny Graves and Gabe Paul in pre-game ceremonies. Paul, who died in 1998, was Cincinnati’s traveling secretary and general manager.
Brewers: LHP Justin Wilson (Tommy John surgery) is with Triple-A Nashville and on rack to join Milwaukee at the end of July. “He needs to bounce back from fatigue and pitch with fatigue. He’s getting closer,” Counsell said. … RHP Jake Cousins (right shoulder inflammation) was reinstated from the 15-day injured list and optioned to Nashville.
Milwaukee RHP Adrian Houser (3-2) is to start Sunday against Cincinnati RHP Ben Lively (4-5).
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