MILWAUKEE (AP) — Taylor Jungmann pitched six strong innings and fellow rookie Domingo Santana homered to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
Jungmann (8-5) limited the Reds to three hits and three walks while striking out five.
Cincinnati rookie Raisel Iglesias (3-6) turned in a strong performance of his own by retiring 16 straight during one stretch.
While St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Chicago have made headlines in the NL Central this year, the Reds and Brewers are simply trying to avoid the basement of the majors’ most competitive division. Milwaukee (54-74) snapped a four-game skid to remain 1 1/2 games ahead of Cincinnati (52-75).
Cincinnati has lost 13 of 14 and hasn’t scored a run in 19 innings.
Jungmann was coming off his worst start of the season, but worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the first. He didn’t face any other problems.
Iglesias was impressive, too, after a rocky first. Scooter Gennett walked to lead off the game and scored on Jonathan Lucroy’s double. Khris Davis singled in Lucroy with one out to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
Iglesias then retired 16 straight before allowing a two-out single in the sixth to Adam Lind. The Cuban right-hander finished with 10 strikeouts in seven innings on the heels of his 13-strikeout performance in a loss to Arizona on Sunday.
Santana appears to be the needed power-hitter that Milwaukee has lacked when he was acquired along with three other prospects from Houston at the trade deadline.
But he has a penchant for striking out, and swung wildly in his first at-bat against Iglesias for the 37th strikeout in the first 73 at-bats in his career.
After grounding out in the fourth, Santana got his revenge against Iglesias with a homer to right-center field to lead off the seventh to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead.
Lind’s two-run double in the eighth capped scoring.
Cincinnati’s offense stayed dormant for the second straight game despite the efforts of Joey Votto, who reached base three times to push his on-base percentage this season to .449.
But, the Reds’ star made two costly mistakes.
First, he was caught trying to steal third in the sixth. Then, with two on and one out in the eighth, he grounded into a double play, ending the Reds’ best threat.
Cincinnati hasn’t scored since the eighth inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Dodgers.
Reds: Top prospect Robert Stephenson (wrist cramps) threw four scoreless innings on Thursday night at Triple-A Louisville. The right-hander could be in line for a September call-up. The club would like him to throw another 26 to 36 innings this season to bring his total to 150 to 160.
Brewers: RHP Tyler Cravy (right elbow impingement) likely will be used in a relief role when he returns from the 15-day disabled list. Cravy is expected to begin throwing again soon, and is eligible to return on Sept. 3.
Reds: Rookie RHP Keyvius Sampson (2-2, 5.55 ERA) gets his sixth start of his career on Saturday. Sampson has given up four homers in 24 1/3 innings, including two in his last start.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (6-14, 5.26) faces off against Sampson. He went on the DL briefly in July with right shoulder tendinitis and pitched well in his first five starts back. But he’s regressed in his last two, allowing 12 runs over 9 2/3 innings.