Peralta doubles home 2 runs, Brewers beat Reds 2-0
CINCINNATI (AP) — Lyle Overbay walked into the clubhouse and pointed toward pitcher Wily Peralta’s locker.
“He’s over there,” the first baseman said. “You don’t need to talk to anybody else.”
Indeed, Peralta did it all as the majors’ top team won again.
Peralta doubled home two runs — the first RBIs of his career — and repeatedly escaped trouble during his eight innings on Friday night, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
“When you’re able to pitch like that and you’re able to swing the bat, sometimes that’s what you need,” Peralta said.
The NL Central leaders improved the best record in the majors to 21-9 and opened a 7½-game lead over Cincinnati. The Brewers are 12-3 on the road.
Peralta (4-1) made his fifth quality start of the season, holding the Reds to three hits and a pair of walks while throwing 110 pitches. Francisco Rodriguez retired the three batters he faced for his 14th save in as many chances.
Peralta doubled with two outs in the fifth off Mike Leake (2-3), who left his first pitch over the plate. Leake gave up seven hits and fanned five as he went eight innings for the second time this season.
“Today, he was their hero,” Reds catcher Brayan Pena said. “He pitched good and got the double.”
Right fielder Ryan Braun missed his sixth game with a sore muscle on his right side. The Brewers will decide this weekend whether he’s close to returning or needs time on the disabled list.
Peralta put the Brewers ahead with his 10th career hit.
Overbay opened the fifth with a single and Caleb Gindl walked with one out. Jean Segura forced Gindl at second, bringing up Peralta, who had struck out in his first at-bat. He doubled to right field on the first pitch. Peralta is 10 for 72 in his career with 30 strikeouts.
“He was throwing the ball well,” Peralta said. “I just went up there and guessed he’d throw me a fastball right down the middle, and I put a pretty good swing on it.”
Peralta made it stand up by escaping scoring threats in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. He fanned Jay Bruce three times with runners in scoring position. Bruce also struck out in the ninth.
“He had a great fastball,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “His slider was outstanding. He threw a couple of changeups, not many. And his swing … he had a great swing and we certainly needed it.”
Reds leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton was out of the lineup with a sore left hand, which he sprained while making a diving catch during Cincinnati’s 8-3 win in the series opener Thursday night. He was available to pinch-run.
Joey Votto, robbed at the top of the wall by center fielder Carlos Gomez on Thursday night, hit a flyball that deflected off the top of the wall in left field and bounced back into play in the fourth inning. Votto wound up with a double, and the call was upheld upon review. Votto was stranded at second.
“I thought it was gone,” Peralta said. “It’s hard for me to tell from the mound, but I thought it was a home run.”
The Reds put runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth when Ramon Santiago drew a walk and Segura threw wildly to first on Leake’s grounder to shortstop. Peralta retired Chris Heisey on a grounder to end the inning.
NOTES: Yovani Gallardo (2-0) faces Johnny Cueto (2-2) in the third game of the series. Cueto has allowed only one run in his last 30 innings. … The Reds made it a “Star Wars” theme night. … It was Milwaukee’s third shutout. The Reds were blanked for the fourth time. … Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez extended his slump to 0 for 29. … The Brewers put reliever Jim Henderson on the 15-day DL with a sore shoulder. Gindl was called up from Triple-A Nashville. … Reds closer Aroldis Chapman will pitch another inning for Class-A Dayton at Lake County on Saturday, then join Triple-A Louisville to continue his rehab assignment. He’s recovering from a line drive off his forehead on March 19 and could be activated next week.