Sonny Gray and three Cincinnati relievers held down the Milwaukee Brewers, who were missing Christian Yelich because of back spasms, in the Reds’ 3-0 victory Tuesday night.
It was the major league-leading seventh shutout for the Reds as the Brewers were blanked for the first time this season
Yelich was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of the back issue. Gray (1-4) earned his first win of the season with six shutout innings in his first appearance ever at Miller Park. Gray tied his season-high with nine strikeouts. Raisel Iglesias earned his 10th save.
The Brewers showed a lack of punch without Yelich, the 2018 National League MVP. He is batting .325 and has a major league-leading 19 home runs coming into Tuesday night. Without their star, the Brewers didn’t get a runner past second base and struck out 14 times.
Nick Senzel led off the first inning with a triple off Brewers starter Gio Gonzalez (2-1) and scored when he threw a wild pitch to Phillip Ervin. Ervin then doubled, scoring Eugenio Suarez, who had walked. And Ervin scored when Kyle Farmer hit into a fielder’s choice.
Gonzalez entered the game with a 1.69 ERA in four starts since the Brewers signed him as a free agent April 27. He did settle down, pitching five innings and not giving up any more runs.
After cruising through the first three innings giving up only one hit, Gray walked Ryan Braun and Yasmani Grandal to start the fourth inning. But Braun was thrown out trying to steal third, Eric Thames grounded out and Keston Hiura struck out. The Brewers also put two runners on base in the fifth and sixth innings.
Brewers: Yelich previously missed parts of seven games in late April and early May because of back problems, but did not go on the injured list. He was replaced by OF Ben Gamel, who hit a 10th inning solo home run to lead the Brewers to a 3-2 win Sunday over the Braves in Atlanta..3B Travis Shaw (right wrist strain) is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A San Antonio on Wednesday after being placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday. He is hitting only .163 with four homers. “Just look at it like, let’s get you feeling good, let’s get you back locked in,” Manger Craig Counsell said on how long the assignment might last.
Reds: OF Yasiel Puig, who suffered a sprained right shoulder after making a catch in right field and crashing into the padded wall in Cincinnati on Sunday, didn’t start but won’t be going on injured list, manager David Bell said. … LHP Zach Duke (right calf strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Monday and IF Josh VanMeter was recalled from Triple-A Louisville … 2B Scooter Gennett (right groin strain), who has been out since spring training on March 22, is increasing his activity and might begin swinging off a tee in the next day or two, Bell said. Gennett said he thought he might able to return in about two weeks.
Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (5-1, 1.90 ERA) has won his previous two starts, at home against the Chicago Cubs and in San Francisco against the Giants.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (5-0, 1.54 ERA) has given up only one earned run in each of his previous two starts, against the Phillies and the Cubs, both on the road.