By JOE KAY
AP Baseball Writer
CINCINNATI — Two hits, another 1-0 shutout. The Cincinnati Reds are wasting a lot of special pitching.
Matt Garza threw a two-hitter for his fourth career shutout, and the Milwaukee Brewers ended their four-game losing streak by beating Cincinnati 1-0 on Saturday night.
The Reds were blanked for the 10th time, including the third time in their last five games. Cincinnati has been shut out 1-0 at home three times this season, including opening day against St. Louis.
“The 1-0s are very frustrating,” right fielder Jay Bruce said. “We have a capable offense.”
They wasted a good performance by Homer Bailey. Aramis Ramirez singled home a run in the first off Bailey (8-5), who gave up seven hits through eight innings. Two Brewers were thrown out at the plate.
“I thought he pitched a great game,” manager Bryan Price said. “He wasn’t particularly sharp, gave up a couple of leadoff walks, but he was able to pitch around them. To compete for eight innings and hold them to one run was phenomenal.”
Bailey called it a tough game to lose.
“The offense has been picking me up all year, and it came back around today,” Bailey said. “It’s frustrating to lose, but that’s the way the game goes.”
Despite a slump that matched their longest of the season, the Brewers maintained the best record in the league and a five-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central.
Garza (6-5) has been one of the Brewers’ best starters lately, going 4-1 in his last seven games. He retired the first 12 batters in order before Brandon Phillips led off the fifth with a single for Cincinnati’s first hit.
He allowed two hits, two walks and fanned nine while going the distance for the first time this season, throwing 111 pitches. It was his first shutout since 2010, when he threw Tampa Bay’s first no-hitter for a 5-0 win over Detroit.
It was Milwaukee’s sixth shutout of the season.
Right fielder Ryan Braun struck out swinging in the first inning, and then left the game in the second with spasms in his lower back. Braun is batting .289 with 11 homers and a team-leading 49 RBIs. He missed 14 games in May with a strained oblique.
Manager Ron Roenicke said Braun’s back was stiff during batting practice and bothered him early in the game.
Milwaukee hasn’t had much success in Cincinnati lately, dropping 11 of its last 16. The teams have split the first two games of the series, leaving the fourth-place Reds 7 games back. Milwaukee has been alone atop the division since April 9.
Jonathan Lucroy doubled with two outs in the first and scored on Ramirez’s single to left. Garza made the run stand up by matching his season high with eight innings. Zack Cozart doubled in the sixth inning, the only Red to reach second base.
NOTES: LHP Yovani Gallardo (5-5) starts the final game of the series against Mat Latos (1-1), who is making his fifth start since returning from the DL. … Davis was back in left field after missing two games with a sore left shoulder. … Price said LHP David Holmberg could be promoted to start during a makeup doubleheader next Tuesday against the Cubs at Great American Ball Park. The Reds got Holmberg as part of a three-team deal that sent C Ryan Hanigan to Tampa Bay last December. … Bruce failed to get a hit, extending the deepest slump of his career to 0 for 23. … Price originally planned to start C Brayan Pena on Saturday, but gave him a day to rest some nagging injuries.
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