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Brewers 1, Reds 0: Garza comes up large-za

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Matt Garza had his best start as a Brewer yet as Milwaukee extended their division lead to five games.

Andy Lyons

Win: Matt Garza (6-5)
Loss: Homer Bailey (8-5)

HR: None

Boxscore

In Matt Garza's very first start as a Brewer, way back on April 2 against the Braves, he was absolutely amazing. He pitched eight innings, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out seven. He took a no hitter through six innings, but wound up with a loss. Following that, Garza had a 5.34 ERA over his next 10 starts as the Brewers looked for him to refind the form he had against Atlanta.

In June, he rebounded and was named the team's Pitcher of the Month as he had a 2.88 ERA and 644 opponents OPS in six outings. However, it was his first start of July that topped April 2 as the best start of his Brewers' career.

Against the Reds on Saturday, Garza pitched the second Brewers complete game of the season. And he did so without allowing a single run. Reds batters reached base just three times against Garza: Brandon Phillips singled in the fifth before being wiped off the bases by a double play, Zack Cozart doubled in the sixth, Phillips walked in the seventh, and Skip Schumaker walked in the eighth.

Meanwhile, Garza notched nine strikeouts, including getting Joey Votto to swing and miss on the final pitch of the game. Those nine Ks tie Garza's Brewers high -- he also struck out nine against the Orioles on May 27.

It's fortunate that Garza was so good today, because the Brewers offense still hasn't shown up in Cincinnati. The team got a run in the top of the first inning to start and end scoring for the day. With two outs, Jonathan Lucroy doubled and was followed by a Carlos Gomez walk. Aramis Ramirez singled in Lucroy before Khris Davis grounded out to end any further threat.

Following the first, the Brewers were able to produce just five more hits and three walks. Homer Bailey nearly matched Garza, going eight innings with eight strikeouts. Milwaukee did almost get another run on two separate occasions, though: Aramis Ramirez was thrown out at home trying to score from first on a Davis double in the 6th and Mark Reynolds was thrown out at home trying to score from first on a Scooter Gennett double in the 7th.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals lost today so the division lead is extended to five games once again.

The Brewers and Reds will play one more tomorrow, with first pitched scheduled for 12:10 CT.