CINCINNATI (AP) — Johnny Cueto gave up three hits over eight innings during his latest dominant performance against the Milwaukee Brewers, and Brandon Phillips had a two-run homer Tuesday night, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-2 victory over the worst team in the majors.
Joey Votto and Marlon Byrd added solo homers off Kyle Lohse (1-4) as the Reds clinched the series. Half of their 10 wins this season have come against Milwaukee.
The Brewers fell to 4-17, the worst start by a National League team in 18 years, according to STATS. The 1997 Cubs had an identical record. The 2010 Orioles were the last team in the majors to open a season 4-17.
Cueto (2-2) gave up homers to Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Braun as he got his sixth straight win over the Brewers. He’s 9-3 career against Milwaukee, including 8-0 in 11 career starts at Great American Ball Park.
Aroldis Chapman retired the side in the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances, leaving the Brewers 1-7 on the road.
Braun was back in right field after getting the last two days off as part of a lineup shake-up. He hit his second homer of the season, but it didn’t much matter.
Votto ended an 0-for-15 slump with his seventh homer of the season.
Lohse had allowed a total of five homers in his first four starts.
Phillips hit a two-run homer to center field in the fourth, his first of the season. Phillips’ first 18 hits were singles, a streak he snapped with a double on Monday night during a 9-6 win over the Brewers.
Four pitches later, Byrd gave the Reds their first back-to-back homers of the season and a 4-0 lead.
Ramirez led off the fifth inning with a homer into the upper deck in left field, the Brewers’ first hit off Cueto. It was Ramirez’s sixth career homer off Cueto — the most by any batter — and the first homer on the road by the Brewers this season.
Brewers: 2B Scooter Gennett expects to get the five stitches in his left hand removed on Wednesday. He cut it by the knuckle on a soap holder in the shower at PNC Park and went on the 15-day DL on April 21.
Reds: The club is exploring treatment options, including surgery, for the damaged ligament in Homer Bailey’s pitching elbow. He went on the DL on Monday and will be sidelined for a significant time.
Brewers: Matt Garza (1-3) makes his first start against the Reds this season. He went 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in three starts against them last year.
Reds: Right-hander Michael Lorenzen makes his major league debut, filling in for Bailey. The 23-year-old has a fastball that comes in at nearly 100 mph. He also throws a slider and a change-up.