CINCINNATI (AP) — Johnny Cueto pitched six solid innings in his return to Cincinnati’s rotation and Jay Bruce homered to lift the Reds to a 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Donald Lutz drove in two runs with a pinch-hit single, and Zack Cozart and Joey Votto each had two hits as Cincinnati rebounded after losing 6-0 on Saturday.
Cueto, activated from the disabled list Sunday, improved to 4-0 in his seventh start of the season. He allowed five hits and one run with three strikeouts and no walks as the Reds took two of three in the weekend series.
Cueto made his first start since a 6-0 win at Pittsburgh on May 31. He was placed on the disabled list on June 5 for the second time this season because of a strained muscle in his right shoulder.
Alfredo Simon allowed two hits and had six strikeouts in three innings of relief for his first save of the season and second in two years with Cincinnati.
Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta gave up all five Reds runs — four earned — in 5 1-3 innings. The slumping Peralta (4-8) allowed seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts to fall to 1-6 in his last seven starts.
Carlos Gomez hit the first pitch he saw — and Cueto’s seventh pitch — into the left-field seats for his 12th homer of the season to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead.
The Reds tied it with an unearned run without benefit of a hit in the second. Xavier Paul led off with a walk, and Jack Hannahan followed with a chopper to second baseman Rickie Weeks, whose throw bounced past first baseman Juan Francisco for an error.
Hannahan was forced out at second, and Paul moved to third on Ryan Hanigan’s grounder. Cueto drove in Paul with a squeeze bunt.
Cozart led off the third with a double into the left-field corner, went to third on Votto’s groundout to first, and scored the go-ahead run on Brandon Phillips’s checked-swing chopper back to Peralta, who dropped the ball and had to scramble and settle for the out at first.
Bruce followed with his 12th homer, a 469-foot drive, that landed two-thirds of the way up the right-field seats.
The Reds added two runs with one out in the sixth on Hannahan’s walk, Hanigan’s double off the left-field wall, and Lutz’s pinch-hit single up the middle against Mike Gonzalez.
NOTES: The Reds optioned RHP Pedro Villareal to Triple-A Louisville to make room on the roster for Cueto. … Reds OF Chris Heisey is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Monday. Heisey has been on the disabled list since April 29 with a strained right hamstring. … Milwaukee RHP Marco Estrada is expected to throw a bullpen session Monday. Estrada has been on the disabled list since June 5 with a strained left hamstring … The Reds will open their first home series against Central Division-rival Pittsburgh. RHP Mike Leake (6-3) is scheduled to start Monday for Cincinnati. … Milwaukee is off Monday before opening a three-game series in Houston. Alfredo Figaro (1-0) is scheduled to start on Tuesday.