MILWAUKEE — Taylor Jungmann had mixed results in his return to the majors.
Making his first big-league start since April 28, Jungmann allowed a two-run home run to Joey Votto in the first inning but settled in to work four innings in Milwaukee’s 6-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night.
“There was a little rust there, but I was proud of him for putting up four good innings,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “His curveball was not as good as it can be. He pitched well with his fastball.”
Jungmann began the season in the Brewers’ rotation but was sent down to Triple-A Colorado Springs on April 29 after going 0-4 with a 9.15 ERA in five starts.
He struggled to a 9.87 ERA in Triple-A before finding himself with Double-A Biloxi, where he had a 2.51 ERA in 13 starts.
Jungmann kept the Reds off the board Saturday after allowing the home run to Votto. He worked out of trouble in the third and fourth innings, leaving two runners on base in each.
“I pride myself in battling through outings like that,” Jungmann said. “It was an outing where I had a non-existent curveball. I felt OK. I was a little rusty. A loss is a loss, so I take it for what it is.
The Brewers continued to struggle against Reds starter Dan Straily (14-8), who allowed just one run and five hits with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts against Milwaukee in 2016.
Milwaukee’s lone run came on Domingo Santana’s homer in the second.
“He’s been tough against us,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I give him a lot of credit, he’s pitching well. He’s very locked in to what he’s doing. We haven’t figured him out.”
Straily left with two on, two outs and a 4-1 lead in the seventh, but reliever Michael Lorenzen struck out pinch-hitter Hernan Perez to end the threat.
Lorenzen stayed on to work a scoreless eighth before giving way to Raisel Iglesias for the ninth.
“I’ve been preaching it since day one, I want to go as deep as I can and keep us in the game,” Straily said. “Each night dictates how late that is because each night is different.”
Cincinnati added insurance runs on an RBI infield single by Eugenio Suarez in the sixth and a run-scoring groundout by Duvall in the seventh.
The Reds broke the game open with two runs in ninth off Michael Blazek, who was pitching for the first time since Aug. 13 due to an elbow injury.
In a pregame ceremony Saturday, Milwaukee honored INF Isan Diaz as its minor league player of the year and RHP Brandon Woodruff as its minor league pitcher of the year.
TAKING THE LEAD
Brewers SS Jonathan Villar stole his 59th base, passing Reds OF Billy Hamilton for the league lead. With Hamilton out for the rest of the year due to a strained left oblique, Villar should finish as baseball’s stolen base leader, as he leads Pirates OF Starling Marte by 12 steals.
Reds: After being scratched from the lineup Friday due to a sore left wrist, OF Tyler Holt was available to play off the bench Saturday.
Brewers: OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (strained abdomen) is expected to ramp up baseball activities in the coming days, according to manager Craig Counsell. Nieuwenhuis hopes to be able to play on Milwaukee’s final road trip of the season.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (9-11, 4.10 ERA) will make his 30th start of the season Sunday against Milwaukee. He is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three starts against the Brewers this year.
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta (7-10, 5.21 ERA) will start the series finale. He has gone 3-3 with a 3.26 ERA in eight starts since being rejoining Milwaukee’s rotation on Aug. 9.