Milwaukee's starting pitching continued its steady June climb on Friday, but the Reds remained dominant over the Brewers at home.
The Brewers, who have had the worst starting staff in Major League Baseball most of the season, got their fifth straight quality start, this time from Kyle Lohse, but it was only the consolation prize of a 4-3 Reds win in the three-game series opener in Cincinnati. The Reds have won five straight against the Brewers at Great American Ball Park, and nine of the last 10.
Yovani Gallardo will look to snap that streak while extending the Brewers' quality start streak against Reds starter Homer Bailey in the series' middle game Saturday.
Gallardo finally looked like the Brewers' ace in his last start, an eight-inning scoreless gem over the Marlins on Monday. It was a great sign for a staff that looks to be finding its rhythm.
"Maybe it just takes one guy to go out there and have a great game, and I think you start rolling," Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "I think it started in Philly with [Wily] Peralta. We went in there and started dealing, and guys started following the line. I think it's a matter of momentum, I really do. It shouldn't be that way, because it doesn't make sense, but I've always said that momentum is a very, very big factor in this game. A lot bigger than people think."
Bailey has his own momentum coming off a similar performance as Gallardo's on Monday. Bailey tossed eight scoreless innings against the Cubs, allowing four hits while walking two and striking out eight.
Brewers: Braun headed to DL
Ryan Braun has not been in the Brewers' lineup since leaving Sunday's game against the Phillies with a right hand injury, and the left fielder will miss even more time with his first career trip to the disabled list.
Braun took batting practice on Friday but experienced the same sharp pain between his right thumb and index finger that kept him out of action for Milwaukee's three-game series in Miami this week and Friday's series opener with the Reds. Milwaukee placed him on the 15-day DL after the game.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was hoping Braun's injury wouldn't result in a stint on DL.
"The next step is something I don't want to do," Roenicke said before Braun's batting practice swings on Friday. "But if that's the best way to do it, then we'll do it."
Logan Schafer has played left field in Braun's place, and went 3-for-5 on Friday.
• Scooter Gennett hit his first career home run on Friday, a solo shot in the third inning off Reds starter Bronson Arroyo.
Gennett finished 3-for-5 for his first multi-hit game since getting called up from Triple-A Nashville on June 3. He has hit .261 (6-for-23) while splitting time at second base with Rickie Weeks.
Reds: Baker wary of Segura
Brewers shortstop Jean Segura went 8-for-12 with two home runs and two doubles against the Reds in a three-game Cincinnati sweep in early May. The performance did not go unnoticed by Reds manager Dusty Baker.
"I haven't seen him much. All I know is last time we saw him in here, we didn't want to see him at the plate," Baker said. "He can not only hit, he can run. He's built like a running back. I tell you, he's going to be a heck of a player."
Segura, who is hitting .336, went 1-for-5 in Friday's opener and has never faced Bailey.
• The Reds are 23-11 at Great American Ball Park this season, including 10 wins in their last 15 games.
The 23 wins at home is second most in the Majors behind the Pirates (24-12).
• Jay Bruce and Joey Votto have each hit Gallardo well in their careers with a .414 and .320 average, respectively. Bruce has two homers and eight RBIs in 29 at-bats against the righty, and Votto has one homer and 10 RBIs in 25 at-bats.
• Weeks has a .458 career average against Bailey with two home runs and seven RBIs in 24 at-bats.
Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.