CINCINNATI — Wade Miley made a positive first impression in his debut with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Miley pitched six effective innings, Christian Yelich homered and the Brewers swept the sloppy Cincinnati Reds with a 3-1 win on Wednesday night.
"I would like to have been a little sharper, but the shutdown innings were huge," said Miley, who retired his last seven batters. "I didn't command the ball well inside. They were hitting it hard, but they were hitting it at people. I battled."
Yelich hit a tiebreaking drive to right off Luis Castillo (1-4) in the fifth. It was his first homer since April 22 and No. 3 in his first season with Milwaukee.
Miley and Yelich helped make up for the loss of slugger Ryan Braun, who departed in the sixth inning when his bothersome right calf stiffened up. Manager Craig Counsell said he thinks Braun will be ready for Milwaukee's next game on Friday.
Miley (1-0) allowed one run and three hits. The veteran left-hander agreed to a minor league deal with the Brewers in February and was promoted ahead of the finale of the three-game set, replacing Brent Suter in the rotation.
It was Miley's first major league win since Aug. 27 for Baltimore. He went 0-5 with a 9.74 ERA in his last five starts with the Orioles last season.
Dan Jennings got three outs before Jeremy Jeffress worked two innings for this second save in two nights.
"We pitched extremely well," Counsell said. "Wade did a really nice job. He fell behind, but he was able to come back and keep them off balance. Length was important. Those six innings were needed."
Cincinnati committed three errors while slipping to 7-24, matching the franchise's worst 31-game start. It also lost 24 of its first 31 games in 1931 and 1934.
Castillo allowed nine hits in six innings, but permitted just two runs. He struck out seven and walked one after failing to record an out in the second inning of his last start.
"I made a change in my mechanics," Castillo said. "It was working well. I believe in my changeup. It is my best pitch. It was working well tonight. I was working on getting my arm straight up. I believe I can throw the changeup in any count."
Devin Mesoraco doubled in Eugenio Suarez in the fourth, but that was it for the Reds. They finished with just four hits.
The Brewers jumped in front when Orlando Arcia singled in Jesus Aguilar with two out in the second on a sharp one-hopper up the line that glanced off first baseman Joey Votto's glove and trickled into foul territory.
Manny Pina made it 3-1 in the eighth when he drove in Hernan Perez with a fielder's choice.
Yelich, Aguilar, Arcia and Domingo Santana each had two hits for Milwaukee, which earned its first series sweep in Cincinnati since a three-game set in July 2015. The Brewers were coming off a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs before visiting the lowly Reds, but bounced back to finish 5-4 on their nine-game road trip.
"Everybody was freaking out after the Chicago series, but that was a perfect storm," third baseman Travis Shaw said. "A 5-4 road trip? We'll take it every time."
NETTING TO IT
Pina lost his grip on a second-inning swing, sending his black bat pinwheeling right into the net above the third-base dugout that was installed for this season.
Jesse Winker has reached base at least once in 19 consecutive games, Cincinnati's longest streak of the season.
Brewers: Shaw left after the top of the second inning with a bruised right foot.
Reds: RHP Michael Lorenzen turned in what interim manager Jim Riggleman described as a "significant" bullpen session on Tuesday and could be back by mid-May. Lorenzen has been out all season with a sore shoulder.
Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra (2-1) is the scheduled starter for the opener of a three-game set against visiting Pittsburgh on Friday.
Reds: RHP Sal Romano (1-3), who has a 2.87 ERA while going 1-2 over his last three starts, will start for Cincinnati on Friday in the opener of the three-game series against Miami.