Reds, Brewers continue NL Central set

Veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo can match one pitching gem with another of his own tonight when the Cincinnati Reds host the Milwaukee Brewers in the middle portion of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

In Monday's opener, righty Mat Latos fired his second career complete game and struck out a career-high 13 batters as the Reds held off the Brewers, 3-1.

Latos (6-2), acquired in an offseason trade that sent right-hander Edinson Volquez to San Diego, scattered four hits and walked just two in his first complete game in more than two years. He also added two base hits at the plate.

"That was easily the best performance (as a Red)," manager Dusty Baker said. "He got two hits and a complete game. That was an outstanding, outstanding performance."

The 24-year-old right-hander is 6-0 over his last 12 starts and hasn't lost since April 18 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Jay Bruce clubbed a two-run double in the fourth, while Drew Stubbs, who appeared in the lineup for the first time since suffering a left oblique strain on June 6, registered two hits, scored twice and added a stolen base to help the Reds earn just their second win in their last seven games.

Cincinnati extended its National League Central Division lead to two games over Pittsburgh, which lost, 8-3, at Philadelphia.

The Reds also lead the Cardinals, winners of four straight, by two games.

Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo (6-6) pitched well in defeat, giving up two runs on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts. Norichika Aoki belted a solo shot in the setback, the Brewers' third in a row.

"We're not giving ourselves many opportunities to score runs," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We only get two or three a night. You better really be good with runners in scoring position and we really haven't been."

Meanwhile, Arroyo won for the 12th time in 20 decisions against the Brewers on May 7 in Milwaukee, throwing 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a 6-1 victory.

He's posted a 3.70 earned run average against Milwaukee in 143 1/3 innings, walking 51 batters and striking out 111 while holding batters to a .243 average.

However, in five decisions since the Milwaukee win, Arroyo is just 1-4, including an 8-1 defeat at Cleveland in his most recent start on June 20, when he allowed five runs on eight hits in four innings.

Arroyo has allowed 15 runs on 28 hits in 36 home innings in 2012, losing his only decision across six starts and allowing a .327 opposition batting average.

Milwaukee sends righty Marco Estrada to the mound for the first time since May 23, when he began a stint on the 15-day disabled list with a right quadriceps strain.

The 28-year-old opposed Arroyo in the aforementioned May 7 game in Milwaukee and took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits in seven innings.

He pitched three times after the loss, dropping one decision to Minnesota and leaving a subsequent start against San Francisco after one inning with the injury.

In six career meetings with the Reds, he is 1-2 with a 4.29 earned run average in 21 innings.

The teams split their 16-game series last season after the Brewers won six of the last seven. In 2012, Cincinnati won two of three in an early May series at Milwaukee's Miller Park.