Donald Lutz came through with a two-run single to back six solid innings from Johnny Cueto, as Cincinnati downed Milwaukee, 5-1, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Jay Bruce homered and Brandon Phillips drove in a run for the Reds, who have won five of their last seven overall.
Activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the contest, Cueto (4-0) scattered five hits and one run while striking out three. He also aided his cause with a second-inning squeeze bunt that plated a run.
"We had just one concern, his shoulder," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "Other than that, we don't worry about him."
A first-inning homer from Carlos Gomez was all the offense for the Brewers, who couldn't maintain momentum from Saturday's 6-0 whitewash.
Wily Peralta (4-8) was charged in the loss with seven hits and five runs -- four earned -- over 5 1/3 frames.
Zack Cozart doubled in the home third, moved up on a Joey Votto grounder, and scored on a check-swing groundout from Phillips. Bruce followed with a long homer to right and it was 3-1 for the Reds.
Jack Hannahan walked with one out in the sixth, Ryan Hanigan followed with a double and Peralta was pulled for Michael Gonzalez. Lutz subbed for Cueto and delivered a two-run single for a four-run contest.
Alfredo Simon stranded two runners in scoring position in the seventh by fanning Norichika Aoki swinging, then retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth innings to snag his first save of the year.
"Defensively, we didn't play well," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Offensively, we didn't have a lot of opportunities but cashed in on the one we did get."
Things looked better for Milwaukee in the early going, as Gomez jumped on a breaking ball and lined it into the left-field seats with two out in the top of the first.
The hosts tied the game with a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the second. Runners were on the corners with one out, and Xavier Paul was halfway down the third-base line by the time Cueto's excuse-me bunt reached the infield grass, scoring him easily.
"I thought that slider was going to hit me, so I closed my eyes," Cueto said.