Nearly a month into the season, Matt Garza got his first win for the Milwaukee Brewers against this former team, the Chicago Cubs.
Garza, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Milwaukee in the offseason, retired the Cubs in order in four of the first six innings.
He gave up two runs and four hits while striking out seven and walking one over seven innings as Milwaukee defeated Chicago 5-2 Friday night.
"I'm just happy that I was in control of my mechanics all game," Garza said. "I just wanted to go and establish my game plan and not get too over-amped." Garza insisted facing the Cubs, for whom he pitched in 2011 and 2012, as well as part of last season, didn't generate any added emotion for him.
"It's another game. I've been on five different teams. If I had to get up for everybody, I'd be tired by mid-season," Garza said. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke liked what he saw from Garza. "He really went after guys." Roenicke said. "His command was good. He had really good stuff today."
Lyle Overbay homered and Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun each had three hits and a stolen base for the Brewers, who have a Major League best 17-6 record.
Garza (1-2) said he's enjoying finally playing on a winning team. "When you go through years of constantly hoping, you kind of run out of hope," he said. "We're going out with the attitude that we are going to win. It brings up a lot better emotion. It's confidence. That what we're playing with a lot of right now."
Garza's ability to keep pitches down in the zone made it tough on Chicago's hitters, Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "He doesn't rattle very easily. He goes right after hitters. You have to tip your cap to him," Renteria said. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his 10th save in 10 chances.
Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva (1-5) gave up five runs and 11 hits in five innings.