MILWAUKEE — The Cincinnati Reds wasted another strong performance from rookie Raisel Iglesias.
Iglesias pitched seven effective innings, but the Reds failed to score for the second straight game in a 5-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
"We have to create more opportunities," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's been a challenge not just for this stretch, but for most of this season and much of last season. It's got nothing to do with effort, preparation or information. It's just not to the level of our expectations."
Cincinnati, loser of 13 of the last 14, hasn't scored a run in 19 innings.
"This is a collective thing, a group thing," Iglesias (3-6) said through an interpreter. "The team is struggling and in a bad situation right now."
No one can blame Iglesias, who was impressive after a rocky first.
Scooter Gennett walked to lead off the game and scored on Jonathan Lucroy's double. Khris Davis singled in Lucroy with one out to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
Iglesias then retired 16 straight before allowing a two-out single in the sixth to Adam Lind and a homer to Domingo Santana to lead off the seventh.
The Cuban right-hander finished with 10 strikeouts in seven innings on the heels of his 13-strikeout performance in a loss to Arizona on Sunday.
"He's a stud," Price said. "He's learning, he's growing up. That part has been great to watch. But not winning games, for everybody, is difficult."
Reds star Joey Votto reached reached base three times to push his on-base percentage this season to .449.
But, he made two costly mistakes.
First, he was caught trying to steal third in the sixth. Then, with two on and one out in the eighth, he grounded into a double play, ending the Reds' best threat.
Cincinnati hasn't scored since the eighth inning of Wednesday night's game against the Dodgers.
Santana appears to be the needed power-hitter that Milwaukee has lacked when he was acquired along with three other prospects from Houston at the trade deadline.
Santana has a penchant for striking out, and swung wildly in his first at-bat against Iglesias for the 37th strikeout in the first 73 at-bats in his career.
After grounding out in the fourth, Santana homered to right-center field to lead off the seventh to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead.
While St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Chicago have made headlines in the NL Central this year, the Reds and Brewers are simply trying to avoid the basement of the majors' most competitive division. Milwaukee (54-74) snapped a four-game skid to remain 1 1/2 games ahead of Cincinnati (52-75).
Taylor Jungmann (8-5) limited the Reds to three hits and three walks while striking out five in a strong start following his worst outing of the year on Saturday in Washington.
"I think a bounce-back start is always big," Jungmann said. "It's good for the psyche."
Reds: Top prospect Robert Stephenson (wrist cramps) threw four scoreless innings on Thursday night at Triple-A Louisville. The right-hander could be in line for a September call-up. The club would like him to throw another 26 to 36 innings this season to bring his total to 150 to 160.
Brewers: RHP Tyler Cravy (right elbow impingement) likely will be used in a relief role when he returns from the 15-day disabled list. Cravy is expected to begin throwing again soon, and is eligible to return on Sept. 3.
Reds: Rookie RHP Keyvius Sampson (2-2, 5.55 ERA) gets his sixth start of his career on Saturday. Sampson has given up four homers in 24 1/3 innings, including two in his last start.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (6-14, 5.26) faces off against Sampson. He went on the DL briefly in July with right shoulder tendinitis and pitched well in his first five starts back. But he's regressed in his last two, allowing 12 runs over 9 2/3 innings.