"It was excellent. He was excellent," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It was good to have him back out there, and there was certainly no rust the way he pitched."
Peralta touched 95 mph with the third pitch of a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning and kept the Giants off the scoreboard until the seventh, when he yielded to reliever Will Smith and watched San Francisco trip a 5-0 Brewers lead to 5-2. Smith held firm from there and, with fellow relievers Jeremy Jeffress and Francisco Rodriguez, sealed Peralta's second victory this season.
Last season, he won 17 games and was named the Brewers' most valuable pitcher. This season, Peralta has two months left to salvage something.
"Sometimes you get too excited, too much adrenaline and everything, and you try to do too much early," Peralta said. "Today I just tried to calm down and go one pitch at a time and tried to execute my pitches. Don't try to go too crazy, don't try and throw too hard early."
It worked. Peralta was charged with two runs on five hits in six-plus innings, with two walks and three strikeouts. After throwing 74 pitches in the last of his three Minor League rehabilitation starts, Peralta threw 84 pitches against the Giants, 54 strikes.
"He was really in control of his effort all night, and his sinker was really good because of that," Counsell said.
The Brewers helped Peralta stay calm by scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first inning against Giants starter Matt Cain. Peralta didn't allow a hit until the third inning, when he induced the first of his two double plays. The other came in the sixth from Giants No. 3 hitter Matt Duffy, ending an inning that began with consecutive singles.
Peralta pounded his right fist into his glove after escaping that jam with his shutout intact.
"My goal is to finish strong," Peralta said. "Just have a quality start every time that I go out there and give the team a chance to win the ballgame."