It had actually been 19 days since Garza last took the mound before he pitched six scoreless innings against the Indians in an 8-1 Brewers win at Miller Park. Garza surrendered six hits, walked two batters and admittedly "ran out of gas" in his final inning, but kept the slumping Indians off the scoreboard by coaxing three double plays and four strikeouts for his first victory since June 6 in Minnesota.
It was a successful return after Garza was placed on the DL before the All-Star break with tendonitis in his right shoulder.
"It's been a while since I had that intensity," Garza said. "I kind of just ran out of gas, that's it. But I think 83 [pitches] is pretty good for the first time out after 20 days. I'm happy nothing hurt. … I had butterflies going in."
The layoff, he said, "was about strength. I had some weaknesses, and we wanted to fix that before it turned bad. They knew, and they made a move, and I'm happy we did."
The Indians put runners in scoring position against Garza in four straight innings from the second through the fifth, but went 0-for-6 in those at-bats. Garza induced double plays to end the second, fourth and fifth innings.
"Those were big double plays. I thought he made good pitches to get those double plays," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Matt's got the ability to throw a good sinking fastball and he threw good pitches in those situations to get those double plays.
"I think he's feeling good. I thought he got a little fatigued in the sixth inning just from not being out there in a while. But I thought he pitched real well and that he pitched with confidence."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.