CINCINNATI — For the first time, the Brewers learned what it's like to keep an opponent from crossing home plate. Pretty nice feeling, actually.
Juan Francisco drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and homer in a ballpark where he's had some big moments, and Yovani Gallardo pitched six innings on Saturday, leading Milwaukee to a 6-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
It was the Brewers' first shutout — they were the only team in the majors without one. Milwaukee's staff came into the game with the NL's worst earned run average, giving up more runs and homers than any other club.
"They've gotten us pretty good in this park this year," manager Ron Roenicke said. "6-0 — we don't have too many of those. It's nice to kind of be able to relax."
The Brewers have lost 11 of their last 14 games at Great American Ball Park. It was the first time they'd shut out Cincinnati since 2009.
Logan Schafer had three hits off Homer Bailey (4-5), his second straight three-hit game. Schafer is filling in for Ryan Braun, who went on the 15-day disabled list with an injured right thumb after the series opener Friday.
Schafer has filled in for Braun the last five games and gone 8-for-16 with the first back-to-back multi-hit games of his career.
"It's nice to play every day and get that comfort level," Schafer said. "I felt good all day. One thing I've been doing a little better lately is swing at strikes and not going out of the strike zone."
Gallardo (6-6) gave up three hits and a pair of walks in his second straight impressive start. The right-hander threw eight shutout innings, allowing only four hits, during a 6-1 win at Miami on Monday.
"I feel good — the past three starts, actually," Gallardo said. "It seems like things are finally falling together. I've been able to find a rhythm."
Three relievers completed a seven-hitter for Milwaukee's first shutout. The Reds didn't get a runner to third base and were out of sync after playing extra-inning games the last two days.
"None of us looked like we had any rhythm," said manager Dusty Baker on his 64th birthday. "It was one of those low-energy days that usually don't happen. It just wasn't our day.
"That's not the way you want to spend your birthday. If I'd known that was going to happen, I would've tried to get kicked out in the first inning."
After going 6-22 in May, the injury-depleted Brewers are 8-6 in June, winning six of their last eight games.
For the second time this season, the Reds couldn't overcome a homer by Francisco, who played for them from 2009-11. He hit the second-longest homer in ballpark history during his final season in Cincinnati, a 502-foot shot. He returned with the Braves this season and had a breakthrough — his first career grand slam off reliever J.J. Hoover during a 7-2 win on May 8.
The Brewers got him for a minor league pitcher on June 3, and he'd struggled until getting back to Cincinnati. Francisco was in an 0-for-15 slump when he had a pinch-hit single in Cincinnati's 4-3, 10-inning win on Friday night.
He hit a sacrifice fly and two-run homer that smacked off the bottom of the left-field foul pole on Saturday, giving the Brewers a 4-0 lead. It was only his third hit in 25 at-bats as a Brewer. With that, Francisco has one of the longest and one of the shortest homers at Great American.
"He's got big power everywhere and it was nice for him to get that," Roenicke said.