Brewers blank Cincinnati 6-0
CINCINNATI (AP) — Homer Bailey threw two wild pitches. The hitters’ swings were just a little late. Sure looked like those two straight days of long, long games caught up with the Cincinnati Reds.
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 the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-0 victory.
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.
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.”
The Reds were worn down after losing 6-5 in 14 innings at Wrigley Field on Thursday, then flying home and winning 4-3 in 10 innings on Friday night. A couple of times on Saturday, runners ease up while running out ground balls.
“Everybody was operating with a low energy level, but you still have to play hard,” Baker said. “You still have to hustle. It seems like you have to address that a couple of times a year. I’m not going to harp on it, but I’ll address it like I always do.”
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 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.
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.
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.
Bailey gave up eight hits in seven innings and threw a wild pitch that let in a run, leaving him 1-6 career against Milwaukee.
“Their record doesn’t indicate how good of a hitting team they are,” Bailey said. “I made a couple of mistakes that they hit for singles down the line, but I made some really good pitches that they put into play. It wasn’t like they were banging balls off the walls.”
Schafer, taking over in left field for Braun, had three hits for the second straight game. His two-run double in the sixth made it 6-0.
NOTES: The Brewers called up OF Caleb Gindl from Triple-A Nashville to replace Braun. He pinch-hit and struck out. Gindl is the sixth Brewer to make his big league debut this season. … The Reds put RH reliever Jonathan Broxton on the 15-day DL, a day after swelling was detected in his right elbow. RH Pedro Villarreal was called up. … Gallardo picked Joey Votto off first base in the first inning. … The Brewers expect LH Chris Narveson, on the DL with a sprained finger, to return next week. … The Reds plan to activate RH Johnny Cueto off the 15-day DL to start the series finale on Sunday against Milwaukee’s Wily Peralta.
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