Imagine this:

The Milwaukee Brewers finally beat the Cincinnati Reds.

They did it with their first shutout of the season.

And they did it with another quality start from a pitching staff that is finally showing signs of righting itself.

None of this means the season itself is about to turn, but for a team that has won six of its last eight games, the flickering light at the end of the tunnel might no longer be the oncoming lights of a runaway train.

What's more encouraging was the fact that two understudies for marquee stars — Juan Francisco for Corey Hart and Logan Schafer for Ryan Braun — collected all the RBI in the 6-0 victory Saturday at Great American Ball Park.

For good measure, the Brewers got another run on a wild pitch, the kind of thing that was going against them during their forgettable May. Another favorable omen was that Francisco's first homer as a Brewer, an opposite-field poke in a smallish yard, was a little comeuppance for the similar home run the Reds beat the Brewers with Friday night.

"If those guys," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Francisco and Shafer, "continue to play well, we might be able to do some things."

Whether the Brewers have finally discovered some reliable stopgaps in their short-handed season remains to be seen, but if they're going to make some kind of run at the Reds and the Cardinals, they will do it with their healing pitching staff.

After a sketchy start in which he threw too many pitches in the first two innings, Yovani Gallardo really got hold of his command for his second consecutive noteworthy performance. Combined with his last start at Miami, Gallardo, who gave up nothing to the Reds in six innings, has not allowed a run in 14 innings.

"I've felt really good my last three starts, going back to the one at home against Oakland," said Gallardo, who is 6-6. "It seems like I'm getting it together and staying within myself. I'm commanding the fastball on both sides of the plate."

Gallardo's early labors gave the Brewers a few nervous moments, but when he hit his groove, the Reds were unable to get a runner past second.