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Downplaying significance, Lohse beats former club

Righty limits damage in six frames, makes five-run fourth stick

MILWAUKEE -- On the fourth try, Kyle Lohse finally beat the club that let him go last winter.

He has the Brewers' hitters to thank.

Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- On the fourth try, Kyle Lohse finally beat the club that let him go last winter.

He has the Brewers' hitters to thank.

Full Game Coverage

They did to the Cardinals what the Cardinals usually do to the Brewers on Tuesday, cobbling together a nine-batter, five-run rally in the fourth inning with five singles, a sacrifice fly and one costly error charged to St. Louis starter Lance Lynn, who was on the losing end of a 6-3 Brewers win at Miller Park.

Sean Halton delivered a pair of run-scoring hits and three RBIs in a rare start at first base, Logan Schafer delivered the go-ahead single, and the Brewers beat the Cardinals at Miller Park for the first time in six games this season after Lohse limited the damage to three runs in six innings -- the 13th quality start in his last 16 outings.

"I don't put any more emphasis on any one game over the other," Lohse said. "The team did a great job of battling back after I put us in a little hole. Other than that, it doesn't mean any more beating [the Cardinals]. I know we have a stretch here where we play a lot of teams contending for playoff spots, and I don't care who it is, it feels good to kind of hurt teams' chances."

The Cardinals are one of those contending teams, and Lohse would have loved to be part of it. But St. Louis went with its young arms instead, leaving Lohse -- coming off a 16-3, 2.86 ERA season in St. Louis -- stuck in free agent purgatory until the week before the start of the season, when the Brewers gave him a three-year deal.

So, seriously, did this win mean any more than the rest?

"Maybe, if it hurts their chances [of making] the playoffs," Lohse said.

He was quick to amend that comment with a plea for context. See his comments above about playing spoiler, no matter the opponent.

When it was suggested to Brewers manager Ron Roenicke that Lohse was likely to chalk it up as "just another win," Roenicke chuckled.

"He was mentally worn out after that one," Roenicke said. "Physically, he was, too. But mentally, he was, also. Which, I think as a starting pitcher, you should be mentally exhausted after a ballgame. You think your way through it, you try to figure out how to get out a good lineup. Every hitter is a battle. He should be worn out."

After going 0-3 with a 5.00 ERA in previous attempts, Lohse beat the Cardinals for the first time since they let him go. He won after falling into a 3-0 deficit, with the Cardinals taking the lead on Yadier Molina's double followed by a Matt Adams single in the second inning, and Molina's two-run home run in the fourth.

Molina is proving as tough an out as ever. He went 2-for-4 to improve to 6-for-9 in the first two games of the series with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. After his home run, Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz ducked into the video room for a replay, and it confirmed what he and Lohse thought.

"[The pitch] was right where we wanted it," Roenicke said. "So, I don't know. That guy, he's a pain to get out. Kyle thought he made a good pitch, and he ends up hitting a home run on him."

The Brewers answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Two singles and an error charged to Lynn, who bobbled Khris Davis' comebacker, loaded the bases for the first of three consecutive run-scoring singles. Scooter Gennett put the Brewers on the board, Halton tied the game with a two-RBI hit, and Schafer gave the Brewers a 4-3 lead when he punched an opposite-field hit to left.

After Lohse's sacrifice bunt, Norichika Aoki delivered a sacrifice fly for insurance.

Both Roenicke and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had high praise for Lynn's stuff. Lynn, who was charged with six runs (four earned) on nine hits in six innings, agreed with the notion that it was one of his most disappointing losses this season.

"You can say that. When you have that kind of stuff and you give up five runs [in one inning] on all singles -- they don't get any extra base hits -- it's tough to swallow," he said.

It was a sequence reminiscent of the night before, when Aramis Ramirez hit a big, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, only to see the Cardinals rally in the next half-inning. In that case, the Cardinals did all of their damage with two outs, stringing together six straight hits for four runs and a lead.

"We were very opportunistic there and took advantage of some pitches," Lohse said. "Like I told a couple of guys, that's what you've got to do with Lynn if he starts missing a couple of spots. You have to get on him right away, and we did."

Like the Cardinals on Monday, the Brewers made Tuesday's lead hold up. Halton's RBI single in the fifth inning provided a three-run cushion, and relievers John Axford, Brandon Kintzler and Jim Henderson finished the win.

Kintzler atoned for a six-hit, four-run outing the night before, and Henderson logged his 19th save.

"We'll just have to see if we can do some more of this," Roenicke said. "We're not hitting a lot of home runs right now, so I like that we can get guys in scoring position and still drive them in."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.


Milwaukee Brewers, Sean Halton, Kyle Lohse, Logan Schafer