Brewers: End of the line for Kyle Lohse?


The Milwaukee Brewers had a different kind of “stopper” role in mind when they installed veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse as the No. 1 starter in spring training, the kind of guy a team can turn to when it needs to stop a losing skid.

Instead, Lohse stopped another winning streak on Wednesday, allowing five runs on 10 hits in five innings as the Brewers dropped a 7-5 decision to the Cleveland Indians, their first loss since the All-Star break.

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“Ever see a guy try to pull something off the shelf, drops it, tries to put it back, knocks it over some more and the whole thing falls down?” Lohse told “Yes, about like that. … It’s real frustrating. I just keep doing everything I can in between starts to get things going.”

While manager Craig Counsell said Lohse will get the ball Monday as scheduled when the Brewers visit the San Francisco Giants, the future beyond that is murky.

Right-hander Wily Peralta is set to rejoin the rotation after one more rehabilitation start.

Lohse, now 5-11 with a 6.29 ERA in 20 starts this season, is the most likely candidate to be bumped from the rotation.

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There was some thought, at least earlier in the season, that Lohse could be an attractive trade candidate at the non-waiver deadline coming up July 31. But even though he is in the final year of his contract, Milwaukee would likely have to eat most—if not all—of the remainder of the $11 million he is due this season just to get someone to take him off their hands.

Lohse surrendered two more home runs on Wednesday, running his season total to 23 allowed. That is tied for second-most in the majors—only Kyle Kendrick of the Colorado Rockies with 24 has given up more.

Lohse’s 6.29 ERA is the worst in baseball among qualifiers.

The onslaught started early Wednesday when Francisco Lindor—Cleveland’s second batter of the game—homered to right field in the top of the first.

The Brewers (42-53), as has been their style recently, rallied quickly with three first-inning tallies.

Jonathan Lucroy grounded a one-out single to center and with two gone, Adam Lind homered off right-hander Cody Anderson to make it a 2-1 game. Aramis Ramirez and Khris Davis followed with singles and Jean Segura lined a base hit to right to score Ramirez and put Milwaukee up 3-1.

In the second, Gerardo Parra lined a one-out single to right, moved up on a single by Carlos Gomez and scored when Lind lined a base hit to center.

That’s when the ghost of CC Sabathia struck.

Lohse gave up a three-run homer to Michael Brantley in the top of the third that tied the game. Brantley is the last remaining prospect the Indians (45-48) from the 2008 trade that brought Sabathia to the Brewers.

Brantley drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth with a single to left.

The Cleveland bullpen, meanwhile, stopped the bleeding after Anderson left after just 2.2 innings. He gave up four runs on 10 hits.

Austin Adams (1-0) got the win for Cleveland, pitching 1.1 scoreless innings. Ryan Webb, Zach McAllister and Bryan Shaw shut the Brewers down for four innings, allowing just three hits total.

Cleveland added insurance runs in the seventh and ninth. Yan Gomes had an RBI single off right-hander Michael Blazek in the seventh inning and Carlos Santana drove in a ninth-inning run with a double off lefty Neal Cotts.

The Brewers tried to rally in the ninth. Lucroy doubled to right field off closer Cody Allen and one out later, Lind doubled to left to cut the deficit to 7-5. After Ramirez reached on a single to put the tying run at first, Davis bounced into a double play to end it.

Allen picked up his 20th save of the season.

The Brewers banged out 17 hits, but left 10 men on base while hitting into three double plays. Lind was 4-for-5 with four RBI, Scooter Gennett went 3-for-4 and Parra, Lucroy and Ramirez each had two hits.

Milwaukee opens a seven-game Western trip Thursday night in Phoenix, taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks at 8:40 p.m. Central.

Right-hander Mike Fiers (5-7, 3.79 ERA) is set to start for the Brewers against right-hander Zack Godley, who will be making his major-league debut.

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  • Fiers is 1-1 lifetime in two career starts against the Diamondbacks with a 4.91 ERA and 1.364 WHIP in 11 innings, striking out 11. He last faced Arizona in 2013.

    In his last start, Fiers sent seven innings, allowing a run on three hits with seven strikeouts while getting the victory in a 4-1 win over the Pirates at Miller Park on Friday.

    Godley, 25, was a 10th-round draft choice by the Chicago Cubs out of the University of Tennessee in the 2013 amateur draft. He was acquired by Arizona in December as part of the trade that sent catcher Miguel Montero to Chicago.

    He started the year at Advanced-A Visalia, where he was 8-3 with a 2.27 ERA and 1.102 WHIP in 75.1 innings, striking out 78.

    That earned him a promotion to Double-A Mobile. He was 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA and 1.357 WHIP in three starts and 14 innings, striking out eight. He is taking the rotation spot of right-hander Chase Anderson, who went on the disabled list last weekend.

    Next: Prospect Harrison Out For Year

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