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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 28, 2013 8:41 pm

Milwaukee's Lohse has successful first start

The Associated Press

Kyle Lohse showed he's not too far from being ready to pitch in the regular season.

Lohse had a solid debut three days after signing a $33 million, three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, pitching into the fourth inning of a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.

Lohse gave up two first-inning hits, including a run-scoring double by Carlos Gonzalez, but settled down after that. He also gave up doubles to Todd Helton to lead off the second and Dexter Fowler to lead off the third. He did not walk a batter and struck out two. Overall he gave up a run and four hits in 3 2-3 innings.

Lohse was pitching to players at nearby Scottsdale Community junior college and Grand Canyon University in Phoenix before signing with Milwaukee.

"It was a good workout. I gave up those couple of hits early, but started to get the feel for pitching," said Lohse, who was 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 33 starts for St. Louis last season.

He threw 54 pitches and said he told manager Ron Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz that he could keep going, "but I'm not Superman. I am doing what they want me to do."

Lohse said he worked well with his new catcher, Jonathan Lucroy.

When Lohse threw about 40 pitches during an off day on Tuesday at the Brewers' complex in west Phoenix, Lucroy did the catching.

"It was great. He didn't have to do that," Lohse said. "We talked quite a bit about my approach and what I like from a catcher. I think we will be fine."

He isn't sure about his next step.

"We'll see where I'm at tomorrow (Friday) as far as any soreness," he said.

Lohse is expected to make his regular-season debut during the team's second home series against Arizona. The Brewers were to fly to Milwaukee Thursday night.

Lohse got a big boost in the third inning when Milwaukee scored four runs on four hits, including Yuniesky Betancourt's two-run home run. Betancourt, who recently was released by the Philadelphia Phillies, signed on Wednesday and his back for the second time with the Brewers. He played for Kansas City in 2012.

Betancourt had three hits.

The Rockies, meanwhile, finished 16-14 in Walt Weiss' first spring as manager.

"It went about as well as I could have hoped for," he said. "Our guys showed up well. I think they are ready to go out and compete, do the things we are looking for them to do. It means more now and we don't want to pull back. We want to play with freedom."

NOTES: Weiss said the team would not announce its final roster moves until about midday on Friday, although 3B prospect Nolan Arenado was sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game. ... Yorvit Torrealba appears he might have an edge over Ramon Hernandez for Colorado's backup C spot behind Wilin Rosario. ... LHP Jorge De La Rosa, scratched from his start on Saturday night with forearm tightness, pitched six innings in a minor league game against Arizona, giving up three hits and one earned run while walking two and striking out four. ... The Arizona lineup included two starters from the big club, C Miguel Montero and OF Jason Kubel. ... Roenicke's son, Lance, an OF prospect, hit a double as a late-game replacement. ... The Rockies will have the day off on Friday and Milwaukee will play the first of a two-game exhibition series against the Chicago White Sox at Miller Park.