Game of the day: Athletics 9, Brewers 7: Lohse makes Milwaukee 'better'

Former Cardinals hurler signs $33M deal with Brewers
2013-03-26T00:00:00Z Game of the day: Athletics 9, Brewers 7: Lohse makes Milwaukee 'better'The Associated Press The Associated Press
March 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PHOENIX - Kyle Lohse is joining Milwaukee's pitching staff at just the right time. It appears the Brewers can use the help.

Chris Young hit a grand slam and Josh Donaldson homered among his four hits as the Oakland Athletics backed Bartolo Colon with a big offensive performance in a 9-7 victory over Milwaukee on Monday.

Brewers starter Chris Narveson served up Young's slam in the fourth. The left-hander allowed six runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Roenicke is looking forward to adding Lohse to an uncertain rotation.

The free-agent right-hander finalized a $33 million, three-year contract with Milwaukee on Monday after going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for NL Central rival St. Louis last season. The move came a week before Milwaukee opens the season at home against Colorado.

Lohse is expected to pitch Thursday against the Rockies in a Cactus League game, though his regular-season debut for Milwaukee could be delayed until mid-April as he gets his arm in shape.

"We are better with Lohse," Roenicke said. "I like our other starters very much, but Lohse is a special guy."

Lohse enjoyed his best season in the majors last year, helping St. Louis earn an NL wild-card spot.

When he hit the free-agent market, however, it took nearly the entire offseason for the 34-year-old right-hander to find a new team. He turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals in November, so under baseball's new labor agreement most major league clubs had to be willing to forfeit a first-round draft pick if they wanted to sign him.

"I'm really happy to be able to come over," Lohse said during a news conference at Milwaukee's spring training facility. "With this offense and the ability of their pitching staff, it looks like a good fit. I know everybody in the division."

Five days after giving up only one hit in six scoreless innings against San Francisco, Narveson walked five and fell to 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA this spring.

Asked what the difference was between Monday's outing and Narveson's previous start, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said: "Command of the ball. He walked five people and you can't do that."

"His stuff was OK, but he wasn't consistent with it. He had trouble getting in rhythm. He would pitch well to one batter and not so well to the next two," he added.

Scott Sizemore had four hits and two RBIs for the A's.

Colon gave up three runs and six hits over five innings in his third start and fifth appearance of the spring. He struck out three and walked none.

Colon will sit out the first five games of the season while completing his 50-game suspension for a positive drug test last year.

"He threw all of his pitches and actually worked on off-speed stuff," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "There was a checked swing that one inning where he gave up a couple of runs (three). But I thought he threw the ball well."

Milwaukee's backups rallied for three runs off right-hander Dan Straily in the eighth inning and another in the ninth before lefty Pedro Figueroa shut the door to earn the save. Straily likely will be in the rotation while Colon sits out.

Melvin likes the way that Young, acquired during the offseason in a trade with Arizona, is making the adjustment to playing the corner outfield spots after playing center field for the Diamondbacks.

"I haven't seen him have a problem with the corners, even though the spin of the ball is different," Melvin said. "He's just a good outfielder."

Young is hitting .231 with two homers and nine RBIs this spring. He has been making much better contact lately, Melvin said.

With the A's, Young is expected to complement Yoenis Cespedes in left field, Coco Crisp in center and Josh Reddick in right.

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