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MIL@CHC: Lohse allows three runs over seven

Kyle Lohse ended 2013 the same way he began 2014 -- with a quality start against the Braves. He earned a victory last Sept. 25 when he two-hit Atlanta in a shutout to rob the Braves of home-field advantage throughout the 2013 postseason.

Atlanta exacted revenge on April 3 in Milwaukee, tagging Lohse with three earned runs in seven innings of a 5-2 victory at Miller Park. Lohse has not lost since and will face the Braves on Wednesday with seven consecutive quality starts in tow.

After they were forced to use first baseman Lyle Overbay out of the bullpen on Monday night, and Yovani Gallardo exited Tuesday's game during the fourth inning with a sprained left ankle, the Brewers could use a long outing from Lohse.

"We need a good one," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "So, hopefully Kyle gives us some innings, but we're OK."

The Brewers also hope Lohse can be a stopper as the club has dropped four straight games since he earned a victory in his most recent start on May 16 against the Cubs.

The Milwaukee lineup gave Lohse four runs of support in the first two innings that day at Wrigley Field, an offensive showing that seems distant as the Brewers have scored only five runs in their past four games.

Battling cold and wet weather in Chicago, Lohse nearly gave up that early cushion by surrendering three runs in his first three innings. But he settled in after that, retiring the final 13 batters he faced in order.

"You're not expecting all those early runs like that, and then you definitely don't want to give most of them back early like I did," Lohse said. "It was just a weird early-going for me. I couldn't get command of much of anything, but you've been around long enough, you figure out how to grind through it and figure out what you need to do physically to get your body in the right position to make pitches, and that's what it was."

Ervin Santana will pitch opposite Lohse, hoping to put his worst outing of the season behind him. The right-hander struggled with his command, surrendering season-high marks of five runs and 10 hits in five innings against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

"A couple times where he got hit, he was ahead of the count; up 1-2 a couple of times, and pitches that maybe weren't located as well as he has," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said following Santana's first loss of 2014. "But he competes, and I feel that anytime he goes out there he gives us a good chance to win a ballgame."

Brewers: Serving up the long ball

Milwaukee surrendered two home runs in their 5-0 loss to the Braves on Tuesday night at Turner Field, upping its season total to 53. Arizona is the only team in the Majors that has surrendered more this season.

Tyler Thornburg was one of the last holdouts, finally giving up his first of the season when Justin Upton took him deep in the bottom of the fifth. Left-handed reliever Will Smith is the lone remaining Brewer pitcher who has not given up a homer in 2014.

Catcher Martin Maldonado and first baseman Lyle Overbay, who have pitched an inning and one-third of an inning, respectively, have also not surrendered a home run.

Braves: Upton extends home run streak

Left fielder Justin Upton homered for the third consecutive game on Tuesday night, taking Thornburg deep with a solo shot to right field in the bottom of the fifth.

The long ball was Upton's team-leading 12th. It took Upton 19 extra games to reach home run No. 12 this season, but the slugger has 25 RBIs through 42 games this season, compared to 28 runs driven in at that mark in 2013.

Worth noting
• Jonathan Lucroy hit his 14th and 15th doubles of the season against Julio Teheran. His total would have tied for the fourth-most in the NL at the start of play on Tuesday.

• Milwaukee is 3-for-33 with runners in scoring position in its past five games, a stretch that has seen the club compile a 1-4 record and average 1.8 runs per game. The Brewers were batting .254 (86-for-339) with men on second and third before their current slump began.

• The Brewers have gone three straight games without a quality start, their longest such stretch of the season.

• Chris Johnson snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a fifth-inning double on Tuesday. Comments