ST. LOUIS -- Kyle Lohse's first rehabilitation start of his Major League career was a bit of a mixed bag, but he did meet his most important goal: He reached his pitch count.

Lohse, starting for Double-A Springfield at home against Frisco, lasted 4 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs on three hits (one of them a bunt single), struck out three and walked four. He started out somewhat shaky, allowing a homer and two walks in the first inning, cruised through the second, third and fourth innings and faded somewhat in his final frame. Lohse threw 79 pitches, at the upper end of his 60-80 pitch count, 44 for strikes.

The right-hander is rehabilitating from a right forearm strain. He first sustained the injury on May 23, skipped a start, and aggravated it in his next start on June 3. He was then placed on the disabled list, and Thursday was his first time pitching in a game since.

It's expected that Lohse will make at least one more rehab start. If he starts in five days, on Tuesday, he could make his return to the St. Louis rotation on July 12, the last day before the All-Star break. The Cardinals have a doubleheader against the Cubs that day.

"When he comes back, I know he's going to want to come back and be ready to help us," manager Tony La Russa said. "For sure he needs one [rehab start]. And if he needs two, he needs two. If we can get him back after the All-Star break and he gets three, there's a lot of season left. We just need him to be himself."