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MIL@STL: Lohse goes seven strong against Cardinals

Kyle Lohse was signed near the end of Spring Training to bolster the Brewers' rotation, so no one would have blamed him if he had gotten off to a slow start to the 2013 season. That, however, hasn't been the case for the 34-year-old right-hander, who pitched to community college players to help stay sharp while he was still on the market.

Despite taking no-decisions in his first two starts thanks to poor support from his offense, Lohse has allowed just three earned runs over a combined 13 innings while striking out seven. The Brewers will look to help him more on Wednesday, when he takes the mound against the Giants in the second game of the three-game series at Miller Park.

Even though he doesn't have any wins to show for his efforts, Lohse has greatly impressed manager Ron Roenicke in all aspects of his game, both on and off the field.

"Outstanding so far," Roenicke said. "In the short time that I've seen him, he's a great teammate, he prepares himself really well -- not just the mental part of it but the physical part. ... He's a smart guy who knows how to pitch."

Roenicke hopes some of his younger arms will see what Lohse does on the mound and learn from it.

"The hardest thing for a young guy to figure out is [that] when you get in trouble, you don't try to throw harder, you don't try to make sure you hit the back of the plate," Roenicke said. "You need to change speeds. That's what throws the hitter off. I think it takes a long time for a pitcher to realize that."

Opposing Lohse will be Ryan Vogelsong. The right-hander has struggled in two starts this season, surrendering nine runs over just 11 1/3 innings of work. In his most recent start, against the Cubs, he lasted six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits.

Giants: Affeldt heading to the DL
The Giants will be placing left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a strained right oblique; right-hander Jean Machi will be called up from Triple-A Fresno.

"It just tightened up on him," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We had an MRI, and he's probably going to be out at least a week, so we're going to go ahead and make a move."

Machi appeared in five games for Fresno, going 1-0 with a save, allowing zero runs on five hits with one walk and five punchouts. He allowed four earned runs in 10 innings during Spring Training, good for a 3.60 ERA.

"We like the way he threw the ball, so he'll get the first look," Bochy said.

Brewers: Club has options for Saturday start
The Brewers have yet to name a probable pitcher for Saturday's game against the Cubs, when they need a fifth starter for the first time since Mike Fiers struggled against the D-backs on April 6. It could be Fiers again, Roenicke said, or a Triple-A callup.

Tyler Thornburg, who made eight appearances -- including three starts -- for the Brewers last season, is slated to pitch for the Nashville Sounds on Friday. Another right-handed prospect, Hiram Burgos, is scheduled for Saturday. Both are on the 40-man roster.

"It will come down to what happens in some of these games," Roenicke said. "If Fiers gets in them, or we think Fiers is needed to be our long guy in the bullpen, then we'll try to go grab somebody else. But it's going to come down, probably, to a couple of days before that start."

Fiers did not help his cause on Tuesday, when the Brewers hoped to get two or three innings of relief work from him and instead got four outs.

Worth noting
• Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval have both hit safely in their last nine games. The pair combined for four hits on Tuesday.

• With two hits on Tuesday, Jean Segura upped his National League-leading batting average to .425. He has hit safely in 10 of his 11 games this season. Comments