MILWAUKEE — Kyle Lohse has weathered tough stretches on the mound during what has been a respectable 15-year career in the big leagues.
This season, though, Lohse can't seem to find the right answers.
Milwaukee's struggling starter allowed 10 hits and five runs in five innings, including Michael Brantley's three-run homer in the third, in the Brewers' 7-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
Lohse's era rose to 6.29, and he has allowed 23 homers, second-most in the NL.
"Three-run homers hurt. Those are big, changing moments in games," manager Craig Counsell said.
Almost every time Lohse appears to take a step forward, he has another tough outing. On Wednesday, Milwaukee's 4-1 lead in the third was erased when Brantley went deep.
"You keep the ball in the park, keep those runs off the board, it's a whole different game," Lohse said. "Made enough, just enough bad pitches to end up having one of those games where it looks ugly."
When asked if he was committed to Lohse (5-11) for another start, manager Craig Counsell said the righty was next scheduled to pitch on Monday in San Francisco.
"Well, I think his track record keeps him" in the rotation, Counsell said. "He's had two darn good years here, and you hope he gets it going."
Brantley proved to be a big problem. He also delivered an RBI single in the fifth to give the Indians the lead for good.
"Plain and simple, do whatever I can to get the runners in," Brantley said. "The more runs we have, the better chance we have to win. It's no secret."
Like Brantley, Milwaukee's Adam Lind also went 4 for 5 with a homer, double and four RBIs. His RBI double in the ninth made it 7-5, giving Indians closer Cody Allen some nervous moments.
A single for Aramis Ramirez put runners on first and third before Khris Davis hit into a game-ending double play started by third baseman Giovanny Urshela.
Allen pumped his fist on the mound after picking up his 20th save. Austin Adams (1-0) threw 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief.
"You get into a situation where one swing can beat you, you start pitching a little different," manager Terry Francona said about Allen. "He's fine."
The Brewers had other chances against the bullpen.
With Cleveland leading by two, Bryan Shaw allowed Scooter Gennett to reach on an infield single to lead off the eighth before getting Ryan Braun to fly out and Gerardo Parra to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Asked how he felt after another tough outing, Lohse turned to an anecdote.
"Ever see a guy try to pull something off the shelf, drops it, tries to put it back, knocks it over some more and the whole thing falls down? Yeah, about like that," Lohse said.
But as for how secure he feels with his spot in the rotation? Lohse said that wasn't his decision.
He's focused on getting better for his next outing.
"You can't make perfect pitches the whole time," he said. "Not like I'm new to this. I can weather the storm and just keep grinding away."
Indians: Nick Swisher, who has been on the disabled list since June 14 with left knee inflammation, is scheduled to play the outfield again Thursday at Double-A Akron. Manager Francona said Swisher was moving well during a minor league rehab assignment.
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta (left oblique) was scheduled to rejoin the team on the upcoming road trip to Arizona. Counsell said it was unclear yet whether Peralta would get another rehab start in the minors before going back in the rotation. Peralta has been sidelined since May 23.
Indians: Trevor Bauer (8-6) makes the first home start for Cleveland since the All-Star break in the opener of a four-game series Thursday against the White Sox. Bauer is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA this season against Chicago.
Brewers: Mike Fiers (5-7) is 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in 33 innings over his last five starts. He'll open a four-game series at Arizona on Thursday.
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