MILWAUKEE — Working quickly works best for Kyle Lohse.
Once he gets in a groove, the right-hander can be tough on any lineup.
The Milwaukee veteran bounced back from a poor start this season with seven neat innings, and the Brewers snapped an eight-game losing streak with 4-2 win on Thursday over the Cincinnati Reds.
Closer Francisco Rodriguez pumped his right arm and yelled after recording the final out. The win was a relief for the Brewers, whose 3-13 mark is the worst in the majors.
"We needed to get something going here," said Lohse, who allowed three hits and two runs. "I feel like it was a total team effort."
Marlon Byrd homered for the Reds, a two-run shot that tied it at 2 in the fifth.
Otherwise, Lohse (1-3) was in control. He worked ahead in counts with a sinker and slider in the early innings.
He then kept the Reds off balance with his fastball. With Lohse pounding the strike zone, hitters started swinging at pitches early in counts.
Lohse gave up three hits, walked one and struck out four.
"When I'm on, I want them to swing early. I want them to get those quick outs," said Lohse, who lost this first three starts with a 10.34 ERA.
Jean Segura drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the seventh. The hit off Kevin Gregg (0-2) went to center field, and Billy Hamilton's throw home was up the third base line, allowing Logan Schafer to score.
The Brewers tacked on an insurance run in the eighth off reliever Manny Parra when Ryan Braun stole third and dashed home after third baseman Kristopher Negron allowed the throw from catcher Tucker Barnhart to squirt away.
"We have to come in throwing strikes and challenging opponents," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We've taken some leads into the late innings and they've gotten away from us so we have to be better."
Reds starter Homer Bailey gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list on April 18 with a right forearm injury.
Setup man Jonathan Broxton struck out the side in the eighth.
Rodriguez posted his second save of the season and 350th of his career. He gave up a two-out double to Zack Cozart before Joey Votto, who was hitting .386 with six homers, hit a harmless bouncer to second to end the game.
The Brewers also escaped without giving up a run despite allowing Hamilton, the Reds' speedy leadoff man, to reach base twice.
Hamilton was 9 of 9 on stolen base attempts coming into the day before Martin Maldonado became the first catcher to throw him out. Maldonado nailed Hamilton at second in the sixth with the game tied at 2.
"Lohse did a great job varying his times to the plate. He was very, very quick to the plate. Maldonado can throw well so I was hoping we would get an off-speed pitch there," Price said.
Reds: Price said he was looking for consistency from Bailey. The right-hander, Price said, was fine physically, but needed to build his endurance back up.
"I think he managed the game better," Price said. "I don't think he had as good of stuff as far as sheer velocity, but I think this is kind of the road we're going to travel until he's 100 percent."
Brewers: Maldonado will play every day until he needs a day off, manager Ron Roenicke said. Maldonado is replacing Jonathan Lucroy, who is expected to spend at least a month on the disabled list with a fractured big left toe. ... Rodriguez appeared to be fine after the reliever tweaked his right wrist on a play at the plate that allowed the go-ahead run to score off his wild pitch the previous night. The Reds won 2-1.
Reds: Mike Leake (0-1) gets the start against the Cubs with Cincinnati opening a six-game homestand. Leake is 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last six starts against Chicago.
Brewers: Matt Garza (1-2) opens a three-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals. Opponents are hitting .300 (21 for 70) against the right-hander this season.
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