Cueto finishes outing strong as Reds fall to host Brewers

Righty allows one run over three innings in second Spring Training start

Cueto finishes outing strong as Reds fall to host Brewers

PHOENIX -- Kyle Lohse pitched three scoreless innings and Martin Maldonado hit a two-run home run as the Brewers' regulars got the best of their Reds counterparts in the early innings of Tuesday's 5-3 Cactus League victory for Milwaukee over Cincinnati at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Lohse scattered two hits and struck out four batters without a walk while working opposite Johnny Cueto in a meeting of projected Opening Day starters. In his first 5 2/3 innings this spring, Lohse has struck out seven batters and walked none.

Cueto enjoyed facing a Milwaukee lineup that featured several players expected to be regulars this season.

"It's good to have that, because when you face the veterans, they sit there and just look at pitches," Cueto said via translator Tomas Vera. "They let you throw and throw and throw. They take a lot of pitches, because they are looking for something. It's good to face those guys."

Lohse felt differently, and was perfectly content to face a lineup with Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd representing the only Reds regulars.

"It doesn't matter [that only Frazier and Byrd were in the lineup]. I'd rather not see their regular guys, to be honest with you," Lohse said. "Especially when I'm working on stuff, it doesn't matter who I'm facing."  

The Brewers, who earned their first Cactus League win, got to Cueto in the first inning before the righty settled in. Scooter Gennett led off with a single and moved to third on Jean Segura's single before Carlos Gomez made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly. Cueto then blanked the Brewers on only one more hit through the third inning.

Maldonado's two-run blast

Maldonado extended Milwaukee's lead when he homered in the fourth inning against left-hander Ryan Dennick, and Shane Peterson added a two-run homer an inning later against right-hander J.J.Hoover.

Alex Blandino's two-run single in the ninth ended the Brewers' shutout bid, and Garrett Boulware plated the Reds' final run with an RBI groundout.

Up next: On the heels of his two scoreless innings in relief on Friday, rotation candidate Paul Maholm will get his first start Wednesday when the Reds host the Royals in Goodyear at 4:05 p.m. ET, live on Gameday Audio. Fellow rotation competitor Tony Cingrani, who started the game vs. Chicago before Maholm, will follow Maholm from the bullpen. Sam LeCure and Kevin Gregg are also slated to get work.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.