Lohse builds case for opener start as Brewers best Reds

Righty tosses three scoreless innings; Maldonado, Peterson homer

Lohse builds case for opener start as Brewers best Reds

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: It's a "show and go day" as the Brewers take the morning off before Matt Garza makes his second spring start in Scottsdale on Wednesday against Tim Hudson and the World Series-champion Giants. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. CT, and the game can be heard on Gameday Audio. Garza, who is feeling more settled in his second Spring Training with Milwaukee, allowed a run on five hits and a walk in two innings against the Dodgers last week.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.