Control issues spell trouble for Lohse

Control issues spell trouble for Lohse

PITTSBURGH -- Kyle Lohse gave up 12 runs and 18 hits in his first two starts of the year, but there was somewhat of a silver lining in those two losses: He didn't walk anyone.

Lohse mostly missed out over the plate in those first two outings, but he found himself unable to find the strike zone in a few key moments during Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.

Lohse walked three batters, and two of them scored. He walked Andrew McCutchen with two outs and nobody on in the fifth inning and eventually hung a changeup that Starling Marte sent into the left-field seats to put the game out of reach.

"I know what to do. I've just got to go out there and do it," Lohse said. "The frustrating part is it's so close. But it doesn't matter, because the results are really crappy. I've got to go out there and make better pitches. That's the bottom line."

Overall, he gave up six runs on six hits over six innings. The outing left Lohse with an 0-3 record and 10.34 ERA after three starts.

"When you watch his bullpens, he can do anything he wants to do, and he's been getting in games and he hasn't been the same," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He finds it at times. He'll make great pitches and then all of a sudden leave one up."

That was the case Saturday, and it's that dynamic that frustrates Lohse the most. For all the things that have gone wrong early on, Lohse believes he's "just a little bit off."

"We've just got to get him pitching and get his command and his rhythm back," Roenicke said. "It's hard to see Kyle struggle because we're so used to seeing him be able to go through innings. He'll find it."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.