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Brewers win 9th straight, Lohse beats Pirates

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm •  Published: April 13, 2014
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Kyle Lohse was eager to top his Milwaukee teammates.

He sure came close.

Lohse came within an out of a complete game, and the Brewers won their ninth straight with a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

"We talked about it and it is a friendly competition to see what the guy in front of you did and do it better," he said of the Brewers' rotation.

At 10-2, the Brewers are off to their best start since going 13-0 to open the 1987 season. This is Milwaukee's longest winning streak since a nine-game string last April.

Lohse (2-1) gave up four hits and struck out nine in 8 2-3 innings. He fanned five straight in the seventh and eighth innings.

Lohse retired 12 of his last 13 batters. He was pulled with two outs in the ninth after giving up a single to Andrew McCutchen.

Will Smith struck out Pedro Alvarez on three pitches to record his first career save.

Milwaukee's rotation has been outstanding. The starters have a combined 1.80 ERA over the first 12 games, giving up just 22 earned runs.

Lohse said he was disappointed to be pulled one out from a complete game, but understand the decision by manager Ron Roenicke.

"It is tough, but I understand," he said. "I've been around long enough to know that we need to win that game and keep the momentum going. I wanted to finish it, but I know that if I wanted to I needed to get that guy (McCuthchen) out."

Roenicke said he pulled Lohse because he was at 100 pitches.

"Sometimes the decisions aren't very popular, but they're decisions as a manager you need to make," Roenicke said. "I thought Kyle pitched a great game. When you get to 100 pitches, that starts to put pressure on a pitcher and we've got a long season to go."

Lohse had some fine defense behind him as shortstop Jean Segura made several tough plays and outfielder Logan Shafer robbed Alvarez of at least a double in the second inning when he hauled in Alvarez's long drive just before crashing into the left field wall.

"That was huge because normally that is a double and then I have some work to do," Lohse said.

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