Ron Roenicke decided to switch things up and not have his team take batting practice on the field prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves.
After snapping out of their offensive funk with six early runs to give Kyle Lohse plenty of support in a 6-1 win that ended a four-game losing streak, the Milwaukee Brewers won’t be hitting on the field Thursday.
"No BP tomorrow," Roenicke said. "They would like to not do it again."
Superstitions aside, the Brewers got exactly what they needed with four first-inning runs against Braves starter Ervin Santana. Milwaukee had scored just five runs over its past four games but got four runs on one swing from Mark Reynolds on Wednesday.
Hits from Carlos Gomez and Scooter Gennett and a walk drawn by Jonathan Lucroy loaded the bases for Reynolds, who connected on a first-pitch slider for his third-career grand slam.
Lohse took the early run support and made it hold up, allowing just one run on four hits over eight strong innings to earn his sixth win of the season.
"He didn’t feel like he had to pitch perfect," Reynolds said. "He commanded the zone and pitched a great game like he always does for us. He threw strikes and kept his defense on their toes."
At one point, Lohse retired 11 hitters in a row and sat down 22 of the 24 he faced after allowing a first-inning run on a RBI double by Justin Upton. Lohse was in complete control of the game from the first inning on, never allowing the Braves to threaten a comeback. Gomez gave the veteran right-hander a 6-1 lead with a two-run home run off Santana in the fourth inning.
"The rhythm is really important with him," Roenicke said. "When things are flowing, you do see him get back on the mound and (he) wants the ball. He can repeat pitches a lot. He repeated a lot of really good pitches today. When he’s throwing the ball well, that’s what he does. He’s making one good pitch after another and using them all. It was good to see everything working."
The Brewers needed Lohse to go deep into Wednesday’s game with a few bullpen arms down, but they really needed to bust out a bit offensively to end their losing streak.
All in all, Wednesday’s win was exactly what Milwaukee desired.
"After we lost four games in a row and come and face Santana and get the W, that’s a really good game," Gomez said. " . . . We swung better, but a lot of credit needs to go to Lohse. He came and threw the ball amazing."
Henderson heads out: Brewers reliever Jim Henderson will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Huntsville on Thursday, as he begins to work his way back from a right shoulder injury.
Henderson threw his second bullpen session earlier in the Atlanta series, the final hurdle the right-hander needed to clear before pitching in a live game.
Roenicke told reporters in Atlanta that Henderson is tentatively scheduled to make three rehab appearances before he’s re-evaluated. Henderson was placed on the disabled list on May 2, one day after allowing five earned runs in an outing in Cincinnati.
While Henderson is about to head out on his rehab assignment, left-hander Tom Gorzelanny made his third appearance for Class-A Brevard County on Wednesday. Recovering from offseason left shoulder surgery, Gorzelanny allowed a solo home run and struck out four.
Start in question: After leaving Tuesday’s outing with a sprained left ankle, Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo may not be able to make his next start scheduled for Sunday in Miami.
Roenicke told reporters Gallardo is unlikely to be able to pitch against the Marlins unless "he really heals fast." Because Gallardo’s injury isn’t considered serious enough to warrant a trip to the disabled list, the Brewers may have to cover Sunday’s start from within.
Tyler Thornburg threw 3 2/3 innings in relief of Gallardo on Tuesday and is likely the only reliever that could make a spot start. Right-handers Mike Fiers and Jimmy Nelson are throwing the ball well in Triple-A Nashville, but the Brewers would have to make a roster move to bring either of them up.