Brewers’ Lohse completes rare feat with defeat of Twins
MILWAUKEE — With help from his teammates putting 10 early runs on the board, Kyle Lohse completed a rare feat Friday night in Milwaukee’s 10-4 rout of the Minnesota Twins at Miller Park.
Lohse became just the 14th pitcher in baseball history with a win over all 30 current major-league teams by checking the Twins off the list.
"I knew I had one team that I hadn’t beat," Lohse said. "I was real appreciative of our team giving me a lead that early, that kind of size, that you go out and just try to collect outs."
It would be an understatement to say 2015 has been a struggle for Lohse, as he entered with a 6.30 ERA over 15 starts. However, the veteran right-hander received quite a bit of run support in the early innings Friday.
The Brewers chased Twins starter Trevor May after just 1/3 of an inning en route to scoring six runs on six hits in the first inning. Gerardo Parra led off with a solo home run to tie the game at 1-all, while Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun and Adam Lind all got hits off May.
May also committed a throwing error on a potential double-play ball, opening the floodgates for Milwaukee to add two runs on a Jean Segura single and another on a safety squeeze involving Lohse.
The Brewers opened up a 10-1 lead in the second, as Aramis Ramirez and Scooter Gennett each hit home runs off Twins rookie reliever Alex Meyer.
All Lohse had to do to complete his historic feat was last five innings without completely imploding. He battled a high pitch count early and surrendered two home runs but lasted six innings and left with a 10-4 lead.
"He got through his six innings," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "There have been times he’s pitched better but got worse results. He got through it. But when you’re pitching with a lead like that, the game is a little different. You have a lead like that, it’s just get outs and he did his job there."
Coincidentally, the only team Lohse hadn’t beaten prior to Friday was Minnesota. The 36-year-old broke into the big leagues in 2001 with the Twins and pitched nearly six seasons in Minnesota before he was traded to Cincinnati at the trade deadline in 2006.
Lohse didn’t get his first crack at facing the Twins until he came to the Brewers in 2013. He allowed six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings in an 8-6 loss at Target Field on May 30, 2013 and didn’t face Minnesota in 2014.
Milwaukee won 10-5 when Lohse started against Minnesota on June 5 of this season, but he did not factor in the decision after giving up five runs in six innings.
Lohse may have not received another chance at completing the milestone had he not beaten the Twins on Friday, as the right-hander’s future is in jeopardy with his contract expiring after the season.
"It’s pretty cool," Lohse said. "These guys tell me that I’m old and I’ve been around, but that’s only the third time I’ve faced them so it’s not like I’ve faced them a whole bunch of times and haven’t beaten them.
"It’s an accomplishment I’m proud of. I’ve been around and that proves I’ve had some longevity and done some things in this game. So I’ll go home happy about that."
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays joined Major League Baseball as expansion teams in 1997, meaning the list of those who have achieved the aforementioned feat is full of relatively recent pitchers.
Dan Haren was the last to join the club, as he did so in 2013. The other pitchers to have defeated all 30 current teams include Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, Terry Muholland, Curt Schilling, Woody Williams, Jamie Moyer, Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, Javier Vasquez, Vincente Padilla, Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett.
"It’s a great accomplishment," Counsell said. "To me, its a great sign of longevity. Any time you do something only 14 players have ever done, it puts you in good company."
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