Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Lohse) @ Twins (Walters)

Dilip Vishwanat

The nice thing about 5 pm is that the Brewers usually haven't lost yet.

Depending on how you count this week's home-and-home with the Twins, the Brewers are already losers of either seven of their last eight or eight of their last nine series, and five straight games overall.

They'll look to end the losing streak tonight when they take on P.J. Walters (3.00 ERA, 4.73 FIP) and the Twins. The former Cardinal made his 2013 major league debut on Saturday, allowing two runs on eight hits over six innings against the Tigers. He walked one and struck out three while throwing just 81 pitches in that game. He's also posted a 3.31 ERA over nine starts for AAA Rochester.

Walters is 28 and made 12 starts for the Twins last season, but has still thrown just 118.2 major league innings. During that time he's shown a strong tendency to give up the long ball (1.9 per nine innings). He'll throw a fastball around 90 with a steady distribution of curves, changeups and cutters.

Walters has never faced the Brewers in the major leagues. Aramis Ramirez, the only current Brewer who has faced him before, is 1-for-3 with an RBI single.

He'll face former Twin Kyle Lohse (3.76 ERA, 3.68 FIP), who is making his first start since skipping a turn to deal with elbow soreness. Lohse last pitched against the Cardinals on May 19 and allowed four runs on eight hits over six innings, walking none and striking out four. After posting a 2.53 ERA in April, he has a 5.48 mark in May.

Despite the fact that Lohse has probably been the Brewers' best starting pitcher in 2013, they're 2-7 with him on the mound and have lost his last five starts. A quality start from him tonight would do a lot to rest a Brewer bullpen that's been run ragged lately.

Lohse was a Twin from 2001-06 but has never faced them in a major league game. As noted in this morning's Mug, they're the only MLB team he's never beaten. The only current Twin who's seen him ten times or more is Ryan Doumit, who is a career .263/.318/.474 hitter against Lohse in 22 PAs.

Tonight's lineups are as follows:

Order Brewers Pos @ Twins Pos
1 Carlos Gomez CF Jamey Carroll 3B
2 Jean Segura SS Brian Dozier 2B
3 Ryan Braun LF Joe Mauer DH
4 Aramis Ramirez DH Josh Willingham LF
5 Jonathan Lucroy C Justin Morneau 1B
6 Yuniesky Betancourt 1B Ryan Doumit C
7 Logan Schafer RF Chris Parmelee RF
8 Rickie Weeks 2B Aaron Hicks CF
9 Jeff Bianchi 3B Pedro Florimon SS

And in the bullpen:

  • Tom Gorzelanny pitched one inning (25 pitches) last night.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (22 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • John Axford pitched one inning (17 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (16 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Donovan Hand pitched one inning (15 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (nine pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (nine pitches) on Tuesday.

Conditions are a little iffy at Target Field tonight, but it looks like getting the game in should be no problem. Expect a game-time temperature around 76 under mostly cloudy skies with winds blowing from right to left.

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