MILWAUKEE (AP) - Kyle Lohse struggled again at the start. The Milwaukee Brewers tried to rally in the ninth.
In the end, a six-run deficit proved to be too much to overcome after the Brewers lost 8-5 on Monday night to the Kansas City Royals.
Milwaukee got three runs with nobody out in the ninth off normally lights-out reliever Greg Holland, who was pitching in a non-save situation. Jonathan Lucroy’s second double of the night scored a run to get within three of the Royals to chase Holland from the game.
Wade Davis retired the next three hitters for his eighth save, though Adam Lind nearly extended the inning after his hard liner with one out was caught by shortstop Alcides Escobar.
Holland’s ERA ballooned from 1.76 to 3.52 after allowing three runs on four hits and a walk.
“Our guys put good at-bats together against two really good pitchers,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We made them work for it.”
The Brewers need to work on Lohse, a normally reliable veteran who has been scuffling this season.
Lohse (3-8) gave up five runs and five hits in five innings. His ERA rose to 6.44.
He had some bad luck after a couple bouncers glanced off the gloves of fielders for hits.
Home runs, though, continue to be a problem. Lorenzo Cain’s homer in the fifth was the 16th allowed by Lohse this season.
“I’m not that far away. I know it is ugly, but it is just make a pitch here and there,” Lohse said.
When asked what his options were with Lohse, Counsell indicated he was sticking with the right-hander in the rotation.
“We have to get Kyle straightened out,” Counsell said. “I don’t think it’s a long ways off so he’s the guy.”
Besides Yost, a couple of other former Brewers chipped in for Kansas City in Cain and Escobar.
The duo each last played for the Brewers in 2010. They’ve turned into key players for the Royals.
“Every day I go out and play hard, try the best I can do,” Escobar said. “Don’t try to be too much, just play, enjoy the game.”
Cain hit a two-run homer. He and Escobar each had two hits and two RBIs.
In the first, Escobar was originally ruled out on a play at the plate before Yost’s challenge led to the call being overturned to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead.
After running into tough luck at the plate for much of the night, the Brewers were finally able to string together hits in a three-run ninth off Holland. The closer pitching in a non-save situation had his first outing in six days.
Location was mainly the issue for Holland.
“It’s rust. That’s my fault,” Yost said.
Royals: Yost said SP Yordano Ventura (right hand weakness) threw the ball well during a 35-pitch bullpen session. He left Saturday’s game against St. Louis because of the injury. A rainout Sunday with the Cardinals gave the Royals more flexibility with their rotation, and Yost said he would likely push Ventura’s next start back to Friday against the Red Sox in Kansas City.
Brewers: CF Carlos Gomez was scratched from the lineup with right leg tightness. The leg has bothered Gomez since he spent two weeks on the disabled list in late April with a hamstring injury. Gomez also missed a few games last week because of an injury that now seems to be concentrated to the upper part of the leg. Gomez might miss a couple games this week, Counsell said.
Royals: Chris Young (5-2) makes the start on Tuesday in his first appearance since carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning of a 2-0 win at Minnesota on June 9. Young has a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings on the road this year.
Brewers: Matt Garza (4-7) is 2-5 with a 3.45 ERA in nine career starts against Kansas City.
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