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LAD@MIL: Lohse holds Dodgers to one run over six

Both the Brewers and Padres will welcome a change of scenery.

The Padres are coming off a rough road trip to St. Louis, Los Angeles and Arizona, while the Brewers closed a disappointing 2-3 homestand with a finale win over the Pirates on Sunday. San Diego and Milwaukee open a three-game set Monday that will kick off a 10-game homestand for the Padres and a nine-game road trip for the Brewers.

The Brewers are nine games above .500 on the road this season and just five games above .500 at home.

"What am I going to do differently?" Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "If one year, we play well on the road, and the next year we do the same things and we play poorly, why would I be concerned about it? If I spent all my time on stuff that I can't do anything about, it's wasted time."

The Brewers will look to Kyle Lohse to begin the first of their two remaining road trips. Lohse will be making his first start since Aug. 13 after missing his last turn with a sore right ankle. He left after three innings on Aug. 13, giving up four runs on seven hits in taking the loss against the Cubs.

Since winning back-to-back starts in late July, Lohse has struggled to find a rhythm in his last four starts, recording a 6.63 ERA and an 0-3 record. He has given up five home runs in that span and walked nine batters in 19 innings.

Eric Stults hopes to continue his resurgent second half as he gets the call for the Padres. Stults held the Dodgers to one run over five innings his last time out.

Stults has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his four August starts, during which he's 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA. On a wider view, he's 4-5 over his last 11 starts with a 3.18 ERA, with seven of those starts coming away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

"The last few years he's learned how to feed off our hitters' aggressiveness," said Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, who was a teammate of Stults coming through Los Angeles' Minor League system. "He never gives in. He's not afraid to throw any pitch in any count.

"I'm impressed with the way he controls his tempo. He used to be maximum effort every pitch. Now he's free and easy, so he can reach back when he wants to throw a fastball. He's pitching with a lot of confidence."

After his early-season struggles -- Stults was 2-8 with a 5.79 ERA in his first 14 starts and in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation -- he huddled with pitching coach Darren Balsley to work on mechanics. They tweaked his delivery in the windup and used a higher leg kick to create momentum. He picked up a tick of velocity. His secondary pitches became sharper. He started allowing fewer home runs and his command improved.

"Things are starting to turn his way," said Padres manager Bud Black.

Brewers: Crew still in first place
With Sunday's win and St. Louis' loss, Milwaukee extended its small lead to 1 1/2 games in the National League Central. The Brewers have been in first place since April 5.

Does Roenicke think this has been good for his club?

"Depends on your team," Roenicke said. "I think we're a confident group, I think we get over losses, but it's not a team that's going to run away. We have other teams in this division we know are good teams."

The Brewers face the Cardinals six more times this season, next when they host St. Louis on Sept. 4.

"I think it's tough," Roenicke said. "I think it's got its pluses, no doubt because of the confidence that it gives guys, because when we're playing good ball, we know where we can be. The negatives are, you do have teams that are after you. You're always being chased by somebody."

Padres: Still no Cabby
Shortstop Everth Cabrera, on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain since Aug. 10, has been working out with the team since Thursday. But don't look for him on the active roster anytime soon, Black said.

"Probably not until Sept. 1," Black said Sunday.

Cabrera is on the DL for the second time this season with a left hamstring injury. This one is comparable in terms of severity to the one that caused him to miss 21 games in July, though the strain is in a different spot.

The Padres have used Alexi Amarista at shortstop in Cabrera's place and occasionally Yangervis Solarte, and they will continue to do so until Cabrera returns to the active roster.

Worth noting
The Brewers are 52-7 when outhitting their opponent, the best mark in the Majors. Comments