Lohse roughed up as Braves beat Brewers 5-2

JIM HOEHN Associated Press Published:

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Kyle Lohse was more concerned about the walks than the home runs.

Freddie Freeman hit one of his two solo home runs off Lohse and Jason Heyward added a two-run shot to back a solid outing by Alex Wood and power the Atlanta Braves to a 5-2 victory over Milwaukee on Tuesday night.

Heyward's first homer of the season, after a one-out walk to No. 8 hitter Andrelton Simmons, put the Braves on top 2-1 in the fifth and snapped a string of 22 scoreless innings against the Brewers.

"For me, the key was walking Simmons in that inning because you have the inning set up to where you don't have to get to the top of the lineup if I do my job there," said Lohse (0-1), who allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking two.

Freeman, who had just four singles in 36 previous at-bats at Miller Park, opened the sixth with his first homer off Lohse, golfing a pitch down the right-field line to put Atlanta up 3-1. He added a two-out home run in the eighth off veteran Zach Duke, making his Brewers debut, to extend the lead to 4-1.

"Freeman, I don't know how he hit that one pitch - the breaking ball down - and he just flicked it over the wall in right field," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We've seen him do that. Offensively, he's got range with his bat. He's started swinging the bat a little bit and hitting the ball to right field. One through eight, we did some nice things offensively."

Wood (1-0) settled down after allowing a home run to Carlos Gomez on his first pitch. The left-hander allowed one run on five hits in seven innings. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for the save.

"The first two innings it was kind of a struggle," said Wood. "Once I found my groove, I was getting a good mix of all three pitches and got some ground balls. They made good plays behind me . it's nice having those guys back there to help you out."

The Brewers had runners on first and second with no one out in the second, but Wood escaped when Lohse struck out on a failed bunt attempt and the speedy Gomez bounced into an inning-ending double play. The Brewers also ended the fifth inning with a double play.

"In terms of pitch count and getting out of some trouble, it was huge," said Wood. "I think it was the third inning I got a double play after Lohse struck out trying to bunt and that was probably the game-changer for me, it shot me through the rest of the way."

Gomez hustled the Brewers within 4-2 in the eighth after drawing a leadoff walk. With one out, he stole second as Ryan Braun struck out, and continued to third on a throwing error by catcher Evan Gattis. Aramis Ramirez singled in Gomez.

"That's good if you get him on base," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I know they quicken up their pace to home trying to keep him from stealing. Hopefully, because of it we get more mistakes. When he's out there on base, he creates a lot of problems."

Atlanta answered with a run in the ninth on a double by Dan Uggla, a single by Gattis and sacrifice fly by Simmons.

The Braves missed a chance to tie it in the fourth when Freeman singled to open, but was cut down at the plate by Gomez on Uggla's two-out double to left-center.

NOTES: Gomez's lead-off home run was the third of his career. The other two were with Minnesota in 2008. The starting pitchers for the final game of the three-game series Wednesday are Matt Garza for the Brewers against Aaron Harang, each making his first start for his new team . Braun, who received a standing ovation during Tuesday's home opener, was greeted with a round of applause and a smattering of boos during his first at-bat Wednesday.