Lohse struggles mightily in return to mound; Brewers lose to Twins 8-6

Kyle Lohse's return to Minnesota was anything but memorable.

Lohse gave up a career-high four home runs and lasted just 4 2-3 innings in the Milwaukee Brewers' 8-6 loss to the Twins on Thursday night.

Lohse (1-6) allowed six runs on eight hits with no strikeouts. He entered the game with just six homers allowed all season, but was tagged for long balls by Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Chris Parmelee and Ryan Doumit. The Brewers have lost a season-high six straight games and have just five wins in May.

"It's been tough to stomach," Lohse said. "We're not giving up, but it's frustrating. I just look at it from our perspective: Today was my shot to go out there and try to help things out and I didn't do it. It's frustrating."

Logan Schafer drove in three runs and finished a homer shy of the cycle for the Brewers and Jeff Bianchi added two hits and an RBI. But Ryan Braun struck out three times and Milwaukee was unable to dig out of the hole that Lohse put it in. The right-hander was making a return to the mound after missing his previous start with inflammation in his elbow, but said his health wasn't an issue on Thursday night.

"I don't make excuses," Lohse said. "I get paid to come here and get the job done and I didn't do it.

Mauer had two hits and two RBIs, as did Doumit and Parmelee to support P.J. Walters (2-0), who gave up four runs on 10 hits in six innings. The Twins have won four in a row and five of their last six after a 10-game losing skid.

"It's a totally different vibe, I'm going to be honest with you," Dozier said.

Jared Burton picked up his second save and the Twins showed a rare power surge after entering the night with just 42 homers, good for second fewest in the American League.

Lohse was making his first career start against Minnesota, where he began his career in 2001. He was a fiery 22-year-old when he broke into the big leagues, and he spent five and a half eventful seasons with the Twins. He once took a baseball bat to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's office door at the Metrodome after a disagreement.

"I played for how many teams?" said Lohse, who is with his fifth club. "There's quite a few teams that I can go back and face that I played for."

He was traded to Cincinnati in 2006 and put together some very good seasons in St. Louis, including going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA last year. He signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Brewers a week before the opener and only got one spring training start before the season.

"We've got good hitters, we've got pitchers that can get the job done," Lohse said. "We're just not doing it. We just got to figure out if we're putting too much pressure on ourselves because we're going through a tough stretch."

Parmelee hit a solo homer in the third inning to get the Twins on the board, and they broke the game open with three long balls in the fourth. Dozier and Mauer started the inning with the first back-to-back homers for the Twins this season and Doumit added a two-run shot to make it 5-0.

"It's a series we gave up a lot of home runs, and it killed us," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We didn't swing the bats well except for today, but the home runs really hurt."

Walters gave the Twins' struggling rotation its second straight quality start, striking out four to help lighten an overworked bullpen's load. Schafer tripled with the bases loaded in the sixth to get the Brewers on the board, and they picked up another in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Braun to make it 6-4. But Josh Roenicke, the nephew of Ron Roenicke, struck out Aramis Ramirez and then got a nice diving stop from shortstop Pedro Florimon on a grounder up the middle by Yuniesky Betancourt to strand three runners.

The Twins wore uniforms from the 1948 St. Paul Saints, while the Brewers modeled 1948 Milwaukee Braves duds. Ron Roenicke is no fan of the recent craze on wearing throwbacks.

"I'm not a good person to ask those questions about the uniforms," the usually affable Roenicke said before the game. "Once in a while is fine, but no. There's too much of it."

NOTES: Roenicke gave struggling OF Norichika Aoki the day off. The plan is to have him back in the lineup on Friday. ... The Twins will open a three-game series against Seattle on Friday night, with RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-5, 6.85) facing RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1, 2.35). ... The Brewers head to Philadelphia, where RHP Yovani Gallardo (3.5, 4.79) will face LHP Cole Hamels (1-8, 4.43).