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MIL@TB: Lohse fans six, allows two runs over six

It looks like the Dodgers won't waste any time putting their newest acquisition to work. After trading for Roberto Hernandez on Thursday, Los Angeles apparently will send the righty to the Miller Park mound in the series opener against the Brewers on Friday.

The struggling Josh Beckett, who has been trying to pitch through a hip impingement that needs season-ending surgery, was originally scheduled for Friday's start. But Hernandez told reporters in Philadelphia that he would be taking over starting duties in the opener.

"It's the first time that I've been traded," Hernandez said through a translator. "Obviously it's a nice feeling going to a team that has a chance. I'm really nervous right now. I wasn't expecting this. I'm excited, but at the same time, I'm nervous."

Hernandez's start could be spell trouble for the Brewers, who were defeated by the right-hander on July 9 when he hurled eight innings of one-run ball, allowing only three hits. Hernandez has won his past three decisions, pitching at least seven innings in three of his past five starts. 

Facing tough pitching has become the norm for the Brewers, who will face pitchers with a combined six Cy Young Awards and four no-hitters on this six-game homestand. There's not much relief in sight as the Dodgers will follow Hernandez with co-aces Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.

"We've got a lot of good pitchers we've faced and we're going to face," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "That's why it's so nice to have the offense feel like we're coming around. We're starting to swing the bat again. Those guys are going to shut you down if they're on, so you need to figure out how to get some runs."

Indeed, since July 30, the Brewers handed losses to David Price and Adam Wainwright and earned a win in a game that Tim Lincecum started. Is there something about the Milwaukee lineup that's allowed it to step up against tougher pitching?

"If you can figure it out, you guys let me know," said Roenicke. "You know you've really got to bear down, but these guys bear down pretty well every at-bat."

While Milwaukee's offense tries to break through against Hernandez, the club will send Kyle Lohse to the mound hoping for a rebound. Lohse lasted only four innings Saturday against the Cardinals, surrendering nine runs in an uncharacteristically rough outing. Coming off that start, Lohse was asked whether he approached his between-outings bullpen session any differently.

"No, it's way too late in the season to start doing stuff like that," he said. "It was just one of those games where nothing went right."

Brewers: Kintzler seeks more prominent bullpen role
Roenicke says he's waiting for a right-hander to step up in the eighth inning. Despite a tough outing Wednesday, and conceding his signature sinker has not been as consistently sharp as a season ago, Brandon Kintzler believes he's done enough to earn the job.

"I don't know, he never throws me in there," Kintzler said. "I threw well all of July, I never got a hold situation the whole time. I felt like I've done my job whatever they've asked me to do."

Kintzler, who has been off the disabled list since April 24, has appeared in every inning from the fifth to the ninth and has eight holds with a 3.76 ERA in 42 appearances. Last season, he had 26 holds with a 2.69 ERA in a career-high 71 appearances.

"He was really consistent last year," Roenicke said. "It's a lot -- it's confidence. His stuff seems to be fine. He's fine. It's the confidence that it gives you to relax and let your body work by and hit spots, and he's not doing that. If you look at just velocity and things like that, it's fine.

"He'll throw some good breaking balls, but consistently he doesn't, and he's not getting the sinker down and in like he usually does. We always talk about confidence in this game. When it's not there and it's not there really well, you're a little bit short."

Dodgers: Beckett knocked out of rotation
Right-hander Josh Beckett will not make his next start on Friday and could be headed to the disabled list, depending on the results of Thursday's MRI.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Beckett felt discomfort playing catch on Wednesday and is slated to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Beckett was on the disabled list from July 8 to July 22 with a left hip impingement and is 0-1 with an 8.25 ERA in the three starts since his return. The exact nature of the injury has not yet been disclosed.

"I guess they'll wait for the MRI," Mattingly said. "I'm assuming it's got something to do with his hip in some relation. But it's a different area that was hurting him."

Right-hander Roberto Hernandez -- acquired Thursday from the Phillies, will start Friday in Milwaukee in Beckett's stead. General manager Ned Colletti said he had been looking at Hernandez for a couple of weeks, but talks with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro heightened after Beckett's injury.

Rookie right-hander Carlos Frias would have gotten the ball Friday if the Dodgers had not traded for Hernandez.

"Well, Josh has been battling some things lately, and it came to the point where we had the chance to get Roberto," Colletti said. "And this time of year, as I've said many times, you better have enough of everything to get you through it."

Worth noting
• Hernandez has been sizzling as of late. He's posted a 3-0 record with a 1.88 ERA in his past four starts.

• The Brewers have had at least a share of the National League Central lead since April 5.

• Milwaukee starters have 13 quality starts over the team's last 16 games, though the team is 9-7 in that stretch. Comments