Kyle Lohse is joining Milwaukee's pitching staff at just the right time. It appears the Brewers can use the help.
Chris Young hit a grand slam and Josh Donaldson homered among his four hits as the Oakland Athletics backed Bartolo Colon with a big offensive performance in a 9-7 victory over Milwaukee on Monday.
Brewers starter Chris Narveson served up Young's slam in the fourth. The left-hander allowed six runs on eight hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Five days after giving up only one hit in six scoreless innings against San Francisco, Narveson walked five and fell to 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA this spring.
Asked what the difference was between Monday's outing and Narveson's previous start, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said: "Command of the ball. He walked five people and you can't do that."
"His stuff was OK, but he wasn't consistent with it. He had trouble getting in rhythm. He would pitch well to one batter and not so well to the next two," he added.
Roenicke is looking forward to adding Lohse to an uncertain rotation. The free-agent right-hander finalized a $33 million, three-year contract with Milwaukee on Monday after going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for NL Central rival St. Louis last season.
The move came exactly a week before the Brewers open the season at home against Colorado. Lohse is expected to pitch Thursday against the Rockies in a Cactus League game, though his regular-season debut for Milwaukee could be delayed until mid-April as he gets his arm in shape.
"We are better with Lohse," Roenicke said. "I like our other starters very much, but Lohse is a special guy."
Scott Sizemore had four hits and two RBIs for the A's. Colon gave up three runs and six hits over five innings in his third start and fifth appearance of the spring. He struck out three and walked none.
Colon will sit out the first five games of the season while completing his 50-game suspension for a positive drug test last year.
"He threw all of his pitches and actually worked on off-speed stuff," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "There was a checked swing that one inning where he gave up a couple of runs (three). But I thought he threw the ball well."
Milwaukee's backups rallied for three runs off right-hander Dan Straily in the eighth inning and another in the ninth before lefty Pedro Figueroa shut the door to earn the save. Straily likely will be in the rotation while Colon sits out.
Melvin likes the way that Young, acquired during the offseason in a trade with Arizona, is making the adjustment to playing the corner outfield spots after playing center field for the Diamondbacks.
"I haven't seen him have a problem with the corners, even though the spin of the ball is different," Melvin said. "He's just a good outfielder."
Young is hitting .231 with two homers and nine RBIs this spring. He has been making much better contact lately, Melvin said.
With the A's, Young is expected to complement Yoenis Cespedes in left field, Coco Crisp in center and Josh Reddick in right.
NOTES: INF-OF Andy Parrino returned to Oakland's camp after missing a few days for the birth of his child. ... INF Hiro Nakajima got the day off from most baseball activity after going hitless in his last 21 at-bats. ... 1B Nate Freiman, hitless in his first six at-bats since being claimed off waivers from Houston on Saturday, got his first hit, a double, as a member of the A's. ... Norichika Aoki, the Brewers' leadoff batter, got two hits to raise his average from .267 to .292.