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CIN@MIL: Lohse discusses pitching outlook

Braves left-hander Alex Wood, who was a redshirt sophomore in the University of Georgia's rotation two years ago, got a taste of pressure when he came out of the bullpen in Games 1 and 3 of last season's National League Division Series against the Dodgers. With Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy done for the season and Mike Minor working back from injury, Wood is ready to assume an increased role early in 2014 and deal with even more pressure as he takes the hill on Tuesday at Miller Park as Atlanta's No. 2 starter.

"I'm excited, because I feel like there are a lot more expectations for me this year," Wood said. "I like the expectations, because I feel like that is what keeps you focused. I can't wait to get out there tomorrow."

Wood, who posted a 3.13 ERA in 77 2/3 MLB innings last year, faces a Brewers club that mashed southpaws in 2013. Milwaukee ranked second in the NL and fifth in the Majors with a .267 (371-for-1389) clip against left-handers.

Ryan Braun, who played Monday after serving a 65-game suspension to end last season, hit .368 (28-for-76) against southpaws in 2013. Jean Segura hit .317 (45-for-142), Carlos Gomez hit .315 (40-for-127) and Jonathan Lucroy hit .312 (39-for-125).

Milwaukee will also start right-handed batters Rickie Weeks at second base and Mark Reynolds at first base in place of lefties Scooter Gennett and Lyle Overbay. But the left-right platoon at those two positions is not set in stone.

"We're going to try not only just go left-right, but when the matchup is right, Reynolds will be in there more, Rickie will be in there more," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Then we'll just play it out. I think they're all going to get their at-bats, but whoever's doing better is going to be out there more."

Will figuring out a healthy balance between Milwaukee's options at first and second base prove tough for Roenicke?

"It may be," Roenicke said. "Even [Monday] was tough figuring out who would start between the first basemen and the second basemen. ... Somehow, I've got to figure out how much matchups overcome just right-on-right and left-on-left."

Until Roenicke decides what he will do long term, the Brewers will simply try to match previous success against lefties when they start a mostly right-handed lineup against Wood on Tuesday as they look to back right-hander Kyle Lohse.

Lohse, who posted a 3.35 ERA in 2013, hopes to capitalize on a Braves lineup that has been shut out in six of Atlanta's past nine games against the Brewers.

Lohse pitched the most recent Milwaukee shutout of Atlanta, giving up only two hits and striking out five in nine scoreless innings at Turner Field on Sept. 25, 2013.

If the Braves continue to struggle offensively against the Brewers on Tuesday, they will put the kind of pressure on Wood that the young left-hander craves in his new role.

Brewers: Aramis comes up big
• Aramis Ramirez, who hit .438 (7-for-16) against Atlanta last season, continued his success against the Braves on Monday by finishing 2-for-3 with a two-run double in the bottom of the fourth. He also came through with his glove, making a diving play to rob Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons of what would have been his third base hit of the game.

Braves: Minor, Floyd receive rehab assignments
• Minor will serve as the Opening Day starter for Double-A Mississippi in a rehab start on Thursday. Right-hander Gavin Floyd will also make a rehab start on Thursday, taking the hill for Triple-A Gwinnett at Durham.

Minor is coming back slowly from a nagging shoulder that came about when he started throwing again after recovering from surgery on his urethra. Floyd is in the process of returning from Tommy John surgery.

"[Minor] and Gavin are lined up about the same day some place," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said on Saturday. "Assuming everything goes well for both of those individuals, we'll get them back end of April."

• The Braves achieved the first overturned call as a result of MLB's new replay rules in the bottom of the sixth against the Brewers.

Ryan Braun was initially safe with a leadoff infield single on a close throw from third baseman Chris Johnson, but a challenge by Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez resulted in a review that lasted approximately 58 seconds before the umpires ruled Braun out.

• Right-hander Gus Schlosser and left-hander Ian Thomas each made their MLB debuts as part of relief appearances during Monday's 2-0 loss to the Brewers.

Thomas gave up a hit and got former Brave Lyle Overbay to ground out to first in the seventh. Schlosser pitched 1 2/3 scoreless frames with a strikeout to finish the game.

Worth noting
• Lohse owns a 4.26 ERA in 11 career starts against the Braves, but has give up only two earned runs in his past two starts against them.

• Simmons entered Monday's game with a team-best .316 (6-for-19) career average at Miller Park. He finished 2-for-3 on Opening Day to raise that average to .333.

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