5/31/2013 12:41 A.M. ET
Lohse faces former team but few familiar faces
By Patrick Donnelly / Special to MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Thursday night serves as a homecoming of sorts for Kyle Lohse. But it is more akin to visiting your parents after they have moved out of your childhood home. It's familiar but at the same time really different.
Lohse broke into the Major Leagues with the Twins in 2001 and won 51 games over five and a half years with the franchise. From his trade to Cincinnati in 2006 until Thursday, he had not crossed paths with his former team in the regular season, but that changed when Lohse started the finale of the four-game, home-and-home series at Target Field.
A lot has changed in seven years, most notably the Twins' lineup. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are the only players remaining from Lohse's time in Minnesota, so even though manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson remain, the dearth of former teammates puts a bit of a damper on the rivalry angle.
"It's not like you're facing a bunch of guys you played with," Lohse said regarding his homecoming. "It's a little different -- it's mostly more interesting to be back in the city and things like that."
Lohse spent his Twins years playing at the Metrodome, but this is not his first trip to Target Field. He was playing for St. Louis when the Twins and Cardinals broke in the stadium with two exhibition games prior to the start of the 2010 season. And despite its many charms, Lohse pointed to this week's murky weather in the Twin Cities to indicate one change he would have made in the Target Field design process.
"It's a beautiful stadium, but as you can see with the weather here, you kind of wish they'd added that one missing piece," he said, referring to a roof.
A win in the open air of Target Field would give Lohse a victory against his 30th MLB team. Lohse will be pitching with 11 days of rest after missing his last start because of a sore elbow. He felt fine after a bullpen session Monday in Milwaukee and said he was looking forward to getting back on the mound, regardless of the opponent.
"I'm feeling confident that I can get out there and get back, doing the things I was doing before," he said, adding that he was not sure if the coaching staff would put him on a pitch count. "My job is to just go out there and throw as many pitches as they let me."
Before Thursday's game, manager Ron Roenicke said he would keep an eye not on the number of pitches Lohse throws, but on how he handles the workload.
"We'll just see how the innings go," Roenicke said. "I don't think he's necessarily limited as far as the pitches but what kind of stress he has in his innings."
Narveson goes two frames in first rehab start
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brewers left-hander Chris Narveson made the first of four scheduled Minor League rehab starts Thursday in Nashville as he continues on the road back to Milwaukee.
Narveson threw two scoreless innings for the Sounds against the Iowa Cubs. He gave up one hit and struck out one, and he threw 22 pitches, 12 for strikes, on a night where his pitch count was expected to be capped at 30. His next outing will most likely come Tuesday at Round Rock.
Narveson, 31, has been sidelined since April 6 with a sprained middle finger on his pitching hand. He made two appearances out of the bullpen, allowing a hit and a walk in two scoreless innings, before he was put on the disabled list.
A longtime starter, Narveson is trying to bounce back from rotator cuff surgery that cost him most of the 2012 season. He started 28 games for the Brewers in 2010 and matched that total in 2011. His 23 wins were the third-most among Brewers starters those two years.
This year's edition of the Brewers could certainly use a veteran presence like Narveson to help restore order to their struggling rotation. In the last 10 games started by anybody other than Marco Estrada, Brewers starters have given up 40 earned runs in 44 2/3 innings for an ERA of 8.06.
Brewers pay homage to '48 in series finale
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Brewers and Twins turned the clock back all the way to 1948 on Thursday at Target Field, which was temporarily renamed Lexington Park, the longtime home of the American Association's St. Paul Saints.
The Brewers wore the uniforms of the 1948 Milwaukee Brewers, a familiar name to be sure but a team technically not related to the current Brewers franchise. That club was the farm team of the Boston Braves and played at Borchert Field under manager Nick Cullop. Thus, the throwback uniforms echoed the longtime look of the Braves franchise: red, white and blue, though a brighter version of blue than the navy the team adopted in the 1950s.
In the other dugout, the Twins dressed in the royal and gray threads of the Saints, a former Minor League subsidiary of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Saints and Brewers were American Association rivals, and in 1948 future Hall of Famer Roy Campanella led the Saints to a third-place finish, one slot behind Milwaukee.
The Twins seemingly did not miss a trick in their throwback efforts -- in addition to renaming Target Field for a day, mascot TC Bear wore a Saints cap and jersey, scoreboard graphics reflected the new team names and logos, and the grounds crew wore jackets bearing the Lexington Park name.
The early reports from the Milwaukee clubhouse were generally positive regarding the uniforms. Ryan Braun liked the variety and the break in routine provided by the change.
"They look pretty cool; I always enjoy wearing a different type of uniform," Braun said. "I think it gets a little boring and monotonous wearing the same thing all the time."
But manager Ron Roenicke offered a dissenting opinion. Milwaukee's old-school manager said he was not a fan of the potential for distraction or discomfort for players accustomed to a routine.
"I'm not a good person to ask these questions on the [uniforms]," Roenicke said. "Once in a while is fine, but there's too much of it.
"I wouldn't want to pitch in it," he added. "I think the pitcher's probably got the biggest uncomfortable feeling. He's got to pitch and all of a sudden his pants are up to [his knees] that takes him out of really what he's comfortable with."
Patrick Donnelly is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.