Kyle Lohse will start for the Brewers against the Rangers on Wednesday night at Miller Park. It could have been the other way around.
Lohse's top two suitors near the end of his long foray into free agency were Milwaukee and Texas, though officials from both clubs downplayed their interest. Lohse said he was particularly frustrated with the Rangers, who said publicly that they had no interest while at the same time having what Lohse viewed as substantive discussions with his agent, Scott Boras. Last month, Lohse referred to the tactic as "bush."
"I'm happy with where I'm at," Lohse said Tuesday, on the eve of his seventh Brewers start and his first regular-season outing against the Rangers since 2006.
Does that mean he will enter Wednesday's outing with anything extra on his mind?
"No, obviously they are doing well, and they filled their needs elsewhere," Lohse said. "I'm happy here, and I'm glad they're doing well, too."
Left-hander Derek Holland will oppose Lohse in the finale of a quick two-game series. The Crew took the opener, 6-3, snapping a five-game losing streak.
In lieu of signing Lohse, the Rangers went with rookie Nick Tepesch as their fifth starter. But their depth was quickly tested in camp when Martin Perez suffered a broken left arm and Kyle McClellan strained a ribcage muscle. The Rangers were also hoping Colby Lewis would be ready to return by June 1 and did not want a multiyear deal with Lohse, who would have also cost them a first-round Draft pick.
The Brewers wound up signing Lohse for three years and $33 million on March 25 -- one week before Opening Day.
"We never really got close," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We maintained a dialogue. He had offers that were above what we would consider. We saw him pitch. [Special assistant] Don Welke saw him throw. He became more of a conversation in Spring Training as our depth got tested, but it wasn't as far along as it was portrayed."
Lance Berkman played with Lohse in St. Louis. He talked to Lohse in Spring Training about coming to Texas and also gave the Rangers a strong recommendation about him.
"We talked about it," Berkman said. "I knew they were interested in him with Colby down and not sure about the fifth spot. I know they were definitely interested in him. He's great. He's a great competitor and a hard worker, everything you look for in a teammate. He has been awfully good the last few years."
Berkman is 9-for-31 with four home runs against Lohse, tied for the second-most homers against Lohse. Carlos Lee has hit five.
With the Brewers, Lohse has been a victim of poor run support. The team has scored only 13 runs in his first six starts, including a total of one run in his three losses.
As for Holland, the 26-year-old southpaw is off to a solid start to his 2013 campaign. He's coming off eight shutout innings against Boston and has notched quality starts in five of his six outings.
"I love what Holland is doing," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I love his focus. ... He's using all his pitches and moving them around in the zone. He's able to get it outside or inside and stay out of the middle of the plate."
Rangers: New territory for Holland
Holland has never faced the Brewers in his five-year big league career. He is 2-5 with a 5.20 ERA in 10 Interleague starts.
Only four Brewers have ever faced Holland: Yuniesky Betancourt is 0-for-6, Carlos Gomez is 1-for-3, and Aramis Ramirez and Alex Gonzalez are each 0-for-3.
• Texas catcher A.J. Pierzynski didn't play Tuesday because of a tight right oblique muscle. It marked the fourth time in eight games Pierzynski was out of the Rangers' starting lineup.
Brewers: Back-to-back for Ramirez
Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is set to play in his first back-to-back games since he returned from a stint on the disabled list -- assuming, of course, his left knee continues to show no ill effects from the sprain that kept him out nearly a month.
"It's going to take a little bit for him to not be sore the next day, and to play nine [innings every day]," manager Ron Roenicke said.
Ramirez went 1-for-4 with his first homer on Tuesday, and is now 3-for-10 since he his return.
• Lohse has a 6.66 ERA in nine career starts and three relief appearances against the Rangers. It's his second-highest ERA against any club. He has not pitched against Texas in the regular season since 2006, when he was still with the Twins, but he faced them as a starter in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series, allowing three runs in three innings.
• Ramirez (339) and Adrian Beltre (338) sit sixth and seventh, respectively, on the all-time list of career homers for third basemen.
• The Brewers have never won a series against the Rangers, who took two of three against them in both 2007 and '10.