Cincinnati's No. 4 starter, who faced only six batters before leaving that first outing with a hamstring injury, allowed three hits and no walks in five shutout innings in the Reds' 2-1 win Saturday over the Boston Red Sox.
Pitching coach Dick Pole “gave me a mission to try to go out there and get first-pitch outs,” Lohse said. “Going out there with that mentality, you're going to get ahead of guys and force them to put the ball in play early in the count.”
Of Boston's first seven batters, four put the ball in play on the first pitch - three outs and a double by Wily Mo Pena, who was stranded at second.
“I felt really strong,” said Lohse, who struck out three. “I don't even count that last time out as being an outing because it was short.”
In that game at Minnesota, the team that traded him last July 31, his right hamstring tightened up when he covered first base. He hit the next batter, Torii Hunter, in the helmet with a pitch. Hunter wasn't injured seriously and Lohse left the game after hitting him.
In his last inning Saturday, Lohse hit Dustin Pedroia on the knuckle below his left pinky. Pedroia came out of the game but said he was fine.