Amid Josh Hamilton rumors, Brewers owner says pitching is priority

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While CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Thursday that the Brewers are “seriously considering a run” at free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said he’s more interested in addressing his team’s pitching problems.

“We’ve got the No. 1 offense in the league,” Attanasio told the Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt. “We know that’s working. We have to fix the bullpen. We were last in the majors. That has to be fixed. We’ve done a lot of work to see what the options are there.”

The Brewers are looking at a big bullpen turnover with Francisco Rodriguez set to leave as a free agent and Kameron Loe, Manny Parra and Jose Veras all possibilities to be traded or non-tendered. They’re also likely to seek at least one starter and probably two if they don’t re-sign Shaun Marcum. It’s hard to see how they could fill those holes and still afford Hamilton’s $20 million-plus salary.

Attanasio, for what it’s worth, couldn’t address that rumor directly, since Hamilton is still Rangers property through the end of the World Series.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.