Narveson, Zaun building battery bond

Narveson, Zaun building battery bond

LOS ANGELES -- Chris Narveson's second start for the Brewers was better than his first, and he hopes that a growing familiarity with catcher Gregg Zaun means even better outings are in store.

Zaun didn't catch any of Narveson's starts in Spring Training -- the result of some well-placed split-squad games and Zaun's quadriceps injury -- but he's handled both of Narveson's outings since the left-hander replaced Jeff Suppan in Milwaukee's starting rotation.

On Tuesday, Narveson allowed three runs in six innings of an 11-6 win over the Dodgers.

"Me and Zaunie knew exactly what we wanted to do," Narveson said. "The first time out, I think we were still trying to figure out how we wanted to best use my pitches. There's a comfort, and you know that when you're thinking of a pitch, he's thinking of the same pitch. That makes you feel good on the mound."

So does a huge lead in the second inning. The Brewers scored nine runs off Los Angeles lefty Clayton Kershaw in the top of the second inning, and Narveson did his part to make it stand, retiring three hitters in order in the bottom of the frame.

"He pounded the strike zone," Zaun said. "I thought we worked well. I think I have a little bit better feel for his strengths and weaknesses. I had him a little in the regular season, but coming out of the bullpen is a totally different sample."

Physically, Narveson is still building back to the level of endurance with which he broke Spring Training after four starts, one multi-inning relief appearance and 13 scoreless innings.

He threw 95 pitches on Tuesday after throwing 102 pitches in his first start, on April 28 against the Pirates. Narveson and Zaun needed 37 pitches to get through the first inning of that one.

"It's different as a starter. Your body has to get used to taking a little bit more of a beating," Narveson said. "Your body adjusts to that and starts settling in."

Asked how he felt the day after his second start, Narveson said, "A lot better than I did after the first."