MILWAUKEE (AP) - Ryan Braun had a tough day. So did the rest of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Milwaukee had no answer for Carlos Lee, who doubled and scored in his Miami debut, and Mark Buerhle, who struck out a season-best eight over 7 2-3 innings, and the Brewers lost 4-0 to the Marlins on Thursday.
The Brewers put up 25 runs the previous three games but Buehrle (8-8) shut them down, allowing only six hits.
``You don't really get too many opportunities when you're facing good pitchers and they're on top of their game,' Braun said after going 0 for 4 and hitting into three double plays. ``Unfortunately, a couple of those balls I hit really hard, but right at guys.'
The Brewers were 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base.
``We didn't get too many chances,' Braun said. ``When you do get baserunners on against a quality pitcher, you have to take advantage of it.'
The Brewers tested Buehrle in the fourth when they put runners at the corners with two outs, but he worked out of trouble by striking out Rickie Weeks.
``Maybe they're tired of swinging the bats so much and getting runs,' Buehrle said jokingly. ``We scored just a few more than they did.'
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen relieved Buerhle with one on and two outs in the eighth, and Steve Cishek stranded Cody Ransom at second when he struck out pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa.
Buehrle, who came in with a 1.29 ERA in his last two starts, has three consecutive wins with at least seven strikeouts. His current run came after four straight losses.
Milwaukee starter Mike Fiers (3-3) said that Buehrle is tough even though for most of the game he was just as good.
``Everything kind of looks like a fastball,' Fiers said of Buehrle's pitching. ``That's why he's one of the best pitchers. To get a couple runs off him is big, but he had one of those games today.'
The last four Brewers games have been one-run games and decided in the last at-bat.
Greg Dobbs made it tougher for Milwaukee to duplicate that when he hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer off Jose Veras in the top of the ninth for Miami.
Randy Choate started the ninth and immediately hit Norichika Aoki, prompting Guillen to bring in Heath Bell, who got Ryan Braun to hit into his third double play of the game.
``It's rare,' Braun said of his futility. ``It's a rare occurrence.'
Aramis Ramirez then singled, but Bell struck out Corey Hart to end it.
Lee needed just two at_bats in his first game with the Marlins to make his presence known. He struck out in the first before doubling in the fourth. Hustling all the way, he scored easily on Logan Morrison's single.
``That's the way I play the game,' Lee said. ``I always enjoy my time. Have fun, and like I say, try my best.'
Morrison snapped Fiers' streak of scoreless innings at 21 1-3 with the run-scoring hit. Fiers (3-3) allowed two runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out nine, one off his season high.
Unrattled, Fiers was just as tough as Buehrle and limited Miami to that one run on six hits until getting chased in the eighth.
``If you look at just stuff, you might say, `Well, he's pitching better than you think he is,'' Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. ``He's got deception.'
Jose Reyes singled and took third on Lee's one-out single. Manny Parra relieved Fiers, who left to a standing ovation. Morrison hit into a fielder's choice to score Reyes before Veras took over for Parra and retired Justin Ruggiano on a grounder to second to end the inning.
Lee, acquired in a trade with the Houston Astros on Wednesday, started at first base.
NOTES: The temperature was 101 degrees at first pitch. ... Aoki extended his Brewers-best hitting streak to 12 games. ... The Brewers are 22-21 at Miller Park so far this season. ... Marlins All-Star RF Giancarlo Stanton missed his third consecutive game with discomfort in his right knee. Guillen said that he won't play Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved