MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Florida Marlins got the experience of playing in front of raucous, sellout crowds for three games in Milwaukee. They hope to see a similar atmosphere next season at their new retractable-roof ballpark.
The Marlins were swept in three games after losing 9-5 to the Brewers on Sunday. Ryan Braun homered and raised his NL-best batting average to .333.
``They're definitely top five (in baseball), especially in this ballpark,' Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco said. ``The ball flies. They've got the adrenaline. They've got the fans. It makes all the difference in the world when they are behind you.'
The Marlins finished 40-41 on the road and return home Monday to play Washington in cavernous Sun Life Stadium for the final time.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the game with a homer against Chris Narveson (11-8) for the switch-hitter's second home run in as many days and first in 390 career right-handed at_bats.
``I said, 'Bad omen,'' Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. ``That's three times now he's hit a home run and he's lost all three games.'
Donnie Murphy added a fifth-inning homer that made it 8-2.
Narveson worked into the seventh in his longest outing since July 31 before Omar Infante's two-run double off Kameron Loe made it 8-4. The Brewers added a run in the bottom of the inning and the Marlins answered in the eighth.
Florida starter Ricky Nolasco (10-12) didn't get much defensive help.
The Brewers hit three consecutive RBI singles in the second that all barely left the infield following third baseman Matt Dominguez's error to take a 3-1 lead.
Milwaukee scored four more in the third inning to make it 7-1, chasing Nolasco on Jerry Hairston Jr.'s run-scoring double. Yuniesky Betancourt's RBI single off Sandy Rosario gave every Brewers starter a hit before the first out in the third.
``It's tough. Ricky didn't have it today, I guess,' McKeon said. ``It's a lot of games this year, getting down early. We just don't have the firepower. The guys, you've got to give them credit, they battled back. We just can't cash in.'
Florida will finish last in the NL East for the first time since 2007 regardless of what happens this week and will like to forget the matchups with Milwaukee as soon as it can. The Brewers are a major league-best 54-23 at home.
Every position player had a hit for the NL Central champions before the first out of the third as Milwaukee swept the season series from the Marlins (7-0) for the first time since 1998.
Milwaukee scored three in the second and four in the third before Braun's opposite-field solo shot in the fourth. The sellout crowd again serenaded him with chants of ``M-V-P' as it did throughout a memorable weekend after the Brewers clinched their first division title since winning the AL East in 1982.
All the Marlins could do was watch.
``Once the team starts struggling, everything gets exposed. We can't sit here and blame anything on anything or anybody,' Nolasco said. ``No matter what we've done this year, I feel like all the guys in here have gone out there every day and given everything they had. It just didn't work out the way we wanted it to.'
NOTES: Florida has lost eight straight overall to Milwaukee. ... It was Bonifacio's first career leadoff homer and just the sixth of his career. ... Nolasco has allowed 244 hits, the most in the National League. ... Florida finished with losing records on the road in both seasons it won the World Series (1997, 2003). ... The Marlins, to be renamed the Miami Marlins on Nov. 11, will start RHP Anibal Sanchez (8-9, 3.67) against Nationals LHP Tommy Milone (1-0, 3.32) in Monday night's series opener.
The Associated Press News Service
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