MILWAUKEE (AP) - Chris Narverson was cruising along in the opener of a crucial series against the Philadelphia Phillies before falling apart in the sixth inning.
Cole Hamels pitched a four-hitter and Hunter Pence's triple keyed a six-run sixth inning as the Brewers lost 7-2 to the Phillies on Thursday night.
Narveson (10-7) limited the Phillies to one bloop hit through the first 5 2-3 innings, but then with two out surrendered six runs to get chased from the game.
``When you're going to face that type of pitching, we had our opportunity,' Narveson said. ``We had a lead 1-0.'
Yuniesky Betancourt hit a solo shot off Hamels (14-7) in the fifth which looked like it might stand up the way Narveson and Hamels were pitching. But Hamels, who gave up Corey Hart's homer in the sixth, held Milwaukee scoreless the rest of the way to for his third complete game this season.
``I wasn't able to shut it down,' Narveson said. He allowed six hits in the seventh.
Narveson's poor showing left Brewers manager Ron Roenicke puzzled.
``It's hard to figure out with him,' he said. ``He's had so many games where he's pitched really well and he's breezing through. Like today, his first five innings were outstanding. He through the ball great.'
Narveson finished with two walks and two strikeouts in a contest between the two best teams in the National League.
``Sometimes, it's command, where he starts walking people,' Roenicke said. ``That wasn't the case today. He gets two outs and then can't get the third.'
Pence said his team took advantage of the opportunity.
``You've just got to be ready to strike when you get the opportunity,' he said. ``We were able to do that.'
Pence also had a run-scoring double in the ninth and finished with three RBIs. It was his first game at Miller Park since July 29, when Houston manager Brad Mills removed him in the fifth inning and told him he had been traded to the Phillies.
Philadelphia played without Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, who was activated from the disabled list before the game. Even without the three stars, each of the eight position players in the starting lineup had at least one hit.
For the first half of the game, Narveson was on cruise control, not allowing a hit until John Mayberry Jr. hit a bloop single to right-field in the fifth. With the Brewers leading 1-0, the left-hander struck out Michael Martinez and Hamels to open the fifth, but then fell apart and didn't retire another batter.
After Hamels struck out, Shane Victorino doubled off the top of the wall in the left-field corner on the first pitch, and Wilson Valdez followed with a double to center to tie the score at 1-all.
Placido Polanco walked and Pence hit a line drive bouncing to the center-field wall, scoring both runners for a 3-1 lead.
Mayberry then reached on an infield single, driving in Pence for a 4-1 lead. Replays showed Mayberry was out on a close play, but first base umpire Angel Hernandez called him safe.
Mayberry promptly stole second base and scored on Carlos Ruiz's double. Ben Francisco then singled to score Ruiz for a 6-1 lead, chasing Narveson.
Betancourt snapped a 7-for-45 slump with his 11th homer to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Hart's 24th home run brought Milwaukee within 6-2 in the sixth.
Pence's double in the ninth made it 7-2.
Notes: Pence's three RBI gave him 400 for his career. ... Hamels has 11 wins in September since 2008, the most of any NL pitcher. ... Milwaukee CF Nyjer Morgan did not start one night after being ejected in St. Louis. Morgan entered the game in a double-switch in the sixth, and usually does not start against left-handed pitchers. Victorino's sixth-inning double off the top of the wall was reviewed by the umpires, who took 65 seconds to watch a replay and confirm it was a double and not a home run. ... Milwaukee 2B Rickie Weeks was reinstated from the DL before the game but did not play. Brewers RHP Shawn Marcum will face the Phillies RHP Roy Halladay in game two of the four-game series Friday night. Marcum is only 2-2 in his last five starts, but has a 1.04 ERA in that span. Halladay is 2-1 in his last five starts with a 2.16 ERA in that period. Philadelphia had 11 of its 12 hits in the final 3 1-3 innings to win its fourth straight.
The Associated Press News Service
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