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(Monday, July 2nd)
Final Score: Milwaukee 6, Miami 5
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Rickie Weeks scored on a squeeze bunt from pinch-hitter Norichika Aoki in the eighth inning, and the Brewers beat the Miami Marlins, 6-5, in the opener of a four-game series.
The Brewers trailed 2-0 and 5-2 early in the contest before storming back to pick up their third straight win.
"These are wins that we need and tonight we kind of gave one away," Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano said. "I just want to win. I know what playoffs are like. It's a whole lot of fun. Every game counts."
Zack Greinke, who is a perfect 15-0 at Miller Park, was in jeopardy of losing his first decision at home as a Brewer after allowing five runs on six hits and two walks in six innings. However, he was let off the hook after the Brewers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Only two pitchers have won their first 16 home decisions with a team.
"It was a pretty bad outing," Greinke said. "I got picked up. I threw a little bit better in the fourth, fifth and sixth. I didn't have much working. It's good to win this type of game, that we've been struggling in lately."
Carlos Zambrano also received a no-decision after giving up five runs -- three earned -- on five hits and four walks in six innings.
"It was a pretty ugly one," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Carlos was a little weird today, but I wouldn't say he was bad. We made too many mistakes today to win."
Ruggiano hit a two-run home run and knocked in four runs for the Marlins, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. They've lost nine in a row to the Brewers.
Weeks started the bottom of the eighth with a booming double to left- center field. After failing to successfully sacrifice Weeks to third, Martin Maldonado flipped a low slider into right field, putting runners on the corners.
Randy Choate came in to replace reliever Ryan Webb (3-2). Brewers manager Ron Roenicke then deployed the safety squeeze, and Aoki put down a bunt toward first base. First baseman Greg Dobbs tried to throw out Weeks at the plate, but the toss was late.
"They bunt all the time," Guillen said. "They did a good job with it."
John Axford retired the Marlins in order in the ninth to pick up his 14th save of the season. Axford struggled in June, blowing three saves in six chances.
"I've been throwing the ball a lot better," Axford said. "I'd been throwing the ball hard, but I didn't know what it would be doing. Sometimes it would go outside and then run in."
Francisco Rodriguez (1-4), who escaped trouble in the eighth inning, picked up the win.
The Marlins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. After a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs, Logan Morrison struck out, but Ruggiano smacked a grounder that made its way through the left side and scored Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez.
The Brewers got a run back in the bottom half of the inning when Zambrano got wild. He hit Ryan Braun with two outs, then walked three straight hitters to force in a run.
Milwaukee tied the game in the second. Cesar Izturis led off the inning with a triple and scored when Greinke lofted a fly ball to center field.
Miami went back in front in the third when Morrison roped a double to right, scoring Ramirez. Ruggiano followed with a two-run bomb to left for a 5-2 lead.
"This is the first time I faced [Greinke]," Ruggiano said. "It was a fastball up and in and I was able to put good wood on it."
After Carlos Gomez's solo homer brought the Brewers closer in the fifth, they tied the game in the sixth. Despite loading the bases with no outs, the Brewers faced the possibility of coming up empty after Izturis grounded into a 1-2-3 double play. Pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa delivered a two-out, two- strike single to tie the game.
"I made two big mistakes today," Zambrano said. "The pitch to Gomez and the pitch to Ishikawa. That was the whole game. I shouldn't have thrown that pitch to Ishikawa."
The Marlins threatened to move ahead again in the eighth. Giancarlo Stanton doubled to lead off and reached third with one out, but a pair of diving stops by third baseman Aramis Ramirez kept the game tied, the last of which came with the bases loaded.
Marlins catcher John Buck was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing a called third strike by home plate umpire Derryl Cousins...Ruggiano has an eight-game hit streak when he is in the starting lineup and is 4-for-8 with a home run, double and five RBI in his career against Milwaukee...Morrison is 5-for-6 against Greinke in his career...Aoki's bunt single extended his hitting streak to nine games.
07/03 00:11:11 ET
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