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Brewers cruise to club-record 55th win

September 25, 2011

MILWAUKEE — No team in franchise history has won more games at home than the 2011 Brewers. And with three games left to play, the Brewers single-season wins record isn’t safe, either.

They didn’t hit too many balls hard on Sunday, but the Brewers found plenty of holes in the Marlins’ defense early on their way to a third straight win at Miller Park.

With the 9-5 victory, the Brewers picked up their club-record 55th home win of the season, passing the previous mark set in 1978. They also moved within one win of tying the franchise record of 95 in a season, set in 1979 and matched in ’82.

“We’re playing well,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “Everything’s working well. We’re in a spot where I think we need to be playing good ball going into the playoffs. Whether we win them or lose them, these next three games, we’re going to go after. But these next three games, we need to play well going into the playoffs.”

As they collected four hits in the second inning and five in the third — only one of the nine going for extra bases — the Brewers jumped all over Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco for seven runs before he got an out in the third inning. Every hitter in the Brewers’ starting lineup had a hit by the end of the third.

With the win that was not nearly as close as the final score made it seem, Milwaukee completed the three-game series sweep, while also sweeping the seven-game season series from Florida.

“They had our number, absolutely, all year,” said Marlins shortstop Donnie Murphy. “You felt like everything that you did, they had a counter for it. That’s why they’re a playoff team, obviously. It seems like they’re starting to click going into the playoffs.”

Five different Brewers scored a run, including two for Ryan Braun, who hit his 33rd home run of the season to lead off the fourth inning. With the game well in hand, Braun came out after the fifth.

He went 2-for-3 on the day and raised his National League-leading batting average two points to .333, putting him two points ahead of Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.

After going into a 1-for-16 slump, Braun has five hits in his last seven at-bats, with two home runs, including his three-run blast in the bottom of the eighth Friday.

“MVP year, man,” said Prince Fielder of Braun’s season. “He’s been outstanding. Batting title possibly, the home runs, stolen bases, RBIs. He’s been magnificent.”

Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks was 3-for-4 on the day, with three hits by the fourth inning. Weeks left as a part of a double-switch with one out in the top of the seventh, just after Fielder’s day ended following his fourth at-bat in the sixth.

The big offensive output on the day gave Roenicke — who had talked pregame about getting Fielder out of a game early at some point this week — an opportunity to offer some well-deserved rest for the middle of the lineup.

Those moves got Roenicke a bit worried in the seventh, though, when Marlins slugger Mike Stanton came to the plate with two runners on and the Brewers holding a four-run lead.

“I never like taking guys out early, because I know what can happen in a ballgame,” Roenicke said. “But I think getting them off their feet is maybe more important — that they’re right going into the playoffs — than it is to get that one more at-bat that maybe we’re going to need later in the game.”

After giving up a leadoff homer to Emilio Bonifacio, left-hander Chris Narveson settled in nicely for the Brewers, tossing 6 1/3 innings and giving up four runs on five hits. Narveson gave up another homer to Murphy leading off the fifth, and he walked two batters before leaving with one out in the seventh.

Narveson walked five batters and recorded five strikeouts as he picked up his 11th win.

“It feels good, but this is just the start of another season,” Narveson said. “We know that once this season ends in three days, we’ve got the important one starting. So we’ll be ready for that.

“There’s incentive to win. … That home-field advantage with our fans and with the support that we’ve got here, that’s what we’re playing for. And we know how important that is.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Categories: Uncategorized
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