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MIA@MIL: Ransom throws out Hanley to save a run

MILWAUKEE -- On Thursday morning, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he thought his offense had turned a corner and started performing the way it's supposed to as of late.

After losing, 4-0, to the Marlins on Thursday afternoon at Miller Park, Roenicke refused to let one game change his mind, especially when that game was against Miami left-hander Mark Buehrle

"I've seen [Buehrle] do this for 10 years," Roenicke said. "When he's on with his changeup and his command, when he's throwing the fastball inside for strikes, he's really tough."

That was the case on Thursday, when Buehrle dominated the Milwaukee bats for 7 2/3 innings, giving up just six hits and striking out eight. Only once did Buehrle allow a Brewers runner to advance past second base.

"Maybe they were tired of swinging the bats so much and scoring runs," Buehrle said. "We scored just a few more than they did."

Milwaukee's offense had put up six or more runs the last three games, including a 13-run, 17-hit outburst on Tuesday. Pitching was to blame for the loss on Wednesday.

The script was flipped on Thursday, as Brewers starter Mike Fiers was nearly as effective as his counterpart. Fiers went 7 1/3 innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits while striking out nine. And despite temperatures hovering around triple digits for the third day in a row, Fiers said he felt stronger as the game went on.

"It was one of those outings where I felt like it was going to be a low-scoring game, so I tried to keep it as tight as possible," Fiers said. "Going against Buehrle, he doesn't allow many runs, and he goes deep into games usually. I just tried to focus on my job and putting up zeros and getting our team off the field as quick as possible."

Fiers managed to stay out of trouble for most of the game, and when he did find himself in a jam, he was able to limit the damage.

The Marlins first threatened in the second, when Logan Morrison and Justin Ruggiano led of the inning with back-to-back singles. Fiers escaped the inning unscathed, though, thanks in large part to his second and third strikeouts of the game.

Miami was able to capitalize on its next scoring chance, which started with a leadoff double by new Marlins first baseman Carlos Lee in the fourth. Morrison then sent a softly hit single to left field that scored Lee, but Fiers induced two flyouts and a strikeout to end the inning.

"That inning could have gotten away from him," Roenicke said. "They could have scored easily two or three. He did a nice job to keep it to one. He also gave us the length we needed. Our two closers were down today, so him going deep into the game was important."

Unfortunately for Fiers, his teammates weren't able to produce with their few scoring opportunities.

The Brewers did have a chance to respond right away in the bottom of the fourth, when Aramis Ramirez doubled after Ryan Braun hit into his second double play of the day. Corey Hart followed with a single, but Ramirez was unable to score on the play. The inning ended when Buehrle struck out Rickie Weeks after falling behind in the count, 2-0.

Following the Marlins' second run of the game in the top of the eighth, infielder Cody Ransom led off the bottom half with a double. Buehrle then took care of the next two batters before giving way to right-hander Steve Cishek, who struck out pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa.

"We didn't get too many chances," said Braun, who hit into three double plays. "Like I said, when you do get baserunners on against a quality pitcher, you have to take advantage of it. You saw it [Wednesday] with Josh Johnson. One inning we had a few guys on base, we took advantage of it, strung together some at-bats. That's how you score runs."

Miami added two runs in the ninth on a Greg Dobbs homer off right-hander Jose Veras.

Milwaukee had won four in a row and five of their last six before losing the last two against the Marlins. And with Wednesday's game being one the Brewers felt they should have won, Braun said it's disappointing they couldn't capitalize on what appeared to be a possible hot streak.

"That's the way it's gone all year," Braun said. "Two steps forward, three steps back. We'll continue to stay optimistic, continue to fight, continue to compete every day. We just haven't played good enough baseball to consistently win games."

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