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Braun drives in three runs, Brewers beat Marlins

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Associated Press
September 25, 2010
— Mark Rogers and Jeremy Jeffress combined to help the Milwaukee Brewers to their third consecutive win.

Rogers pitched three hitless innings and Jeffress threw the next two to earn his first career victory, leading the Brewers to a 6-2 victory over the Florida Marlins on Friday night.


Ryan Braun drove in three runs for the Brewers.


With Milwaukee's starting rotation struggling the past two seasons, Rogers and Jeffress realize that they may be viewed as the two pitchers who could turn things around.


"We talked about it as soon as I came in," Jeffress said. "The excitement of him starting and me coming in right behind him, it felt pretty good."


Jeffress was taken in the first round in 2006 but his career appeared in jeopardy after he was suspended 50 games in 2007 and 100 games in '09 for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.


On Friday, Jeffress (1-0) entered in the fourth inning and pitched two scoreless innings after taking over for Rogers.


"I was equally as excited for him to get that first win as I was to start tonight," Rogers said. "He deserves it. I think that's the first of many for him. He's going to be good."


Marlins rookie Logan Morrison's 42-game streak of reaching base safely was snapped. He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


"It felt like it was a thing where we had two different strike zones. One for them and one for us. I don't know, it was pretty evident from the game," Morrison said. "I let it affect me."


Jeffress, who turned 23 this week, had been considered one of the Brewers' top prospects before the two suspensions put his baseball future in doubt.


Rogers, in his first major league start, worked out of a bases-loaded jam after he hit a batter and walked two.


The long inning cost Rogers an opportunity to pitch deeper into the game while on a 60-pitch limit.


Brewers manager Ken Macha believes both players could benefit from more work in the bullpen next season before being strongly considered full-time starters.


"These are young guys with high ceilings, both of them," he said. "Perhaps a little patience would be best served for both their interests and that of the club."


Rogers also collected his first hit in his first career at-bat in the third on a slow roller that got under the glove of second baseman Dan Uggla. Rogers scored the first run on Braun's two-out, two-run single.


Rogers' career has been slowed by two shoulder surgeries. The 24-year-old right-hander was drafted ahead of second-round pick Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers' ace who signed a $30.1 million contract extension in April.


Braun doubled in a run in the fifth off Marlins starter Andrew Miller (1-4), another former first-round pick who has struggled to meet expectations. Prince Fielder followed with an RBI single that gave the Brewers a 4-0 lead.


"I'm worried about getting back to where I think I can be," said Miller, who is out of options and may not return to the Marlins next season after being one of the key pieces in the trade that sent Miguel Cabrera to Detroit. "I have shown flashes, I feel like, but I've never been consistent."


Braun finished 2 for 4 after missing a game because he was hit in his upper left elbow by a pitch Wednesday night.


Morrison's streak tied the longest in the majors this season and was the longest by a rookie in Marlins history.


Florida had just one hit through the first six innings before breaking through in the seventh with three hits, including Ozzie Martinez's RBI single.


The loss eliminated the Marlins from playoff contention, but manager Edwin Rodriguez expects his team to finish with a flourish.


"I think that this ball club is way better than a .500 ballclub, so we're going to try to finish way over .500," Rodriguez said. "We should finish strong."


NOTES: Career saves leader Trevor Hoffman gave up a run in the ninth in a non-save situation. It was the first time he pitched since recording his 600th career save on Sept. 7. Marlins INF Emilio Bonifacio (left hamstring) pinch hit and struck out in the seventh. He's expected to return to the starting lineup on Saturday. Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez (left elbow) missed his third consecutive game. Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira also had a 42-game streak of reaching base safely this season.



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