Sloppy play costs Marlins in Milwaukee opener

Sloppy play costs Marlins in Milwaukee opener

Sloppy play costs Marlins in Milwaukee opener
MILWAUKEE -- Misplays and missed opportunities caught up to the Marlins on Monday night at Miller Park. The overall sloppy play put an end to the Miami's four-game winning streak.

Norichika Aoki's safety squeeze bunt single in the eighth inning rallied the Brewers to a 6-5 win over the Marlins in front of 28,674.

Miami has now lost five straight at Miller Park dating back to 2010, and Monday's performance included three errors and an inability to protect leads of two and three runs.

"A lot of things bad happened for us not to win the game," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Carlos Zambrano was lined up for a win, but he settled for a no-decision, giving up five runs (three earned) in six innings.

The Marlins committed three errors, with two by third baseman Hanley Ramirez. They yielded a two-out, two-run, game-tying pinch-hit single to Travis Ishikawa.

"Pretty ugly one," Guillen said. "Carlos was a little weird today. I don't want to say he was bad. He was all over the place. He made some big pitches when he had to. But on the other hand, we didn't help him defensively."

After Miami stranded the bases loaded in the top of the eighth inning, Milwaukee cashed in to complete the comeback.

Ryan Webb, in his second inning of relief, gave up a leadoff double in the eighth to Rickie Weeks. Martin Maldonado, after a couple of fouled bunt attempts, singled to right, putting runners at the corners with no outs. Lefty Randy Choate entered to face left-handed-hitting pinch-hitter Aoki, who dropped a perfect bunt down the first-base line for the RBI single.

"That's why we pinch-hit him," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I could do the same thing with Izzy [Cesar Izturis], but I feel so good with [Aoki], and the run is huge right there. And I know Nori's going to get the job done. And if we get two strikes, I like him hitting."

For the Marlins, Justin Ruggiano continues to come up with big hits, delivering a two-run single in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third.

"As long as he plays like that, he's going to be out there," Guillen said.

Miami held a 5-2 lead on Zack Greinke, who entered the game 15-0 in his career at Miller Park. The right-hander was on the hook for a loss, but wound up not involved in the decision.

Carlos Zambrano also settled for a no-decision, giving up five runs (three earned) in six innings.

"When you face a pitcher like Greinke, you have to bring your A-game," Zambrano said. "I almost had it, and it ran away from me. It's like when you're fishing and you've got the fish, and you bring it in, you bring it in, and then when you almost got it to the boat, it escapes."

There was some emotion in the game, including warnings to both benches, and Miami catcher John Buck was ejected in the sixth inning after getting heated when he struck out. Home-plate umpire Derryl Cousins ruled a check swing a strike, and Buck disagreed, slamming his bat.

A wild first inning led to warnings being issued to both benches in the second when Greinke buzzed a fastball in and Zambrano barely got out of the way. Immediately, Cousins, the crew chief, called the warnings.

Zambrano completed the at-bat with a groundout to second. And on his way back to the Marlins' dugout, he sprinted right over the mound. While the veteran right-hander said something to Greinke, he insisted it was nothing over the line.

"It's just between him and I," Zambrano said. "I didn't say nothing bad to him, believe me. I just said things that players say, but it was nothing bad. I didn't curse. I didn't say any bad words."

Guillen said he felt Greinke was simply pitching Zambrano inside.

"With Greinke, I think he tried to pitch in to Carlos," the Miami manager said. "I think. Carlos should kick his [butt] if he thinks he hit him. I would like to watch that fight."

The tension in the second inning came after Zambrano pegged Ryan Braun in the bottom of the first, setting up the Brewers' first run.

"It was supposed to be a sinker inside. It ran too much, and I hit him," the Marlins right-hander said. "I have nothing against Braun. He's a great player. I respect him for that. It ran when it came out of my hand and it sunk too much."

Zambrano lost command after getting two quick outs in a 34-pitch first inning. Braun was hit by a pitch, and Zambrano proceeded to walk three straight. When Weeks walked on four pitches, the Brewers pushed across a run.

In the second inning, Milwaukee tied it at 2 on Izturis' triple and Greinke's sacrifice fly to center.

The Marlins had taken a two-run lead in the first on Ruggiano's bases-loaded, two-run single to left.

Miami reclaimed the lead on Logan Morrison's RBI double in the third inning, and Ruggiano connected on a two-run shot to left.

Carlos Gomez delivered a solo home run for Milwaukee in the fifth. And in the sixth inning, the Brewers capitalized on Ramirez's error that allowed Corey Hart to reach. With two outs, pinch-hitter Ishikawa slapped a two-run single to tie it at 5.

"I made two big mistakes today, the pitch to Gomez and the pitch to Ishikowa," Zambrano said. "That was the whole game there."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.