MILWAUKEE -- Miller Park sure felt like home to the Marlins on Saturday night.
The Marlins, forced to play their three-game weekend series as the "home" team in Milwaukee due to Hurricane Irma, rode a four-run first inning to a 7-4 win over the "visiting" Brewers in front of a crowd of 25,079 that nearly filled the limited capacity for the ballpark. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Marlins, who had scored three runs in their last three games.
The loss pushed the Brewers four games back of the first-place Cubs -- who beat the Cardinals on Saturday -- in the National League Central. They are also now 3 1/2 games behind the Rockies for the second NL Wild Card spot.
"We know we have little margin for error," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "When you're chasing, you have little margin for error. The teams ahead of us are doing a good job of winning games, and we know the margin is slim. Losses make it a little bit slower. We'll answer. We have consistently, and I'm certain we will again."
Miami jumped on Brewers starter Zach Davies for four straight singles to open up the game in what would be a four-run, 31-pitch inning. Davies, who was seeking to become the first Brewers pitcher since Chris Capuano in 2005 to reach 18 wins in a season, also allowed a two-run shot off the right-field foul pole to Derek Dietrich in the third. The right-hander allowed six runs in four innings, further taxing a Brewers bullpen that used eight pitchers on Friday.
"It was a tough first inning," Davies said. "I thought I made them have some weak contact, but they found holes and that's baseball. It's a rough start to the game, and a tough time of the year to have those rough starts."
Adam Conley shook off his rocky start to September and a first-inning run from the Brewers to retire 11 of the next 12 batters he faced after a first-inning Ryan Braun double. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks.
"I was a lot more like myself which is something I've been searching for all year," Conley said. "I was watching film, doing scouting report-type stuff, and I noticed something different that I was doing last year that felt a lot more athletic, more powerful, that we had just been missing. It was something I took a shot out there and tried. It felt really good. I thought I improved a lot."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED With some Braun: The Brewers' offense showed some life against Conley in the sixth, with Braun and Travis Shaw leading off the inning with back-to-back homers to cut the Marlins' lead to 6-3. Braun took a 3-2 slider the other way, and two pitches later, Shaw turned on another hanging slider. It was just Shaw's second hit at Miller Park since Aug. 16 after breaking an 0-for-25 skid in Milwaukee on Friday, and it was the seventh time the Brewers have hit back-to-back homers this season.
"My swing felt pretty good tonight," Shaw said. "I barreled some balls up. Swing feels like it's getting there. Hopefully the last two weeks it'll click and be hot down the stretch."
Tazawa walks a tightrope:Junichi Tazawa raised the Marlins' blood pressure in the sixth inning in relief of Conley. Tazawa entered the game with a runner on first base and two outs, but after giving up a single to Orlando Arcia and walking pinch-hitter Neil Walker, the Brewers brought the go-ahead run to the plate in Hernan Perez. Tazawa escaped, though, as Perez swung at the first pitch of the at-bat and popped out to right field.
"We had baserunners and put together a really good rally after the homers," Counsell said. "I thought [Perez] had a really good pitch to hit and just missed it. I think we had some opportunities, had runners on, but the next hit was missing."
"Conley set the tone," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Taz then got us a couple of big outs as [Conley] started to waver."
"We're running out of time. I think everybody knows that. Check the scoreboard when you lose and see the other teams have won, I mean that just makes it harder. There's not much time left, so we've just got to find a way to win as many games as we can. Tonight wasn't the night, but we'll come back ready tomorrow." -- Shaw, on being four games back of the Cubs with 14 to play
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Shaw's homer made him and Eric Thames the third pair of left-handed hitters in Brewers history to each hit 30 homers in the same season, joining Jeromy Burnitz and Geoff Jenkins in 2000 and Cecil Cooper and Ben Oglivie in 1982.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With J.T. Realmuto at second base and one out in the sixth inning, Brewers reliever Jared Hughes appeared to have executed a perfect pickoff move. His throw to Walker at second base was low, though, and Walker wasn't able to apply the tag in time. The Brewers challenged that the tag was on Realmuto in time, but the call stood after the review.
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers:Brandon Woodruff makes his third consecutive start at Miller Park on Sunday in the "road" finale against the Marlins at 1:10 p.m. CT. The rookie allowed more than two runs in a start for the first time ever in his last start, conceding six runs in five innings against the Pirates.
Marlins: Rookie Dillon Peters will take the ball for his fourth career start at 2:10 p.m. ET. Called up from Double-A Jacksonville on Sept. 1, Peters allowed two runs over six innings against the Phillies in his last time out. He tossed seven scoreless frames against Philadelphia in his Major League debut and has 18 strikeouts in his first 18 Major League innings.