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MIL@ATL: Lucroy launches a two-run shot in the ninth

ATLANTA -- Asked about the Brewers' struggles at Turner Field before Sunday's series finale against the Braves, manager Ron Roenicke's face turned glum.

"It hasn't been really kind to us," Roenicke said.

Then things got worse a few hours later for the Brewers, who saw their losing streak in Atlanta reach eight games with the second series sweep by the Braves in as many years.

"If we play like this, we're going to get beat everywhere," Roenicke said after the game.

Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward homered off Chris Narveson, and Brandon Beachy held the Brewers to three hits and an unearned run through seven innings in a 7-4 victory before a crowd of 30,831.

The Brewers were swept by the Braves while scoring just six runs in four games last May as part of a seven-game losing streak that they had to rebound from to win the National League Central.

This time, the Brewers struggled in all areas, as they fell to 4-6 with their fourth straight loss after winning the first three games of a seven-game road trip that began against the Cubs.

"We started off not playing good last year and I don't want to do that again," Roenicke said.

After an off-day on Monday, the Brewers begin a nine-game homestand on Tuesday night when they play the Dodgers. Maybe the break comes at a perfect time.

"It certainly can't be bad," Roenicke said. "It's not going to change any good momentum we had going."

Narveson was the winner in the Brewers' last victory in Atlanta -- a 6-3 decision on July 17, 2010 -- and he came in with a 1.50 ERA in two career outings against the Braves.

But the left-hander struggled this time, as he battled his command and was pulled for a pinch-hitter after four innings as Milwaukee's miseries in Atlanta continued.

"It was an uphill battle," said Narveson, who gave up five runs while throwing 34 of his 72 pitches for balls.

The eight straight losses mark the Brewers' longest current road losing streak against a National League team, although they have lost 10 in a row to the Yankees in New York during Interleague Play.

Michael Bourn, who came in 4-for-8 in his career against Narveson, led off the first for the Braves with a double and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Brian McCann.

The Brewers tied it with an unearned run in the second, as Jonathan Lucroy singled to drive in Aramis Ramirez, who had reached on a two-base error by left fielder Martin Prado.

But Narveson walked Beachy to open the third inning and soon the Brewers were down by three runs. Prado doubled with one out and Jones, who missed the first two games of the series, followed with his second homer, picking on a first-pitch curveball.

"Down and in is a spot you have to stay away from against him," Narveson said.

Jones, who is retiring after the season, had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee during Spring Training and was playing in just his third game.

"This was my first game back at home," Jones said. "The knee didn't allow me to play the first two games. It did today, and you want to make a splash.

"It was a pretty cool moment. This year will be filled with a lot of moments, I hope."

The Braves made it 5-1 in the fourth as Heyward connected with a high changeup on a 1-2 pitch by Narveson for his second homer.

Beachy was dominant in two starts as a rookie against the Brewers last year, although he wasn't involved in either decision. He allowed just eight hits and two runs (one earned) in 12 innings while striking out 16 and walking two.

This time, he struck out six and walked two, as the Braves won their fifth straight after an 0-4 start that included a sweep against the Mets in New York to begin the season.

"The other day, I said we were not pretty to watch," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We're pretty good looking to watch now."

Having not worked since Wednesday, Brewers closer John Axford came in to pitch in the eighth and couldn't make it out of the inning. He allowed two runs, with one being unearned after the Brewers committed two errors on the same play.

"He's all up in the zone," Roenicke said of Axford, who gave up a hit and two walks while getting one out. "He's going to get it going. But we need him to get it going soon."

Lucroy connected for his second homer of the season in the ninth inning, hitting a long two-run blast in a three-run outburst against Chad Durbin.

"We need to kick it in gear before the ninth inning," Roenicke said.

Maybe the Brewers will do just that when they leave Atlanta behind and get back to Milwaukee.

"I don't know what it is, but every year, we've had trouble here," Lucroy said.

That happens when your pitching or offense struggles, and it's worse when you struggle with both.

"We're not playing the type of game we want to play on both ends, pitching and offense," Roenicke said. Comments