Narveson tosses career best 8, Brewers win

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Chris Narveson pitched four-hit ball for eight innings and Rickie Weeks hit a leadoff homer, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

It was the first time the 28-year-old Narveson (7-4) had a scoreless outing in 17 career starts and the longest outing of his three-year career.

Weeks hit a leadoff homer for the 17th time in his career and finished with four hits for the Brewers, who have won six of seven. Rookie John Axford converted his seventh save.

The Mariners had won seven of nine, but showed why they traded for slugger Russell Branyan late Saturday night. Seattle never had a runner on third and none of their five hits landed deeper than shallow center field.

Mariners starter Jason Vargas (6-3) lost for the first time since May 4. He fell behind immediately and got into more trouble in the fifth after walking leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar.

Escobar scored with two outs when Hart doubled to the wall to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

Fielder then singled sharply to right field to make it 3-0 after getting just four hits in 33 previous situations with runners in scoring position and two outs. Vargas left after the inning.

Hart's home run pace has slowed, but he's still sizzling at the plate, raising his batting average 21 points to .272 in the last 21 days.

Narveson had been rocky early, allowing 15 runs in the first inning of his first 11 starts this year. Against the Mariners, his only early threat came when Milton Bradley doubled in the first, but was stranded.

That was Seattle's only runner in scoring position until the sixth, when Chone Figgins reached on an infield hit and stole second. Narveson struck out Bradley to end the inning.

In the eighth, Jack Wilson reached second on a throwing error by Narveson, but after Narveson walked Ryan Langerhans with one out, Wilson was caught too far off the bag on a line drive by Ichiro Suzuki and was doubled off to end the inning. The left-hander finished with seven strikeouts.

Axford is still perfect since replacing career saves leader Trevor Hoffman as closer, striking out the side and working around a two-out hit to end it.

The Mariners hope Branyan makes a major impact on a team that's struggled all season to score runs in bunches. Seattle's starting lineup against Milwaukee came in with just 22 homers — seven of them by Bradley. The free-swinging Branyan hit .263 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs in 52 games with Cleveland.

Branyan, who also played for the Brewers in 2004-05, hit 31 homers for Seattle last year in less than five months and was a driving force behind their improvement before signing a $2 million, one-year contract with the Indians with a mutual option for 2011.

Now, the last-place Mariners hope he can get them back on track again.

NOTES:@ Seattle has an off day on Monday. ... Mariners LHP Erik Bedard (shoulder surgery) threw four innings in the Arizona League. Bedard will throw a bullpen Monday and start at Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday. ... The Mariners' pitching rotation against the Yankees will be LHP Cliff Lee (6-3, 2.39 ERA), RHP Felix Hernandez (5-5, 3.28) and LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-7, 6.18).