MILWAUKEE – Corey Hart hit one of three Milwaukee homers and Yovani Gallardo added another win to his strong September, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-3 victory over the Florida Marlins on Thursday night.
Hart reached 30 home runs for the first time in his career with a first-inning shot. Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder hit consecutive homers in the seventh on the first three pitches of reliever Sandy Rosario's major league debut.
Gallardo (14-7) gave up three runs in 6 2-3 innings, improving to 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA and 25 strikeouts in four September starts.
Florida rookie Logan Morrison extended his streak of reaching base safely to 42 straight games, tying the best mark in the majors this season as his cancer-stricken father watched from the stands.
After Hart homered off Anibal Sanchez (12-11) in the first, the Brewers tacked on four more runs against the right-hander and chased him on Gallardo's two-run single that made it 5-0 in the sixth.
Gallardo allowed three runs in the seventh, leaving with two outs after he walked Morrison to extend his streak. In the bottom of the inning, Weeks hit his 28th homer and Fielder his 31st off Rosario, who gave up another run before exiting.
Florida (76-76) is trying to finish with a winning record and will be mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase unless the Marlins win their final 10 games, the Braves lose their final nine and multiple other scenarios play out.
Milwaukee was eliminated earlier this week and hasn't played a factor in the race all season just two years after winning the NL wild card.
Hart, however, has been a bright spot.
After struggling late in the 2008 season and for most of 2009, he had a disappointing spring training and bristled when he wasn't in the team's starting lineup on opening day in favor of Jim Edmonds.
Since then, he's regained his starting role in right field with a torrid summer that included an All-Star nod and a $26.5 million, three-year contract extension signed in August.
Along the way, he's set new career highs in homers and RBIs (96).
Morrison had gone 0 for 3 before his walk that tied Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira for the longest streak in the majors this season. Morrison is four games from the Marlins record (46) held by Luis Castillo.
Morrison's father, Tom, was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in April. He saw his son play in the majors for the first time last month in New York.
His doctors ordered him not to fly, so he traveled 1,000 miles by train from Slidell, La., and plans to attend the final series of the season in Miami that begins next week.
Notes: Brewers LF Ryan Braun (elbow) was out of the lineup and is day-to-day after being hit by a pitch on Wednesday night. ... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez (left elbow) missed his second straight game. Manager Edwin Rodriguez said it doesn't make sense to attempt to bring him back with 10 games left unless he shows significant improvement. Ramirez is hitting .300 with 21 homers, 76 RBIs and 32 steals this year.