MILWAUKEE -- Chris Volstad has benefited nicely from a forced hiatus.
Volstad pitched into the seventh inning in another scoreless outing since returning from a suspension and rookie Mike Stanton hit his 21st homer, leading the Florida Marlins to a 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
Volstad (11-9) allowed six hits and walked none before leaving with two outs in the seventh, running his scoreless streak to 15 innings. He tossed a five-hitter in a 4-0 victory over St. Louis in his previous start and hasn't allowed a run in two starts since he returned from a six-game suspension for his part in a melee with the Washington Nationals on Sept. 1.
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"Sometimes it's not how you start, it's how you finished," said Volstad, who was suspended for throwing a pitch behind Washington's Nyjer Morgan that incited a bench-clearing brawl.
"I really wanted to come out, especially these last three [starts] off the suspension, and finish strong," he said. "It's good. It's something I can keep building on, especially going into the offseason and for next season."
Volstad had given up 16 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings over three starts before the suspension, but Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said the 6-foot-8 right-hander can carry the momentum of his strong finish into next season.
"It will be very good for him and the team if he finishes strong, but in my opinion he already is finishing strong regardless of his next start," Rodriguez said.
Volstad, who will make his final start against Pittsburgh, said he had found a rhythm.
"For me, I think the big thing is timing," he said. "Obviously being tall, timing can get off kind of easily."
The loss clinched a second consecutive losing season for the Brewers (72-82) after they won the NL wild card in 2008.
"We ran into a hot pitcher," Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said. "He worked fast. He sank the ball, he cut the ball, pretty good slider. No walks. We were limited to all singles tonight and he did a good job keeping us off balance."
Chris Narveson (11-9) also went 6 2-3 innings for Milwaukee, giving up two runs and six hits.
"His only real mistake was a changeup pretty much in the middle of the plate to Stanton who hit a home run," Macha said.
Volstad cruised through the first six innings without allowing a runner to reach second base, but found trouble in the seventh. Prince Fielder, Lorenzo Cain and pinch-hitter Craig Counsell each singled to load the bases, chasing Volstad.
"Being a competitor, I wanted to throw nine again," said Volstad, who threw 90 pitches. "Pitch count was low. A couple pitches left up they put in play through holes for hits."
Jose Veras entered and got George Kottaras to line out to center to end the inning. Kottaras is batting .125 (3 for 24) with two outs and runners in scoring position.
The Marlins improved to 32-14 against left-handed starters this year, but are only 45-63 against right-handers.
Cameron Maybin helped Florida get off to a nice start. The speedy center fielder led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on Logan Morrison's single to right. Morrison's hit came one day after his 42-game streak of reaching base ended.
Stanton's drive off Narveson in the sixth gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead and was just his second against a left-hander this year.
Gaby Sanchez singled in Ozzie Martinez for an unearned run in the eighth, and Martinez added an RBI double in the ninth.
The Brewers finished 80-82 last year. ... Florida reliever Leo Nunez struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth. ... Milwaukee's Corey Hart extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a first-inning single. ... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez (left elbow) missed his fourth consecutive game. ... Milwaukee's last home game is Sunday against the Marlins. The team is 39-41 at home and assured of a losing record at Miller Park.