The Argentine provided stubborn resistance at Indian Wells but ultimately lost out 7-6(4) 6-4 in one hour and 56 minutes.
The world number three found the quality at decisive times in both sets, but had to come from a break down in the first as Berlocq served for a one-set lead.
Murray powered through on the tie-break to eventually take it.
The Scot was visibly frustrated by the audible grunting coming from the other end of the court, even complaining to the umpire.
Arguably his best shot of the night was a lob to break at 3-3 in the second.