Marlins reward rookie Nicolino in Milwaukee

Marlins reward rookie Nicolino in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- Rookie left-hander Justin Nicolino pitched into the seventh inning and Derek Dietrich hit a two-run home run as the Marlins won for the fifth time in seven games, 6-2, over the Brewers on Monday night at Miller Park.

Dee Gordon punched a two-run single to left field in the third inning and Dietrich cleared the center-field fence for two more runs in the fourth against Brewers starter Matt Garza, who rode a hot streak into the game but lasted only five innings, allowing five earned runs on eight hits. He matched teammate Kyle Lohse's 13 losses.

"It was just one of those days where I left balls up," said Garza, who entered the night with a 2.56 ERA in his previous five starts. "I haven't been getting away with anything this year, so I didn't expect to get away with much."

Nicolino, a 23-year-old in his second stint this season with Miami, threw 95 pitches in 6 2/3 relatively stress-free innings for his second Major League victory in his fourth start. He allowed two runs on six hits, with two walks and three strikeouts.

• Nicolino opens string of rookies

"Being able to use offspeed in any count is something you have to do up here. Tonight I had better command of it," Nicolino said. "To me, when I have command of those pitches, it's easier to get those outs."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dee does it all: Gordon ignited Miami's offense a day after collecting his 20th three-plus-hit game in a win over the Cardinals. The speedy second baseman drove in the Marlins' first two runs in the third with a single to right, and followed it by stealing his 37th base this season. He picked up his second hit with a double in the fifth, worked his way to third and eventually scored on Martin Prado's sacrifice fly.

Gordon's two-run single

"Dee had a big hit in the top of the third, two RBIs, shooting the ball the other way," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "It was a heck of an at-bat."

Small ball for Braun: Ryan Braun's only hit during the Brewers' weekend sweep of the Phillies was a grand slam that gave him 251 career home runs, matching Robin Yount's franchise record. Braun didn't go deep Monday, but he did log a walk and a pair of singles, including a run-scoring hit in the fifth inning that cut the Brewers' deficit to 5-2. He didn't make an out until the seventh, when Braun, representing the tying run, grounded out to end a Brewers threat.

Braun's RBI single

Dietrich delivers: Following Justin Bour's single to lead off the fourth, Dietrich crushed his eighth home run of the season on the first pitch he saw from Garza in the at-bat to give Miami a 4-1 lead. The homer gives the 26-year-old five RBIs over his past two games. He has 16 on the season.

Dietrich's two-run homer

Upon review: Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged the game's final out after Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria made a terrific pick and throw on Jonathan Lucroy's grounder to the hole. But the call stood, and the Marlins were able to resume their celebration. More >

Lucroy out after review

QUOTABLE
You get a guy like [Nicolino] tonight, now the baton is passed to [Adam] Conley tomorrow, and this is the opportunity these guys are looking for. It's here for them to go out and take advantage of it." -- Jennings, on turning to rookies to fill in for an ailing starting rotation

"I think there are plenty of guys with a lot to play for. It is a Major League Baseball game. Guys get up for that. I don't see that as a problem at all." -- Counsell, on playing in front of a relatively subdued crowd of 21,910 on Monday

WHAT'S NEXT
Marlins: Miami will hand the ball to another left-handed rookie on Tuesday at Miller Park, as Conley is set to take the mound. In two starts this season, Conley has posted a 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 innings. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.

Brewers: Right-hander Tyler Cravy is still seeking his first Major League victory as he enters his sixth appearance and fifth start for the Brewers on Tuesday night at 7:10 CT. Cravy has been effective his first two times through opposing order, but hitters are batting .450 and slugging 1.100 the third time up.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. Brandon Curry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.