Although he advanced to second on a throwing error, Nicolino had his finger pinched by the pitch. He remained in the game to run, but he was replaced by Dustin McGowan in the fourth inning.
"Bases loaded and one out, I thought I saw the bunt sign," Nicolino said. "It wasn't on. Right there, bonehead play by myself. It's fine. When I looked down at first and took off the glove, it was really black and blue."
An X-ray came back negative. Nicolino was dealing with a blood blister, which was burst between innings. Nicolino is confident he will make his next start, but the Marlins will first wait to see how he feels in a day or two.
"The ball got his bat and the finger," manager Don Mattingly said. "We'll see where he's at tomorrow."
The Marlins have to make a roster move before Thursday's game against the D-backs because lefty Jeff Locke is coming off the disabled list to make the start.
The play was clumsy in a number of ways: Nicolino's bunt wasn't far from the plate. Catcher Cameron Rupp retrieved it, stepped on home plate and tried to double off Nicolino at first base.
The high throw, however, sailed into right field for an error. Nicolino advanced to second, then showed discomfort. After a visit from Mattingly and the training staff, Nicolino remained in the game to run the bases.
Nicolino, making his third start and first since May 19 at the Dodgers, would have been in line for the win had he gone five innings, with his team up 7-0.
"He looked good," Mattingly said. "It looked like he had his changeup working. They are a club with multiple switch-hitters, but they have not hit the lefties good. He looked like he was moving the ball around. They look like a club that has been struggling a little bit offensively. That only lasts so long. You don't know when that breaks open. Our job is to keep taking advantage of that."
Nicolino didn't allow a hit, and the only baserunner was Freddy Galvis, who reached on shortstop J.T. Riddle's throwing error. Of his 40 pitches, 31 were strikes.
"It's very frustrating," Nicolino said. "To be taken out of the game on a play I'm hitting, very frustrating. I felt great all night, even in the 'pen. It's one of those things that irks me a little bit. We had a great mix going. We were using all of our pitches, we were locating, getting quick outs. For me, that's my game right there."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.