Nolasco lifts Marlins with strong outing vs. Crew

Nolasco lifts Marlins with strong outing vs. Crew

Nolasco lifts Marlins with strong outing vs. Crew
MIAMI -- The Marlins' all-time wins leader took on the role of stopper on Monday afternoon.

For the second straight start, Ricky Nolasco stepped up with an impressive performance. The right-hander allowed one earned run and three total in seven innings, and he drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt as the Marlins beat the Brewers, 7-3, in front of 22,391 at Marlins Park.

Nolasco's gem helped Miami snap a four-game losing streak. The Marlins' last win also was in a Nolasco start, on Aug. 28 when he went the distance in a 9-0 shutout over the Nationals.

"The last two outings for Ricky have been great," Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I'm glad to see that."

Nolasco (11-12) increased his Marlins' franchise-record win total to 75.

It wasn't a pain-free performance, however.

In the third inning, Nolasco received a scare when he was smacked on his right calf by a comebacker off the bat of Rickie Weeks. The shot left a nice bruise, but it didn't hinder his performance.

"I just waited for the burning and stuff to just kind of go away," Nolasco said. "It definitely didn't feel good. Those are things that are part of the game. You just continue to pitch through. There was no way I was going to come out in the third inning. It was good that we were able to get that lead. That definitely helped."

Nolasco struck out four and didn't walk a batter on a day he yielded nine hits.

"After [being hit], he threw the ball better," Guillen said.

Miami overcame an early two-run deficit to gain control with a five-run fourth inning.

Jose Reyes drove in three runs and stole a base. Rob Brantly went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

Heath Bell threw a scoreless eighth inning, and in the ninth inning, Mike Dunn recorded two quick strikeouts before issuing a double to Norichika Aoki and a walk to Weeks.

Steven Cishek entered for the one-out save, which he locked down when Ryan Braun tapped to second.

The Marlins tagged Mike Fiers, born in Hollywood, Fla., for five runs (four earned) on five singles in the fourth inning. About 45 family and friends were on hand to support Fiers.

"It was great that everyone came," the right-hander said. "I just wish I would've done a little bit better for my team and for my friends and family that came. It didn't work out that way."

In the game-changing fourth inning, Miami sent 10 to the plate. Reyes delivered a two-run single, which knocked Fiers out after 3 1/3 innings. Donnie Murphy and Donovan Solano added RBI hits in the inning.

"We had a big inning and caught a break here and there," Nolasco said. "That was big. We kept feeding off each other in that inning. It just gives everybody so much more confidence when we're able to put up innings like that. It carries out for the rest of the game."

The Marlins pulled off a squeeze bunt by Nolasco, who scored Brantly from third. Nolasco reached first on the play and was credited with an RBI after Fiers fanned on trying to make a glove flip to home plate.

"As soon as he put his glove on it, I was thinking it was an easy out," Guillen said. "When you try a safety squeeze, we don't have to make a perfect bunt."

Heading into Monday, the Marlins had lost eight of 10, and not much had gone the team's way.

They were able to cash in on four Milwaukee errors.

"I thought I had a chance at him so that's why I went for it," Fiers said. "It just went over my glove. I don't know how, it was weird, but I should've made that play and it cost me another run."

Fresh off the complete game against the Nationals, Nolasco had his string of 14 straight scoreless innings snapped in the second on Carlos Gomez's two-run homer that skimmed off the top of the wall in left field.

One of those runs was unearned, because Jonathan Lucroy reached on Murphy's fielding error at third base.

The runs were the first Nolasco allowed since giving up five in the first inning on Aug. 21 at Arizona.

The Marlins got on the board in the third, manufacturing a run. Gorkys Hernandez dropped a bunt single, and scored on Reyes' sacrifice fly to center.

In the seventh inning, the Brewers capitalized on Reyes' error, and scored an unearned run off Nolasco on Braun's two-out single.

But Nolasco was able to avoid further damage by getting Aramis Ramirez to bounce to shortstop for an inning-ending forceout.

"You try to make adjustments throughout the course of the year," Nolasco said. "Listen to your body and stuff like that. It's all about making pitches, and trying not to do too much. Just keep your team in the game as long as you can."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.