Ricky Nolasco did not have his best stuff on Tuesday night and that was apparent from the onset. Zack Cozart lined a double to left field with one out and score on a Brandon Phillips single. All together, Nolasco allowed one run on three hits in the first inning, but it would only get worse for Nolasco in the second.
In the bottom of the first, the Marlins tied the game after a Juan Pierre single and a Derek Dietrich single that drove in Pierre. Homer Bailey was than able to settle in and shut the Marlins lineup down.
Nolasco’s second inning was an epic disaster. After allowing a Ryan Hanigan single in between two outs, Nolasco unraveled and lost his usual strong control. Ricky hit Shin-Soo Choo and allowed a single to Cozart to load the bases. Nolasco then walked Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips back-to-back with the bases loaded to build the Reds lead to 3-1.
After a visit to the mound by the pitching coach, Nolasco allowed Xavier Paul to unload the bases on a double to left field, scoring Cozart, Votto, and Phillips to grow the Reds lead to 6-2. Nolasco was finally able to get out of the fifth inning when Todd Fraizer flew out to right field.
Nolasco was able to retire eight of the next nine hitters he faced, with the lone base runner being Phillips, who was promptly caught stealing by Rob Brantly. Even though Nolasco looked solid outside of the second inning, the Reds were able to run away with the game due to a phenomenal plate approach in the second.
Nolasco’s line for the night was 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO.
The good news, it looks like Nolasco is striking out hitters at a decent rate again, as he has struck out 14 in 12 innings in his previous two starts.
The only other real action came in the seventh inning when Adeiny Hechavarria tripled to center field and scored on a Rob Brantly sacrifice fly to right to cut the Reds lead to 6-2.
The Marlins would never threaten again in the game, as their last six hitters went down in order.