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Florida at Tampa Bay

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Florida (37-32) «0300300219101
Tampa Bay (40-29)000011001371

Nolasco fans 12 in near-miss of CG, Marlins topple Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Fredi Gonzalez wanted a complete game as bad as Ricky Nolasco, so there was no hesitation in giving the young Florida Marlins pitcher an opportunity to pursue the first of his career.

"It would have been my first as a manager as well. I've never had one, so I guess we were both cheering hard for it," Gonzalez said Sunday after the Marlins stopped a three-game losing streak with a 9-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Nolasco fell an out shy of going the distance, but did throw more pitches -- 132 -- than any major leaguer this season in nearly posting Florida's first complete game since Anibal Sanchez went eight innings in a 2-1 loss at Atlanta on Sept. 16, 2006.

The Marlins have gone 245 games since their last complete game, the longest current streak in the majors and second-longest stretch ever behind the Washington Nationals' 261-game drought from Aug. 16, 2006 to May 31, 2008.

"Fredi gave me every chance," Nolasco said. "I just couldn't get that last out."

Nolasco (7-4) yielded three runs and six hits in 8 2/3 innings to win for the sixth time in his past seven decisions and tie Mark Hendrickson for the team lead in victories. The right-hander struck out a career-high 12 and walked one.

Mike Jacobs and Wes Helms both homered off Edwin Jackson (4-6), who made his last start before he's expected to begin serving a five-game suspension for his part in Tampa Bay's bench-clearing brawl at Boston on June 5.

The victory stopped Florida's three-game skid and prevented the Rays from sweeping the weekend Citrus Series. The intrastate foes, who've never truly developed a rivalry, meet again next week in Miami.

"That's our goal, and it's wonderful that we're disappointed," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said of the wasted opportunity to take all three games of the series. "That's something that hasn't happened here in the past. The expectations have been raised."

The Rays scored on Jason Bartlett's RBI single in the fifth and Eric Hinske's 12th homer in the sixth before adding an unearned run in the ninth off Nolasco, who retired the first two batters in the inning before running out of gas.

The Florida starter walked Evan Longoria and gave up a single to Cliff Floyd before being replaced by Joe Nelson. Hanley Ramirez mishandled a grounder for an error that loaded the bases, then Gabe Gross singled to drive in the other run charged to Nolasco.

The Marlins don't expect the high pitch count to have an adverse effect on Nolasco, who is 6-1 over his his last eight appearances following a 1-3 start. His 12 strikeouts were the most by a Florida pitcher since Dontrelle Willis fanned 12 in a complete game against Philadelphia on Sept. 10, 2006.

"Normally I don't like to push guys past 125, but he deserved the chance," Gonzalez said, noting the Marlins have an off day Thursday, meaning the 25-year-old right-hander will have an extra day of rest between starts.

"I threw more than that in high school. I threw 188 there," Nolasco said. "But that was only pitching once a week. ... I'll be fine, and I'll recover fine."

The Marlins only had five hits off Jackson, but made the most of them. The Rays starter hurt himself by walking two batters ahead of Helms' first homer since May 17 in the second inning, and Jeremy Hermida and Jorge Cantu singled with two outs before Jacobs' 16th homer put Florida up 6-0 in the fifth.

Florida began the day leading the major leagues with 101 homers, but had not hit one in three games. Before the stretch Helms ended, the Marlins had not gone consecutive games without a homer this season.

Cody Ross had a two-run triple in the eighth and Cantu added an RBI single in the ninth.

Notes

  • Marlins RHP Josh Johnson, who had Tommy John surgery last August, made his first rehab start Saturday, yielding two runs on eight hits and striking out seven in five innings for Class A Greensboro. He's expected to make his next rehab start for Class A Jupiter.
  • The Rays stole eight bases in the series, boosting their major league-leading total to 80.
  • Designated hitter has not been a real productive spot for the Marlins. Jacobs' homer was just the 10th a Florida DH has hit in 94 interleague road games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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After 132 pitches, Ricky Nolasco doesn't go the distance but does get his seventh win. (Getty Images)
After 132 pitches, Ricky Nolasco doesn't go the distance but does get his seventh win. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Florida

M. Jacobs
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Florida

R. Nolasco
IP 8.2
H 6
ER 2
BB 1
K 12
 
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS5100010 .288
Jeremy Hermida, RF3120200 .266
Jorge Cantu, 1B5121001 .288
Mike Jacobs, DH5123002 .241
Dan Uggla, 2B4100103 .285
Luis Gonzalez, LF2110210 .274
    Alfredo Amezaga, PR-CF1100002 .240
Wes Helms, 3B3223010 .250
Cody Ross, CF-LF4012012 .222
Mike Rabelo, C4000021 .206
Totals36910956  
Batting
3B - Cody Ross (1, Glover)
HR - Mike Jacobs (16, Jackson), Wes Helms (4, Jackson)
RBI - Jorge Cantu (40), Mike Jacobs 3 (42), Wes Helms 3 (20), Cody Ross 2 (27)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Jacobs 3 (26), Cody Ross 2 (12)
SB - Dan Uggla (4, 2nd base off Jackson/Navarro)
PK - Jeremy Hermida (1, Jackson)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Hanley Ramirez (11, Misplayed grounder)
Florida Marlins
Ricky Nolasco (W,7-4) 8.26321121 4.35
Joe Nelson 0.1100000 1.69
Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 132-86, Joe Nelson 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 3-11, Joe Nelson 1-1
Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 33, Joe Nelson 3
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4010001 .273
Willy Aybar, 1B4000001 .262
B.J. Upton, CF4000031 .293
Eric Hinske, LF4111021 .250
Evan Longoria, 3B3100120 .249
Cliff Floyd, DH4020010 .268
Dioner Navarro, C4110011 .327
Gabe Gross, RF4011022 .233
Jason Bartlett, SS4011013 .249
Totals35373112  
Batting
2B - Cliff Floyd (3, Nolasco), Dioner Navarro (11, Nolasco)
HR - Eric Hinske (12, Nolasco)
RBI - Eric Hinske (34), Gabe Gross (17), Jason Bartlett (17)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Hinske (10), Gabe Gross (8), Jason Bartlett (10)
SB - Akinori Iwamura (4, 2nd base off Nolasco/Rabelo)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Miller-Iwamura-Aybar
E - Jason Bartlett (8, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
Edwin Jackson (L,4-6) 5566312 4.46
Grant Balfour 2000140 2.45
Trever Miller 0.2111100 4.26
Gary Glover 0.1211010 4.09
Jason Hammel 1210000 4.87
HBP - Helms (by Edwin Jackson)
WP - Edwin Jackson (6), Jason Hammel (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 101-61, Grant Balfour 29-18, Trever Miller 13-7, Gary Glover 9-7, Jason Hammel 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 6-7, Grant Balfour 2-0, Trever Miller 1-0, Jason Hammel 3-1
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 23, Grant Balfour 7, Trever Miller 3, Gary Glover 3, Jason Hammel 6
Game Information
Attendance - 28886
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Jim Wolf