(AP) Nolasco keeps focus, Marlins beat Braves 6-3
By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
Ricky Nolasco tossed seven strong innings amid persistent trade rumors, Justin Ruggiano hit a three-run homer and the Miami Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Wednesday night.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said before the game that Nolasco has not been affected by trade speculation and the right-hander supported that claim by giving up only two runs on six hits.
Nolasco (5-8) had no walks with seven strikeouts, giving him 1,001 for his career.
The Braves led 2-0 before Ruggiano’s homer off Mike Minor (8-4) in the fifth. Miami added a run in the sixth when Placido Polanco singled and scored on Adeiny Hechavarria’s double. Jeff Mathis added a two-run double in the eighth.
There was steady rain but no delay in the game.
After Chad Qualls pitched a scoreless eighth, Mike Dunn gave up singles to Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla in the ninth. Closer Steve Cishek struck out B.J. Upton before giving up a run-scoring single to Chris Johnson. Cishek earned his 16th save when Tyler Pastornicky hit a grounder to the mound to end the game.
The Marlins got their first win in five games against the Braves this season and ended an eight-game losing streak in the NL East rivalry, dating to Sept. 19, 2012.
Nolasco improve to 6-10 in his career against Atlanta. He holds the Marlins franchise record with 81 career wins.
Minor couldn’t overcome a key walk.
Donovan Solano led off Miami’s fifth with a double to right field before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Minor struck out Hechavarria and Jeff Mathis before walking Nolasco. Ruggiano’s homer to left field gave the Marlins a 3-2 lead.
B.J. Upton led off the third with an infield single and scored on Andrelton Simmons’ single to right. Brian McCann pushed the lead to 2-0 by using a golf swing to line a low pitch from Nolasco over the right-field wall with one out in the fourth.
Minor gave up four runs on six hits and three walks in six innings. He has only one win in six starts since posting a 4-0 record and 1.98 ERA in May.
Each of Ruggiano’s 12 homers has come on the road. According to STATS and the SABR Home Run Log, that is tied for the seventh-most consecutive road homers to open a season. The record is 17 by Washington’s Goose Goslin in 1926. The Dodgers’ James Loney also hit his first 12 homers on the road in 2009.
NOTES: Redmond said 1B Logan Morrison was given a rest because his back was stiff following a collision at first base with Kris Medlen on Tuesday night. … Braves OF Jordan Schafer hit a groundout to second base as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He said he can jog but not run on his sore right ankle after fouling a ball off the ankle on June 26. He was limping after a pinch-hit single on Tuesday night. … Upton said he had no lingering symptoms after leaving Tuesday night’s game with left forearm spasms. … There is a forecast for more rain Thursday night when RHP Henderson Alvarez is scheduled to come off the disabled list and make his 2013 debut against Atlanta’s Julio Teheran. Alvarez has been recovering from right shoulder inflammation.