MIAMI (AP) — Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen wasn’t sure how Ricky Nolasco pulled off this win.
Nolasco overcame nine hits in five innings as he snapped a five-game losing streak by allowing just two runs in a 7-3 win for the Miami Marlins over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.
“I think Ricky was surrounded by Houdini because I don’t know how he did it,” Guillen said. “And David Copperfield tried to help him, too, because it was hard to watch.”
Nolasco (9-11) struck out Matt Kemp in the second inning to get out of a bases-loaded jam and induced two double-plays to prevent a big inning to earn his first victory since July 6 at St. Louis.
“It’s funny how the game goes,” Nolasco said. “Sometimes you pitch well enough to win and you lose. Sometimes you have no business being in the game and you just find ways. I was just trying to find a way, limit the damage, and the offense came through to put up some big runs.”
Carlos Lee hit one of the Marlins’ season-high five doubles and drove in two runs to lead the Miami offensive attack. Lee is hitting .485 (16 for 33) with runners in scoring position since being acquired in a trade from the Astros on July 5 and has 25 RBIs during that time.
“Carlos is an RBI machine,” Guillen said. “That’s the reason why he made a lot of money over his career.”
Matt Kemp had three hits, stole two bases, and drove in a run for the Dodgers.
Shane Victorino bounced into a fielder’s choice to drive in the Dodgers’ first run and Andre Ethier’s RBI single gave Los Angeles a 2-0 lead.
Dodgers starter Joe Blanton (8-10) allowed just one hit through four innings before running into trouble in the fifth.
“He had a good mix of stuff going, but we stuck with it and continued to have good at-bats and made him pay when it counted,” Miami’s John Buck said.
Miami overcame the two-run deficit in the pivotal inning when they scored four runs keyed by consecutive doubles from Donovan Solano, Nick Green, and Buck. Green and Buck drove in runs to tie game 2-all as the crowd of 27,681 erupted for the home squad.
“It’s awesome,” Nolasco said. “This crowd is so much funner when we’re hitting and scoring runs. It gets so loud and the hitters feed off of it. We haven’t heard that in a while, but it was fun.”
Two batters later Gorkys Hernandez laid down a successful squeeze bunt, which gave the Marlins a 3-2 lead and Justin Ruggiano followed with an RBI single.
“Started the fifth with a strikeout and then they hit two rollers right down the line that got through — that started the inning,” Blanton said. “I made one or two mistakes after that, it happened quick. It was kind of like, ‘What just happened?'”
Blanton allowed four runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out three.
“He’s rolling along, his pitch count is down and you’re thinking he’s got a chance to go deep,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It seemed like he was doing what he wanted with the baseball and all of a sudden the switch got flipped and he couldn’t keep them from hitting the ball hard. The whole game flipped right there.”
Lee’s double off the left-center field wall against Brandon League in the eighth gave Miami a 6-2 cushion. Solano’s base hit to right scored Lee.
Kemp’s RBI groundout in the ninth capped the scoring.
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