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MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins’ offense is so bad it’s hurting the team’s pitching.
Manager Mike Redmond blamed poor run support for Ricky Nolasco’s uncharacteristic bout of wildness Tuesday night in a 6-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
Nolasco walked consecutive batters with the bases loaded in the second inning, then grooved a pitch that Xavier Paul whacked for a three-run double.
“It kind of stems from our offense,” Redmond said. “He knows he can’t give up much. He’s trying to be perfect. He ends up walking a couple of guys.”
Redmond batted rookies Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna third and fourth, but the strategy failed to jump-start an offense ranked last in the majors in runs, batting average and homers.
Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey pitched a six-hitter to earn his first victory since April 5. Miami has totaled three runs in Nolasco’s past three starts.
The Marlins, who have the NL’s worst record, lost their third game in a row and fell to 5-12 at home.
Nolasco (2-5) gave up six runs in five innings. Cincinnati scored five times in the second, all with two outs.
“One out away — frustrating,” Nolasco said. “I’ve been doing a good job of staying away from that big crooked inning all year but it got me today.”
The Reds climbed a season-best seven games above .500 as they began a nine-game trip.
Bailey (2-3) tied a career high with 10 strikeouts and walked none in his fourth complete game. He was glad to give the Reds’ relievers a break.
“They’ve been griping at me,” he said. “The last couple of games I only went five or six. It’s about time I gave them a day off.”
The right-hander has endured spotty run support this season, but the Reds scored five times in the second inning to go ahead 6-1.
“With that kind of lead I was just trying to be really aggressive,” Bailey said.
He retired his final eight batters and allowed only four hits over the final 8 2-3 innings.
“He worked with tremendous control,” Miami’s Adeiny Hechavarria said. “He located the pitches where he wanted and fooled us several times.”
Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips, who began the night tied for the NL lead in RBIs, drove in two runs. Joey Votto knocked in a run and had three hits to hike his average to .322. Ryan Hanigan added two hits to raise his average to .149.
Cincinnati broke the game open in the second. Nolasco hit Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch and, after the Reds loaded the bases, walked Votto and Phillips to force in runs.
“I didn’t do a good job of slowing the game down,” Nolasco said. “I couldn’t get those strikes to Phillips. The walk to Votto — the guy gives me good at-bats. I was upset with the Phillips at-bat. I couldn’t find the zone when I needed to.”
After allowing the walks, Nolasco grooved a 3-1 pitch to Paul, who hit a three-run double.
A five-run lead was plenty for Bailey.
“Homer to me has turned into one of those guys where you could maybe consider him the ace of your staff,” Votto said. “He has consistently gotten better over his career, and it’s really impressive to see him improve and grow.”
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