MIAMI (AP) -
was three outs away from the first complete game of his major-league career - and from snapping a major league record for
The Marlins right-hander settled for a career-high 13 strike outs and a win.
Nolasco allowed three runs and four hits to win his first game since July 7,
hit a two-run homer and Florida beat the
5-3 on Saturday night.
''All that matters is that we won,'' Nolasco said.
Nolasco (11-6) didn't walk a batter before turning it over to
, who pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 30 chances.
''You've got to go with your guy in the ninth inning,'' Baker said, ''and it's been KG all year.''
Still, the Marlins have gone a big league-record 287 games since their last complete game on Sept. 16, 2006. Surely the thought
of sending Nolasco out there one more time crossed the mind of manager Fredi Gonzalez.
''I didn't want to let him run through that top of the lineup again, the meat of the lineup again, for the fourth time,''
Baker finished with three RBIs, his homer off Colorado starter Valerio De Los Santos giving the Marlins a 2-1 lead in the
second inning. Baker drove in another run in the third.
''I knew I got that one pretty good,'' Baker said of his home run. ''That's the best feeling in baseball, is when you get
a pitch and you hit it well and you know it's gone.''
De Los Santos (0-1) gave up three runs and four hits over four innings before he was replaced by
. The 35-year-old journeyman, who struck out eight, hasn't won since July 6, 2005. He was called up from Triple-A Colorado
Springs on Monday to make his first major league start in more than eight years.
''The big problem was control,'' De Los Santos said. ''I wasn't able to throw my fastball for a strike.''
The Marlins remained 1 1/2 games behind the
and moved a half-game ahead of the
New York Mets
in the NL East. Florida plays three-game sets against both clubs during a six-game swing through the Northeast beginning Tuesday.
For the second time this season,
homered twice against the Marlins. His first home run in the fourth made it 3-2, and his solo shot in the sixth inning made
''He's having good at-bats,'' Rockies manager
said. ''He's making his presence known throughout the lead. He's becoming a prime time player.''
tripled in the fifth, then scored on
' triple to put Florida ahead 4-2. It was the second time in four games that two Florida batters have tripled in the same
Willingham's RBI double in the sixth gave Florida a 5-3 advantage.
Colorado took a 1-0 lead in the first when
's sacrifice fly, but it was quickly erased by Baker's home run.
De Los Santos walked three consecutive batters in the third, but Florida's lone run that inning came when Willingham scored
on Baker's groundout to first base.