The problem is that Cincinnati's Homer Bailey is struggling away from home.
Those starters match up Tuesday night in Miami when the surging Reds and Marlins begin a three-game set that will complete the season series.
Cincinnati (22-16) has won seven of nine and has to like its chances against Nolasco (2-4, 3.72 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 6.46 ERA in four home starts versus the Reds - who have batted .337 while winning all of those games.
Miami (11-27) is 2-6 in Nolasco's starts this season. The right-hander, though, turned in one of his best efforts Wednesday as he gave up one run over seven innings with a season-high nine strikeouts in a 1-0 loss at San Diego.
"I've been making some adjustments between starts, and I'm getting closer and closer to where I used to be," Nolasco told the Marlins' official website. "It's time to turn it up on my behalf. I've got to dig deep."
Bailey (1-3, 3.83), meanwhile, has posted a 6.23 ERA in losing all three 2013 road outings. He's winless in his last six starts overall after allowing four runs in five innings last Tuesday in a 5-4 victory over Atlanta.
The right-hander gave up two runs over six innings April 21 and did not receive a decision in a 10-6 win over Miami. This will be his first start at Marlins Park after going 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA in two previous road starts in this series.
Cincinnati outscored Miami 25-11 in winning three of four last month. Joey Votto went 8 for 17 with two homers and four RBIs and Shin-Soo Choo was 8 for 14 with four extra-base hits.
Votto is 6 for 20 against Nolasco while Choo has never faced the Miami starter.
Cincinnati only needed six hits in Sunday's 5-1 victory that completed a sweep of Milwaukee. Rookie Donald Lutz had the big blow with a three-run homer.
"What can I say, a win's a win," manager Dusty Baker said. "I'd like everybody to hit because that makes it exciting and makes it a lot easier on our pitching staff but as long as we score one more run than they score (it's OK)."
Jay Bruce has not driven in a run over seven straight games against Miami, but he's recorded 10 of his 21 RBIs over his last nine games.
The punchless Marlins remain last in the majors with 2.8 runs per game. They are expected to reinstate catcher Jeff Mathis from the disabled list Tuesday, but Mathis is a career .198 hitter so he likely won't help alleviate those woes."We're pitching on pins and needles," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's tough on the bullpen and tough on your offense."
Justin Ruggiano leads the Marlins with seven homers and 16 RBIs, but he's failed to go deep at home - where he owns a .261 slugging percentage.
|April 27, 2013||Chris Heisey||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 27, 2013||Chris Heisey||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained hamstring|
|April 24, 2013||Manny Parra||15-Day DL||Strained left pectoral muscle|
|April 22, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||Day-to-Day||Bruised right hand|
|April 20, 2013||Zack Cozart||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right hand|
|April 20, 2013||Ryan Hanigan||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 08, 2013||Chris Valaika||15-Day DL||Fractured left wrist|
|May 06, 2013||Donovan Solano||15-Day DL||Strained left intercostal muscle|
|April 30, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 29, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right hamstring|
|April 28, 2013||Joe Mahoney||15-Day DL||Hamstring strain|
|April 17, 2013||Adeiny Hechavarria||15-Day DL||Bruised left elbow|
MIAMI (AP) -- One pitch from being pulled, and one strike from victory, Homer Bailey unleashed a 97 mph fastball to finish off the Marlins.
With his 125th pitch - a career high - Bailey completed a six-hitter and helped the Cincinnati Reds extend their winning streak to four games by beating Miami 6-2 Tuesday night.
Bailey went to a full count on the final batter, Greg Dobbs , and wouldn't have faced another, manager Dusty Baker said.
"We were counting pitches in the ninth inning," Baker said. "We were like, `Come on, Homer. Quit fouling them off, Dobbs."'
Dobbs finally lined out weakly, and Bailey earned his first victory since April 5. The Reds climbed a season-best seven games above .500 as they began a nine-game trip.
The Marlins, who have the NL's worst record, lost their third game in a row and fell to 5-12 at home.
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."
A brief, uncharacteristic bout of wildness proved costly for Ricky Nolasco (2-5), who gave up six runs in five innings. He hit a batter with a pitch and walked two - both with the bases loaded.
Xavier Paul hit a three-run double for the Reds. Brandon Phillips , who began the night tied for the NL lead in RBIs, drove in two runs.
Joey Votto drove in a run and had three hits to hike his average to .322. Ryan Hanigan added two hits to raise his average to .149.
Miami 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.
The Marlins have totaled three runs in Nolasco's past three starts. Manager Mike Redmond blamed the feeble attack for Nolasco's costly bases on balls.
"It kind of stems from our offense, with him going out there he knows he can't give up much," Redmond said. "He's trying to be perfect; he ends up walking a couple of guys."
Cincinnati broke the game open in the second inning, when they scored five times with two outs. Nolasco hit Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch and, after the Reds loaded the bases, walked Votto and Phillips to force in runs.
Nolasco then grooved a 3-1 pitch to Paul, who hit a three-run double.
"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."
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."
NOTES: With a temperature of 77 degrees at game time, the retractable roof was open for the ninth time this season. It was open only eight times last year. ... Reds OF Chris Heisey , who is on the disabled list, aggravated a strained right hamstring Monday playing for Double-A Pensacola. His projected date to rejoin the team was pushed back to next week. ... Cincinnati LHP Manny Parra , on the DL with a strained left pectoral muscle, began a rehab assignment Monday with Pensacola and threw one scoreless inning. ... The Reds flipped RHP Mat Latos and LHP Tony Cingrani in the rotation to give the latter extra rest as he deals with shoulder soreness. Latos will now start the series finale Thursday, and Cingrani will pitch Friday in Philadelphia. ... Reds RF Jay Bruce , who had played in every game, was given the night off. ... The Marlins began the homestand averaging 18,865 fans per game, which ranked ahead of three other teams: Oakland, Tampa Bay and Cleveland.