That could bode well for the Atlanta Braves , who have had his number over the years.
Set to make what might be his final start for Miami, Nolasco tries to avoid a fifth consecutive loss to a Braves team that may be without B.J. Upton.
Nolasco's name has continuously come up in trade rumors over the last few weeks, and it seems likely he'll be moved sooner rather than later. The right-hander is the club's all-time leader in wins (80), innings pitched (1,218 2-3) and strikeouts (994), but he's being shopped with the Marlins (30-52) unlikely to contend.
"You read about it; you see it on the Internet," he told MLB's official website. "But my job is to focus on what I have to do every fifth day."
Nolasco (4-8, 3.93 ERA) may have been distracted by the rumors in Friday's 9-2 loss to San Diego, allowing six runs and a season-high 11 hits in a season low-tying five innings.
"Whether I pitched good or bad tonight, I don't think that's going to dictate what kind of pitcher I am, or who I've been, or what they're going to get," he said. "There is nothing I can do but just continue on trying to make quality pitches."
The 30-year-old Nolasco hasn't faced the Braves (49-34) this year but has mostly struggled against them, going 5-10 - his most losses against any team - with a 5.34 ERA in 22 starts. He's 0-4 with a 7.07 ERA in his last five outings in the series.
Upton is just 2 for 13 against Nolasco, but he could be held out after leaving Tuesday's 11-3 victory due to left forearm spasms. He's listed as day to day.
The Braves' win was their eighth in a row in the series, a stretch during which they've outscored the Marlins 40-10. Justin Upton , Freddie Freeman , McCann and Chris Johnson went a combined 11 for 17 with six RBIs and eight runs for Atlanta, which collected a season-high 16 hits - none of which left the yard. The Braves improved to 5-25 when failing to homer.
"I was just trying to pick up the guys in front of me and I think that's the mark of a good ballclub," said Johnson, who has batted .458 as the Braves have won six of seven.
Atlanta, which has hit .348 and scored 31 runs during a four-game winning streak, owns the majors' best home record at 28-11.
The Braves give the ball to Mike Minor (8-3, 2.98), who is 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA in his last three starts. The left-hander surrendered three runs and a season high-tying nine hits in six innings last Wednesday in a 4-3, 10-inning loss at Kansas City.
"It's one of those things where I felt I was making good pitches again," he said.
Minor threw 5 2-3 innings of five-hit ball in an 8-0 win at Miami on April 10, improving to 2-1 with a 1.27 ERA in his last four matchups in the series. Giancarlo Stanton is 2 for 9 against him, though both hits were homers.
|June 25, 2013||Justin Ruggiano||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|June 09, 2013||Chris Coghlan||15-Day DL||Right calf irritation|
|June 09, 2013||Casey Kotchman||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 27, 2013||Alex Sanabia||15-Day DL||Right groin discomfort|
|May 19, 2013||Matt Diaz||15-Day DL||Left knee bone contusion|
|May 08, 2013||Chris Valaika||15-Day DL||Fractured left wrist|
|July 02, 2013||B.J. Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - left forearm spasms|
|June 18, 2013||Evan Gattis||15-Day DL||Oblique strain|
|June 17, 2013||Ramiro Pena||15-Day DL||Right shoulder impingement|
|May 29, 2013||Kris Medlen||Day-to-Day||Left game - left upper calf contusion|
|May 18, 2013||Eric O'Flaherty||15-Day DL||Left elbow surgery - out for season|
|May 13, 2013||B.J. Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left shoulder contusion|
ATLANTA (AP) -- Ricky Nolasco is trying to block out speculation he may soon be traded.
The right-hander's focus served him well against an Atlanta team that has given him the most trouble in his career.
Nolasco tossed seven strong innings, Justin Ruggiano hit a three-run homer and the Miami Marlins beat the Braves 6-3 on Wednesday night.
Nolasco managed a laugh when asked if it has become easier to deal with the possibility he could be traded from Miami, perhaps before he can make another start.
"Easier?" he asked, apparently surprised by the question.
"It is what it is," Nolasco said. "It's been going on for a while. I'm not believing anything, I'm trying not to read anything until something actually happens or if it happens.
"I'm just trying to block it out as much as I can, going out there and just trying to go every fifth day and eat up as many innings as I can and give us a chance to win. Whatever happens, happens is my mindset on it. I think that's been helping me out."
Nolasco (5-8) allowed only two runs on six hits. He had no walks with seven strikeouts, giving him 1,001 for his career. The 1,000th strikeout came against Brian McCann to end the sixth with a runner on third. McCann hit a homer - the eighth of his career off Nolasco - in the fourth.
"It's kind of funny the 1,000th K would be against the guy that has given me the most problems throughout my whole career, so at least I can say that," Nolasco said.
Nolasco had one of the biggest at-bats of the game, a two-out walk in the fifth that set up Ruggiano's homer.
"Two-out walk to the pitcher," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "If it's not in the rule book, it should be written in the rule book."
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. Minor said the wet balls were a factor in his key walk to Nolasco.
"I was trying to throw the ball right down the middle and I walked him," Minor said.
"It was some of the balls I was getting back. I really didn't complain about it because both pitchers are pitching in it. No matter what ball I got back, it was still wet from being on the side."
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 victory 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 improved to 6-10 in his career against Atlanta. He holds the Marlins' franchise record with 81 career wins.
"He made his pitches," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond . "It was fun to watch him. I know it wasn't easy, but he battled. That pretty much sums up Ricky."
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.