Apr 7, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (47) pitches during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
Hero Of The Game: Giancarlo Stanton (.371 WPA)
Goat Of The Game: Gaby Sanchez (-.111 WPA)
Play Of The Game: Giancarlo Stanton singled to center field in the top of the fifth inning, scoring Emilio Bonifacio and Jose Reyes.
On Saturday night, the Marlins earned their first win of the season behind timely hitting and a quality first start of the season from right-hander Ricky Nolasco. The Fish played well, defeating the Reds 8-3 in a ballpark that has not treated them well throughout the years.
After wasting two decent starts from both Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, the Marlins were determined to support Nolasco, who pitched eight solid innings while only giving up three earned runs on six hits and striking out five. Nolasco gave up homers to Joey Votto and Zack Cozart, but got out of trouble when necessary. When the Marlins had a 4-2 lead in the sixth, Votto came up with two on a only one out. Nolasco made a perfect pitch, getting Votto to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The Marlins' offense that scored only one run throughout their first two games put eight runs on the board, with half of those coming off of Reds starter Mat Latos.
"We are on the board now," third baseman Hanley Ramirez said.
Ramirez, who hit a two run homer to center, was not the only Marlins hitter that had a big night. Second baseman Omar Infante was a single away from the first cycle in Marlins' history, and Giancarlo Stanton went three for five with three RBIs. Logan Morrison, who drew multiple walks, and first baseman Gaby Sanchez were the only two Marlins in the starting lineup that did not end the night with at least one hit. John Buck also homered for the Fish.
The Marlins also put the game in motion, as Emilio Bonifacio stole second base twice, and shortstop Jose Reyes stole third. Heath Bell pitched a scoreless ninth inning to secure the win for the Marlins, their first of 2012.
The Marlins still have one game to play in Cincy, before heading to Philly to take on the reigning National League East champion Phillies. Carlos Zambrano will pitch for the Marlins on Sunday, with Anibal Sanchez, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle scheduled to pitch in Philly.