Justin Nicolino threw eight great innings for the Zephyrs as the team posted their third straight win, this one over the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics), 3-1.
Just one week after a bad start against the Memphis Redbirds, it was good for Miami Marlins fans to see Nicolino back in good form. Nicolino is an obvious choice to receive a role on the rotation depending on whether Mat Latos or Dan Haren - or both of them - are dealt prior to the July 31 MLB trade deadline. Nicolino's presence on the 2015 rotation for remainder of the year should, in the eyes of many, help give him the MLB level experience he needs to be a strong contributor to the 2016 rotation.
Nashville's only run on Nicolino was done in decidedly small ball fashion. Jason Pridie singled, then stole second before advancing to third on a ground out. He scored on a Nate Frieman ground out to third.
Nicolino pitched in his typical style - he came right out after hitters challenging them but didn't dominate them with overwhelming velocity or movement. He worked the strike zone hard throwing 67 of his season high 108 pitches for strikes. He struck out three and walked two. His ERA for the club stands at 3.43.
For the Zephyrs offense, Isaac Galloway came up with a big RBI triple in the fifth that scored Austin Nola. Galloway also scored on the play because of an errant throw to third by Sounds' center fielder Craig Gentry. Marcell Ozuna, also Marlins tradebait, helped the Zephyrs win for the second time in three games. This time in the top of the ninth, Ozuna hit a blast into the left field seats that gave the Zephyrs a 3-1 lead. Ozuna has been red hot for the Zephyrs hitting in 12 of 15 games, buoying a Zephyrs team that is towards the bottom of the Pacific Coast League in terms of offensive output.
Ozuna's continued presence in AAA is confounding. He was once seen as a bedrock part of the Marlins outfield, now it is very much unclear what the future, if there is one with the organization, holds for him.