Final

Series: Game 3 of 4

Florida leads 2-1 (as of 7/22)

Game 1: Thursday, July 20
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Florida3
Game 2: Friday, July 21
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Florida4
Game 3: Saturday, July 22
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Game 4: Sunday, July 23
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Pirates 0

(35-64, 11-38 away)

Marlins 5

(44-52, 24-24 home)

    6:05 PM ET, July 22, 2006

    Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

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    PIT 000000000 0 4 2
    FLA 20001002 - 5 11 0

    W: R. Nolasco (8-6)

    L: K. Wells (0-5)

    Nolasco keeps up Marlins' rookie success against Bucs

    MIAMI (AP) -- The Florida Marlins got another impressive performance from a young pitcher.

    Rookie Ricky Nolasco allowed four hits in 7 1/3 innings and struck out seven, leading the Marlins over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0 on Saturday.

    Nolasco (8-6) walked two and matched his career high in strikeouts. He also fanned seven on June 3 at Colorado.

    Nolasco joins fellow rookies Josh Johnson (8-5) and Scott Olsen (8-4) with eight wins. The last team to have three rookies each record eight-plus wins was the 2003 Arizona Diamondbacks: Oscar Villareal (10-7), Brandon Webb (10-9), and Stephen Randolph (8-1).

    "I wanted to be aggressive and throw first-pitch strikes and put pressure on their hitters," Nolasco said. "It's all about confidence and working through things, not getting too high or too low, and that's what I've been doing."

    With one out in the eighth, Nolasco walked pinch-hitter Joe Randa. Taylor Tankersley relieved Nolasco and retired the next two hitters before Chris Resop worked the ninth to finish the four-hitter.

    "Ricky was outstanding," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. "He was attacking the zone and getting his breaking ball over. He did everything well tonight."

    Kip Wells (0-5) gave up 10 hits and three runs while walking three and striking out two in 5 2/3 innings. He has lost 18 of his last 21 decisions.

    The 29-year-old Wells missed the start of the season with a blocked artery in his right arm. He made his first start on June 20 at Kansas City. His last win was on October 1, 2005, against Milwaukee.

    "I got into some trouble and gave up a fair amount of hits, but I was able to stay out of a big inning," Wells said. "For me, it was a tough game to pitch. I battled the heat and was pretty much wet all night. They got a couple of runs that were hard to swallow."

    The Marlins took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Alfredo Amezaga singled with one out and moved to third on a groundout.

    Mike Jacobs then hit a fly to right-center. Right fielder Nate McLouth initially seemed to wave off center fielder Jose Bautista, but then stopped. Bautista lunged for the ball but it fell in for a triple that scored Amezaga. Jacobs scored on Jeremy Hermida's double.

    "I called off my right fielder and then when I saw he wasn't coming, I froze," Bautista said. "I took my eye off the ball."

    Florida increased its lead to 3-0 in the fifth. Miguel Cabrera singled to open the inning and went to third on Jacobs' single. He scored on Cody Ross' sacrifice fly to right field.

    "Our pitching is keeping us in this thing now," Jacobs said. "We're jumping out in front early and that's making our pitching better."

    A two-out double by Pittsburgh's Sean Casey and a walk to Bautista put runners on first and second in the fourth, but Nolasco struck out Jose Castillo to end the threat.

    The Marlins had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Cabrera hit a flyball to center field and Bautista tried to make a one-handed catch but dropped the ball, allowing both runs to score to make the score 5-0.

    "Kip pitched extremely well tonight and did a very fine job," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "Offensively, we haven't done a whole lot over the course of the last couple games. Defensively, we hurt ourselves, which directly contributed to four of their five runs."

    Game Notes
    Cabrera has hit safely in five straight games after being in a 2-for-29 slump. ... Nolasco had his first multihit game. ... Pittsburgh starters had gone at least six innings in three consecutive games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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