JUPITER, Fla. -- Ricky Nolasco is pounding the strike zone this spring, and Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez hopes the rest of his pitchers are paying attention.
Nolasco pitched six sharp innings and Florida beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Tuesday.Nolasco allowed one run and six hits, struck out three and walked none. The right-hander has 21 strikeouts and no walks in 20 innings over five spring starts, to go along with a 2.50 ERA."That's my goal every time I take the mound -- just throw strikes," he said. "I take pride in not walking guys. I've been feeling good enough where I've been able to fill the strike zone up. Hopefully this carries over into the season."Gonzalez said Nolasco takes pride in throwing strikes."I want all of our guys to take that route also," the manager said.Nolasco also picked off a runner and reached base twice, including an RBI single in the second inning.Jeremy Guthrie, projected to be Baltimore's No. 2 starter, allowed two runs and six hits over five innings in his best outing of the spring. The right-hander had allowed 10 runs over 6 1/3 innings in his previous two starts.Adam Jones homered for the Orioles.Marlins right fielder Cody Ross left in the bottom of the third inning with a cramp in his right calf. He is expected to be fine.Jorge Cantu, Florida's cleanup hitter, went 3 for 3 with an RBI single. Cantu said his goal for 2010 is to post his second straight year of at least 100 RBIs."The goal is one, zero, zero," said Cantu, who has seven RBIs in 12 games this spring. "This is definitely how I need to get ready. You have to take pride in spring training. I'm going to take same approach into the season and make every at-bat count."
Marlins C John Baker missed a second straight game because of an upset stomach. He is expected to travel to Fort Myers on Wednesday and serve as the designated hitter against the Minnesota Twins, then catch Thursday against the Red Sox. ... Marlins RHP Clay Hensley, trying to win the final rotation spot, will start Saturday against the Cardinals.