Just three days prior, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a deal with the Miami Marlins for starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco in exchange for three minor-league pitchers. Nolasco began his Dodger career on a strong note, earning a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The right-hander went seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out five. He earned his first win for the Dodgers and improved to 6-8 on the season. Nolasco even went 2-2 at the plate with an RBI. The newest Dodger helped the team pull to within 2.5 games of the first-place Diamondbacks.
The Dodger offense got to Diamondbacks’ starter Ian Kennedy for six runs in 5.2 innings. It was Kennedy’s first start against the Dodgers since he was ejected for hitting Zack Greinke with a pitch and starting a brawl. The Dodgers did their damage in small spurts, scoring at least one run in four innings. Nolasco got the scoring started with an RBI single in the second inning to drive in A.J. Ellis. Skip Schumaker added a run-scoring groundout in the fourth to put the team up 2-0.
The Dodgers added two more in the fifth when Adam Eaton dropped a deep fly ball to center field off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez that scored Nolasco and Carl Crawford. Gonzalez drove in two more in the sixth with a two-run single. The Dodger first baseman ended the night with three RBI and Crawford scored twice out of the leadoff spot for the team. Yasiel Puig finished 1-3 to keep his average over .400 over a month after he made his debut. Ethier added two hits in center field for the injured Matt Kemp.
Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch early in the game but it was not taken as intentional, then Ronald Belisario hit Miguel Montero in the bottom of the ninth. Nothing happened and the benches stayed put.
The win improved the Dodgers to 44-45 and one game closer to catching the Diamondbacks.
Here are the highlights from Nolasco’s strong debut: