Control is usually Ricky Nolasco’s strong suit, so he was surprised to walk three batters in the first inning. Then he hit two in a row in the fifth, including the pitcher with the bases loaded.
Poor command resulted in Nolasco’s shortest outing and first loss of the season Saturday, when the New York Mets beat the Miami Marlins 9-3.
”I apologize to my teammates,” Nolasco said. ”It was pretty ugly, and something I haven’t done that ugly before.”
Nolasco (4-1) missed a chance to break the Marlins’ record for career victories by earning his 69th win. Instead, he endured his 52nd defeat, allowing six runs in 4 2-3 innings.
Nolasco gave up nine hits, walked three and hit consecutive batters, including pitcher R.A. Dickey.
”This one was on me completely,” Nolasco said. ”I took us out of the game.”
David Wright homered and singled three times in his fourth consecutive multi-hit game, and Dickey earned his fifth victory by pitching six innings.
The Marlins lost for only the second time in their past 11 games, while the Mets have won six of seven.
Wright singled home a run in the first inning, hit his fourth homer in the third, singled and scored in the sixth, and added an RBI single in the ninth. He pulled his single in the first, and the other hits were to the opposite field with a variety of trajectories.
”Groundballs, home runs, bloopers, line drives,” Nolasco said. ”He’s hot. David Wright is a great hitter, and he has done it for a long time.”
Wright finished 4 for 6 and raised his batting average to an NL-best .402. His on-base percentage of .489 leads the majors.
”At the end of the year, David Wright is going to have some stinking really good numbers,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Dickey (5-1) gave up two runs and has allowed only seven in his past four starts. The knuckleballer earned a painful RBI when he was hit on his pitching hand in the fifth inning with the bases loaded. He received a visit from a trainer but stayed in the game and threw another two innings.
”I was thankful that it hit me in the meatier part of the wrist, but you just never know,” Dickey said. ”We’ll see how it feels in the morning.”
Andres Torres had a two-run single in the fifth to knock Nolasco out of the game. Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy each contributed three of the Mets’ 16 hits.
The Marlins went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and are batting .199 in those situations, worst in the majors. They had two runners tagged out between second and third.
”I hope the kids don’t watch this,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. ”It’s not the way to run the bases.”
The Mets have been winning lately with comebacks, but this time they led from the first. Nolasco walked three in the inning and gave up an RBI single to Wright.
”The game started very ugly,” Guillen said. ”Ricky was very wild. He didn’t have any control.”
Catcher’s interference by Brett Hayes prolonged the Mets’ fourth inning, allowing them to score a run. With runners at second and third with two out, Torres flied out, but his swing knocked the glove off Hayes’ hand. Torres was awarded first base, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with an RBI single.
Wright singled in the sixth and later scored on Daniel Murphy’s single to put the Mets ahead 7-1.
The Marlins scored in the second inning when their first three batters singled. Gaby Sanchez’s hit drove in the run.
Giancarlo Stanton doubled home a run in the sixth and Hanley Ramirez had an RBI double in the seventh. Marlins newcomer Jose Reyes, the reigning NL batting champion, had four hits and hiked his average to .256 after a slow start this season.
”I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m getting close,” he said. ”When I play at the top of my game, I’m going to help this club win a lot more games.”
Notes: Wright improved his average against Nolasco to .400 (24 for 60) with five homers. … Wright is batting .478 on the road. … The Mets’ Mike Baxter doubled in the ninth to improve his average as a pinch hitter to .438 (7 for 16). … Omar Infante is hitting .190 lifetime (4 for 21) against Sunday’s starter for the Mets, Jonathon Niese.