Ricky Nolasco looked like an ace Wednesday night.

Too bad for Marlins fans he might be someone else’s ace before the week is out.

With constant chatter about an impending trade involving him serving as a backdrop to a rain-soaked, mid-week outing at Turner Field, the veteran right-hander had one of his best outings of the season. It turned out being one of the more memorable starts in Marlins history, too.

“He gave us a chance. He made his pitches,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “That pretty much sums up Ricky with the way he’s handled everything this year.”

Paced by seven strikeouts in a seven-inning, no-walk effort, Nolasco factored heavily in Miami’s 6-3 win over the division-leading Braves. One night after an 11-3 blowout loss, the victory has the Marlins entering Thursday’s series finale seeking their second consecutive series win. If they get it, this will only mark the second time this season they have claimed back-to-back series.

“We’ve taken a few tough losses, but we’ve always been able to bounce back,” Redmond said. “I always think that in this game, you’ve got to have a short-term memory. Our guys have been able to do that.”

Of all the strikeouts Nolasco had, the one he was asked most about after the game was his milestone-setting sixth one.

As the Marlins held onto a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Braves tried to post a two-out rally following Freddie Freeman’s single into left-center. Facing the thick of Atlanta’s order, Nolasco had a
tall task in order to prevent the base-hit from snowballing into something more.

To get his team out of the inning, he had to shut down Brian McCann, a power hitter who has owned Nolasco all his career. Two innings before, during McCann’s previous at-bat, the Atlanta catcher touched up the Marlins starter by lining a hard drive into the first row of seats beyond the right field fence. A two-pitch solo blast, the homer was the eighth McCann had hit off Nolasco; the most he has off any major-league pitcher.