DENVER (AP) -- Rookie right-hander Ricky Nolasco settled for a satisfying blowout at Coors Field instead of his first shutout since high school.
Nolasco threw eight scoreless innings in the surging Florida Marlins' 13-0 rout of the slumping Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.While the Marlins were capping their eighth win in 11 games with a five-run ninth, manager Joe Girardi never reconsidered his decision to send Nolasco to the showers.'He'll get a chance to have a complete-game shutout in his career, and the way our team is playing it's not worth injuring a guy," Girardi said. "It's not worth pushing him his rookie
season. I think you have to be careful with pitch counts and I think you have to be careful with innings because it's the first time they're going to play an extra month."We expect a lot out of him and we want him sharp the whole year. To me, his future is much more important than any one game," he said.Nolasco, who had just two complete games and no shutouts in 100 minor-league starts, didn't mind watching left-hander Taylor Tankersley get the final three outs in his major-league debut."Of course, I'm going to say, 'Yeah, I could have thrown it,'" said Nolasco, who threw 108 pitches. "The skip's the skip and he makes the decisions. If he wants me to throw eight, I'll throw eight. If he wants me to throw nine, I'll throw nine."The Rockies suffered their worst shutout loss since Sept. 17, 2005, when they lost 17-0 to Florida. This was their biggest margin of defeat since Sept. 12, 2004, when they lost to San Diego 15-2."It's one loss," Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe said. "We got beat pretty good today, we're better than that."Afterward, the Rockies designated right-handed pitcher Sun-Woo Kim and infielder Jason Smith for assignment and recalled right-handed pitcher Scott Dohmann and infielder Omar Quintanilla from Triple-A Colorado Springs.Despite Quintanilla's promotion, Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said the Rockies are sticking with slumping shortstop Clint Barmes, whose 2-for-3 night raised his batting average to .205 -- about half of what it was at this time last summer."Today we told Barmes that he is our shortstop. We like how he plays the game and we have told him to keep it up. He will have a very special story to tell someday, and he is on the way out of this bad spot," Hurdle said.Alfredo Amezaga, Dan Uggla and Wes Helms homered for the Marlins and Nolasco (4-2) scattered eight hits, all singles, walked one and struck out a season-high seven. Since joining the rotation on May 17, Nolasco has gone 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA over four starts after compiling a 4.15 ERA out of the bullpen.Nolasco, who was a starter throughout his five seasons in the minor leagues, was staked to an early 2-0 lead on RBI singles by Mike Jacobs in the first and second innings before the Marlins capitalized on a warm, cloudy night at Coors Field with Amezaga hitting his first homer in two seasons and Uggla following with a 424-foot shot to the rock pile in dead center.Byung-Hyun Kim (3-3) had his worst performance of the season, sending the Rockies to their ninth loss in 11 games and fourth straight by allowing six earned runs on nine hits and two walks in five innings.The reeling Rockies fell below .500 (27-28) for the first time since April 6, when they were 1-2.The Marlins made it 5-0 in the fourth when Joe Borchard singled, Jeremy Hermida walked and Amezaga sent a 1-0 pitch into the right-field seats for his first homer since 2004 when he was with the Angels.Helms' three-run shot, his fourth career pinch homer, came off David Cortes in the ninth."We're not doing the things we were doing to win," Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said. "We aren't getting runners on base, we aren't working counts, not getting big hits, timely hits, hitting into a lot of double plays. But we're fine."We are good enough that we can turn it around at any time. We have the starting pitching that could win us 10 in a row. I don't think any player in here is panicked at all. Bad times are going to happen, we just can't force it," he said.
Uggla's homer was his seventh, the most ever by a Marlins second baseman. ... Florida had been the only NL team without a shutout. This was the Marlins' first shutout since Aug. 19, 2005. ... Miguel Cabrera extended his season-long hitting streak to 10 with a fifth-inning double.