Starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco #47 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on July 9, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona.
If first impressions mean anything in baseball, then Ricky Nolasco probably won over quite a few fans in his Dodger debut on Tuesday. The Dodgers won 6-1 behind Nolasco's strong pitching performance and another double-digit night with the bats.
Ricky Nolasco pitched seven innings, allowing one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts. He was pitching a shutout until the seventh inning when he gave up a double to Paul Goldschmidt and a single to Martin Prado to score the Diamondbacks only run of the game.
In his last three starts, two with Miami, he has not walked a batter, while striking out 17. It is clearly the direction you want to see a pitcher move in, especially since he had 21 strikeouts to 11 walks in his five starts prior.
In the first two games of the series, Dodger pitchers have held Arizona to just nine hits in 18 innings for two runs.
Nolasco expressed his excitement and thanked fans later on Twitter.
— ricky nolasco (@RNolasco47) July 10, 2013
Not to be contained to just a great performance on the mound, Nolasco also drove in the Dodgers first run of the night with a two-out single, scoring A.J. Ellis.
The rest of the Dodgers had nine hits to contribute to the 6-1 victory.
Adrian Gonzalez went 1-4 with three RBI. One came in on a sacrifice fly, although two runs scored due to an error, and two more RBI came in the sixth on a bases-loaded single to score Skip Schumaker and Carl Crawford.
Carl Crawford got his first hit since returning from the Disabled List, but it was just a bunt single, not a hit on real contact. Hanley Ramirez went hitless, breaking his career-high 19-game hitting streak.
Yaseil Puig went 1-3, but most notable is that he did not strike out and actually showed some patience to get two walks.
The bullpen was left with two innings of relief to convert for the win. J.P. Howell and Ronald Belisario each pitched a scoreless inning combining for one hit and one strikeout.
The Dodgers sit at 44-45, and just 2.5 games back of the Diamondbacks for first place. They are two games ahead of the third-place Rockies, and have won 14 of their last 17 games.
Tomorrow the Dodgers go for the sweep with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound against Tyler Skaggs. A win would bring them back to .500, but even with a loss they will have won or split the last seven series.