Pittsburgh starter Kip Wells finally turned in a strong start his last time out—he just didn’t get a win to show for it.
Wells tries again for his first victory of the season Saturday when the Pirates continue their four-game series with the Florida Marlins at Dolphin Stadium.
Wells (0-4, 9.13) allowed just one run and seven hits in seven innings Monday, but did not receive a decision in Pittsburgh’s 3-1 win over the Colorado Rockies. Wells missed the start of the season with a blocked artery in his right arm, and lost each of his first four starts before Monday’s outing, which lowered his ERA from 12.42.
“It would have been nice to get the win,” said Wells, who lost a major league-worst 18 games last season. “But, first and foremost, I just want to pitch well and pitch the way I am able of pitching. After having four rough outings, my first goal was just to get a quality start and keep us in the game.”
Wells has allowed just one run over his last 12 innings after giving up five in the first inning of a 5-0 loss July 5 to the New York Mets. He worked his way out a number of tight situations against the Rockies.
“At times in the past, I can get into a run where I am out of the zone, and you look up and there are two or three runners on base,” said Wells, who is 3-2 with a 2.03 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins.
“Being able to right the ship a little bit before things get ugly is hopefully something I can feed off of.”
Wells, whose last win came Oct. 1, has lost 17 of his last 20 decisions.
The Pirates (35-63) lost for the third time in eight games on Friday, falling 4-1 to the Marlins. Jose Castillo drove in the lone run for Pittsburgh, which won two straight series heading into this one despite owning the worst record in the NL.
Florida recorded 15 total strikeouts—its second-best total behind the franchise-record 17 against Montreal on July 21, 2002.
The Marlins have gotten three straight strong outings from rookie starters. Josh Johnson allowed two runs in seven innings in Thursday’s series-opening loss, and Anibal Sanchez threw seven scoreless innings in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Washington.
Nolasco bounced back nicely after giving up 17 runs in just 5 2-3 innings over his previous two starts. He gave up a career-high nine runs in 1 2-3 innings in a 17-3 loss to the New York Mets on July 8.
“It happens and I learn from it and get over it,” said Nolasco, who also had a two-run single against the Nationals. “You can’t keep that in the back of your mind. When you have outings like that it just makes you hungrier to get back out there. I know I’m better than that.”
Nolasco made his only appearance against the Pirates on May 12, allowing four hits in 1 2-3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen without receiving a decision in Florida’s 12-9 loss.