The Florida Marlins are looking to open an 11-game, 10-day road trip on a positive note against a team they’ve dominated lately.
Nolasco will try to extend a 21-inning scoreless streak against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he takes the ball in the series opener Friday night.
Florida’s longest road trip of the season includes a rescheduled doubleheader at Philadelphia next Thursday but begins on the other side of Pennsylvania, with the Marlins looking to win their sixth straight over Pittsburgh. They’ve won 11 of 13 between the teams, blanking the Pirates five times.
Two of those shutouts came in a three-game sweep in April - Florida outscored the Pirates 21-5 - and Nolasco (9-10, 4.39 ERA) started one of them. He gave up four hits and struck out eight over seven innings of a 6-0 win April 20.
Nolasco has won his last three starts against Pittsburgh while pitching 21 scoreless innings, walking four and striking out 29.
“I don’t think too much about my opponents,” he told the Marlins’ official website. “I just go out and worry about what I need to do and concentrate on my strengths. The pitching coach will go over things, and I’ll just pick out the obvious things like who swings earlier, things that I feel help me. Other than that, I just stick to my game and do whatever I have to do.”
A meeting with the Pirates may be what Nolasco needs to end a four-start winless streak. After allowing 11 runs in three innings of a loss to Colorado on Aug. 17, he’s given up four runs in three straight outings but lasted at least six innings in each.
Florida (63-79) has lost its last two following a three-game winning streak.
“It was good to get that first one out of the way so doing it in the first at-bat was good,” Dominguez said. “The next couple at-bats I could relax a little bit more.”
Pittsburgh (66-77), meanwhile, has won consecutive series for the first time since mid-July. The Pirates took two of three from Houston this week, winning 5-4 on Wednesday.
The right-hander is making his fourth start since returning from a shoulder strain that kept him sidelined most of the season. He’s pitched 14 innings since returning, including four in a 7-5 win over Chicago on Saturday. Ohlendorf gave up three runs and seven hits.
He’s 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts against the Marlins.