MIAMI (AP)—There’s no arguing the Florida Marlins have plenty of good young pitching.
The Reds dropped 3 1/2 games behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central and had a three-game winning streak snapped. The Reds have one game left at Florida and three in Pittsburgh.
“If there was ever a ‘must-win’ situation, we have that for tomorrow,” Reds shortstop Royce Clayton said. “We need a little help and we need to run the table.”
The Marlins are the first team in major league history to have four rookie pitchers with 10 wins—Sanchez (10-3), Scott Olsen (12-9), Josh Johnson (12-7) and Ricky Nolasco (11-10). Dontrelle Willis (12-12) gives the Marlins five 10-game winners for the first time in franchise history.
“It’s hard to believe,” Marlins manager Joe Girardi said. “No one has ever done it before and they have been playing baseball for a long time. It’s amazing to be a part of.”
Sanchez, who pitched the majors’ only no-hitter this season on Sept. 6 against Arizona, allowed two runs and six hits and walked four in five innings.
“It wasn’t my best start, but it was my best win,” said Sanchez, who started 18 games since joining the Marlins on June 25. “I started counting my starts about a month ago. I’m happy I made my goal.”
Reds starter Chris Michalak (2-4) gave up three runs and five hits in three innings. The 35-year-old Michalak was called up from Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 12, and has made six starts.
“We kept scrapping, doing everything we could to get back in the game,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “We just couldn’t get a hit.”
Ramirez hit his seventh leadoff homer of the season, tying him for the major league record for a rookie with Nomar Garciaparra, who hit seven with Boston in 1997.
His inside-the-park homer in the eighth hit the wall in left-center field and caromed away from center fielder Chris Denorfia toward right field. Ramirez easily beat the throw home.
“I saw the ball hit off the wall and I was going all the way,” Ramirez said.
Cincinnati, which left 15 runners on base, loaded the bases twice with two outs and could not score.
“We didn’t come up big with guys on base and they did,” Aurilia said. “When opportunities are handed to you, you need to take advantage of it. Tonight, we didn’t.”
Michalak hasn’t had a win as a starter since July 8, 2001, over the Montreal Expos as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. … Denorfia got his first career stolen base in the fifth. … The Marlins have 13 inside-the-park homers in franchise history.