Padres work Nolasco over, reach .500 with win

Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- The San Diego Padres earned a win, got Edinson Volquez back on track and possibly damaged the trade value of Ricky Nolasco -- all in one game.
Volquez continued his successful pattern against the Miami Marlins, winning 9-2 Friday night in the opener of a four-game series at Marlins Park.
With the victory, the Padres (40-40) reached .500 and ended the Marlins' three-game win streak. The Marlins are 27-51 overall, but 13-10 in June.
Volquez (6-6), who is now 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins, went six innings and allowed seven hits, one walk and two runs. He struck out eight, one off his season high.
That's a big improvement from the seven-walk performance he provided in his previous start on June 22 in a 6-1 loss to the Dodgers.
"Everything was working tonight," Volquez said. "I just wanted to be aggressive in the strike zone, and I got a lot of run support."
Much of that run support came at the expense of Nolasco (4-8), who is expected to be traded any time between now and the July 31 deadline.
Nolasco trailed only 3-2 entering the sixth, but he was knocked out of the game without registering an out in the inning.
The Padres, one of the teams interested in Nolasco, got three runs in the sixth. After a single by Chase Headley and a double by Kyle Banks, Yasmani Grandal and Will Venable stroked run-scoring singles to make the score 5-2.
Reliever Ryan Webb came in and allowed an inherited run to score, thanks to an error by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, which allowed Grandal to score on a close play at the plate.
Nolasco, who gave up 11 hits and six runs, including five earned, in five-plus innings, admits he has read the trade rumors on the Internet, but he said his job is to focus on pitching.
"Whether I pitched good or bad tonight, I don't think that's going to dictate what kind of pitcher I am or who I've been or what (the team that trades for him) is going to get," Nolasco said. "It was a struggle tonight. I thought I was going to be able to turn the corner, but they got me. I couldn't put guys away, and I buried the team right there."
Padres' manager Bud Black was asked what effect the trade rumors had on his team, especially since Nolasco could wind up in San Diego.
"You know how rumors are," Black said with a smile. "From our standpoint, it did not (affect us).
"I don't know Ricky. I'm sure there were a lot of scouts here watching his game just to continue to evaluate him. We were trying to get hits off of Ricky Nolasco.
"I thought we had a good plan going in based on what we saw the first time we faced him and what we saw on video. I thought we executed that pretty well. He has a good breaking ball and a good running fastball. The mistakes he made, we did some damage."
On the other side, Black called Volquez "an enigma" because of his unpredictable nature. But he was able to repeat his delivery more consistently on Friday.
"I thought he threw the ball well, especially the fastball away to righties," Black said. "And on that side of the plate into the lefties, he got some balls in on their hands. They got some hits on his changeup. I think it was more about his fastball glove-side."
NOTES: The Padres promoted RHP Burch Smith from Triple-A Tucson on Friday. To make room for Smith, the Padres sent lefty reliever Tommy Layne to Tucson. ... The Marlins entered Friday 13-9 in June, the fourth-best record in the majors for the month. The Marlins' 10 comeback wins in June are tied with the Royals for most in the majors. And the Marlins' bullpen was 8-4 with nine saves and a 2.65 ERA. The eight bullpen wins are tied for second in any month in club history and also rank tied for second in the majors this June. ... For the Padres with Miami ties, it has been a rough year so far. Ex-Marlins CF Cameron Maybin and former University of Miami 1B Yonder Alonso are on the disabled list. Ex-Marlins OF Mark Kotsay is a backup. And former University of Miami C Grandal is off to a slow start after losing the first 50 games of the season due to a PED suspension. ... This was the first game of a 10-game road trip for the Padres. ... The Padres swept a three-game series from the Marlins in San Diego May 6-8, including two shutouts. Those are the Padres' only two shutouts of the season. ... Entering Friday, the Padres had lost six of 10 since losing shortstop Everth Cabrera to injury. Cabrera's 31 steals and .382 on-base percentage have been tough to replace. Cabrera, who has also been excellent defensively, could start running this week, and the Padres are hoping he will be ready to come off the disabled list on July 2.

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