LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ricky Nolasco loved going to Dodger Stadium when he was playing high school ball in nearby Rialto, Calif. Now that he's in the major leagues, coming to Chavez Ravine has been an unpleasant experience for the Florida Marlins' right-hander.
Nolasco struggled in windy conditions for five innings Sunday, giving up eight runs and 15 hits against a Dodgers' offense that had scored fewer than three runs in 23 of its first 53 games. The Marlins got only two hits off Clayton Kershaw, who beat them 8-0 with his second career shutout.
``It just wasn't my day, obviously,' said Nolasco. ``They have a really good lineup over there. I fell behind some hitters and they made me pay for my mistakes. Even when I was ahead of guys, I couldn't put them away. You just have to shake it off.'
Hanley Ramirez, the Marlins' three-time All-Star shortstop, was removed from the game midway through the second inning because of stiffness in his lower back. He missed Thursday's game at San Francisco because of a bruised right foot after getting hit with a pitch from Javier Lopez.
Manager Edwin Rodriguez allowed Nolasco to stay in the game so long because on Saturday night five Marlins relievers combined on a six-hitter while Josh Johnson missed his second turn in the rotation because of shoulder inflammation. The only reliever who came back to pitch on Sunday was Steve Cishek, who allowed two hits over three innings.
``I wanted to be out there as long as possible and eat up as many innings as I could,' said Nolasco. ``I realized that the bullpen was depleted, so I had to soak one up and stay out there. But the 15 hits were my fault, nobody else's. So there's nobody to blame but me.'
Nolasco (4-1), who averaged 14 victories over the previous three seasons, is in the first year of a three-year, $2.65 million contract he signed in December while he was still rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He missed the final month of the 2010 campaign after going 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA.
Nolasco made his second career start at Dodger Stadium. On July 12, 2008, he allowed two runs over six innings in a no-decision. Overall against Los Angeles, he is 0-2 with a 7.33 ERA in his four career starts.
``That was definitely a bad outing by Ricky,' Rodriguez said. ``He didn't have command of his pitches and was pitching behind in the count. It's just a matter of bouncing back in his next outing. But we also ran into a very good pitcher.'
Kershaw (6-3) threw 116 pitches, striking out 10 and walking one in his 95th career start. The only hits off the 23-year-old left-hander were a leadoff single in the second by Omar Infante and a wind-blown double by Logan Morrison leading off the seventh.
``Today he was dominant,' said Wes Helms, who replaced Ramirez in the lineup and played third base while Emilio Bonifacio shifted to shortstop. ``Kershaw's one of those guys you enjoy watching pitch because he knows what he's doing. He's got all the pitches. He's got a great curveball, changeup and slider, and he was throwing 93-95 miles an hour. So you can't sit on any of his other three pitches.'
Kershaw's other shutout was on Sept. 14, 2010, when he pitched a four-hitter at San Francisco. ``They got me a little bit in Florida last month, so I just wanted to come back out and attack them - especially with a big lead,' Kershaw said. ``I just pounded the strike zone and made them try to beat me instead of beating myself.'
Kershaw triggered a four-run third with the first of his two singles and scored when Rafael Furcal drove a 1-0 pitch into the right field bullpen for his first homer since his solo shot off Giants ace Tim Lincecum on July 30, 2010, at San Francisco. Jay Gibbons and Dioner Navarro capped the rally with RBI singles.
The Dodgers tacked on four more in the sixth. Kershaw drove in the first run with a fielder's choice grounder, Furcal followed with an RBI single and Blake added a two-run single.
NOTES: The Marlins haven't homered in five straight games, their longest drought of the season. ... Morrison has reached base either on a hit or a walk in all 30 games he has played this season - the longest current streak in the majors. He had a 42-game streak last year as a rookie.
The Associated Press News Service
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