PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Florida Marlins cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies behind Ronny Paulino's three-run, first-inning homer and Ricky Nolasco's five-hit complete game on Saturday.
Nolasco (1-0) retired the first 11 batters he faced in cooling off the Phillies (8-3), who entered the game with Major League Baseball's best record.
"We went out and gave him a five-run lead. Sometimes it's hard to pitch when you have that kind of a lead," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters.
"He was great against that gauntlet four times around that batting order. You've got to tip your hat."
Nolasco struck out four and walked three while holding Philadelphia scoreless until the ninth when Jayson Werth homered.
"My fault," Nolasco said of the fastball pitch to Werth. "I should have known he was going to try to jump me there."
Still, he was pleased with the complete game, the first in 54 games for the Marlins.
"To establish yourself as a person who can do that, I think it just helps the whole team in that aspect," Nolasco said. "Our bullpen could use a rest."
All of Florida's runs came in the first inning.
Jorge Cantu, who has carried over his hitting streak from the end of last season to 16 games, drove in the Marlins' first run. Dan Uggla followed with another run-scoring single before Paulino homered to left.
"I was just looking for something middle-away, like always," Paulino said. "He (Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer) throws real slow. I had to stay back a little bit."
Moyer (1-1) took the loss, giving up six hits, four of them in the first inning.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Greg Stutchbury)