Xavier Paul had three RBI and Homer Bailey pitched a complete game as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Miami Marlins, 6-2, in the opener of a three-game series.
Bailey (2-3) struck out 10 and allowed two runs on six hits for the Reds, who have won four straight and eight of their last 10 games.
"You know, innings are just so big for a starting pitcher," said Bailey. "You want to be able to take the game as long as you can...and tonight we were just fortunate."
Brandon Phillips drove in two runs and Joey Votto went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the victory.
Derek Dietrich and Rob Brantly had an RBI apiece for the Marlins, who saw starter Ricky Nolasco (2-5) give up six runs on seven hits and two walks over five frames.
"It all stems from our offense," says Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "He (Nolasco) knows that he can't give up much and he's trying to be perfect and trying to make too good pitches ... I got to tip my hat to Rick. He kept battling."
Phillips got the Reds on the board in the first with a one-out single that scored Zack Cozart. However, Dietrich responded in the home half with a single that plated Juan Pierre, who doubled to start the frame.
The Reds tacked on five runs in the second. Ryan Hanigan hit a liner to left, Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch and Cozart singled to load the bases. Votto and Phillips drew back-to-back walks, scoring Hanigan and Choo respectively. Xavier Paul then smacked a double deep into left, bringing all the runners home to give Cincinnati a 6-1 lead.
After that, the Reds recorded just four hits. With Bailey on the mound, though, they maintained control.
In the seventh, Bailey gave up a triple to Adeiny Hechavarria, who later scored on a sacrifice fly by Brantly, but it wouldn't stop him from pitching his fourth complete game of his career.
Bailey threw 125 pitches ... Paul was 1-for-5 ... The Reds were 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Cincinnati pitchers have produced at least 10 strikeouts 15 times this season, but only twice on the road.