Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Ricky Nolasco worked eight innings and Chris Coghlan’s ninth-inning solo home run was the difference as Florida got past Houston, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park.
Coghlan knocked in two runs, while Logan Morrison added three hits and an RBI for the Marlins, who have won three of four and overcame the loss of shortstop Hanley Ramirez to a left-leg contusion.
Nolasco (1-0) allowed eight hits and two runs with two strikeouts and Leo Nunez worked around a Brett Wallace homer in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his second save.
Wallace went 3-for-4 and scored twice for the Astros, who couldn’t come up with a victory in their home opener.
Wilton Lopez (0-1) took the loss and blown save, charged with two runs and four hits in the eighth inning.
Wallace doubled with one down in the seventh and Chris Johnson singled him home for a 2-1 Houston edge. After Bill Hall singled, his takeout slide at second on a J.R. Towles grounder caused Ramirez to writhe on the ground in pain for several minutes before being escorted from the game by team personnel.
The Marlins later said Ramirez was day-to-day.
It fired up the visitors, who forged ahead in the eighth on Morrison’s RBI double and Donnie Murphy’s run-producing infield single.
Coghlan’s two-out solo blast in the ninth gave the Fish a two-run edge, but Wallace greeted Nunez with a homer to make it 4-3. Johnson lined out then Hall fanned, but Towles singled. Jason Bourgeois, pinch-running for Towles, was caught stealing second to end the game.
Towles’ leadoff homer in the third put the Astros on the board, and the Marlins finally countered in the seventh on Coghlan’s fielder’s choice RBI.
Florida has taken four of the last seven meetings with Houston…Towles went 3-for-4…Gaby Sanchez collected three hits and scored once for the Marlins.