LOS ANGELES (AP) - Justin Nicolino was excited to get called up to the big leagues earlier this week. He was able to channel that energy into a dominant debut.
Nicolino gave up two hits in 7 1/3 innings in his season debut to lead the Miami Marlins to a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
"Anytime you get that call it's an unbelievable feeling," Nicolino said. "When I got the call I was ready to go. I wanted to be here from the get-go and I'm just trying to take the ball and run with it and have a good time."
Nicolino (1-0), just recalled from Triple-A New Orleans, walked two and struck out two. He didn't allow a runner past first base and retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.
It was a statement performance for the 24-year old left-hander after he was one of the final cuts in spring training.
"The key for me was being able to throw the fastball on both sides of the plate and moving some guys' feet off the inner half," said Nicolino, who made 12 starts for the Marlins last season. "Changing speeds, mixing in and out, that was the biggest key."
Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna hit RBI singles in the first inning off Scott Kazmir (1-2) to provide the scoring.
The Dodgers have dropped three straight to the Marlins and saw their scoreless streak extended to 14 innings.
Marlins relievers walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, but the Dodgers came away empty. Jose Urena got the final five outs for his first career save.
Corey Seager and Justin Turner singled for the Dodgers' hits.
"Their pitchers are doing what they're supposed to do," Segaer said. "They're supposed to get us out and we're supposed to battle, and they're winning it right now."
Nicolino was in control from the start, striking out the first batter of the game and rolling from there. He induced 11 groundouts to just four flyouts, retired nine straight during one stretch, and exited after retiring A.J. Ellis on a groundout to lead off the eighth inning with his 99th pitch of the night.
"He kept driving the ball in against the righties and made it tough for them," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "It was the type of outing we know he is capable of."
The Dodgers had a chance once Nicolino left. Pinch-hitters Chase Utley, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson drew walks against relievers Bryan Morris, Cody Ege, and David Phelps to load the bases with one out in the eighth. However, Urena — the fifth Marlins pitcher of the inning — struck out Yasiel Puig and got Adrian Gonzalez to fly to right to escape with the 2-0 lead intact.
Urena then retired the side in order in the ninth to close it out.
"In that situation you get ramped up and make better pitches," Urena said. "That was tough, getting five outs, but we can handle it."
The Marlins got to Kazmir early for the lead. Four of their first five batters singled, including back-to-back RBI hits by Stanton and Ozuna for a quick 2-0 lead.
Kazmir settled in and followed with five scoreless innings after that, but the damage was done with Nicolino dealing.
Marlins: LHP Mike Dunn (left forearm strain) will begin a throwing program Thursday. He is not expected to come off the disabled list for at least another month.
Dodgers: RHP Yimi Garcia (right biceps soreness) has yet to pick up a baseball and will undergo an MRI if his condition does not improve.
Mattingly and relief pitcher David Phelps both were ejected by home plate umpire Todd Tichenor in the bottom of the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes.
The ejections came after Phelps threw a full-count fastball to Joc Pederson that Tichenor ruled ball four. Phelps immediately charged towards the plate with his arms outstretched to protest the call and Mattingly ran out of the dugout and argued face-to-face with Tichenor. Both were ejected quickly.
Urena replaced Phelps on the mound and bench coach Tim Wallach took over as manager.
The Dodgers are hitting .160 and have scored five runs in their last three games. They have more strikeouts (19) than hits (15) in that time.
"We got to get back to swinging at strikes and taking balls," manager Dave Roberts said. "The quality of at-bats, that's something up and down the lineup we've got to get better at."
Marlins: RHP Jose Fernandez (1-2, 4.37) makes his first start at Dodger Stadium since he was a rookie in 2013.
Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (3-0, 0.36) aims to continue his torrid start after allowing only one run in his first 25 1/3 innings.