Marlins

Playoff Push Continues As Marlins Face Rangers

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Nathan Eovaldi #24 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park.  (Source: Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Nathan Eovaldi #24 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park. (Source: Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

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Miami Marlins

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Marlins have been playing extremely well at home of late and find themselves in the midst of the playoff race.

The Marlins have enjoyed strong pitching at home lately, but Marlins Park hasn’t been too friendly for Nathan Eovaldi for most of the season.

They’ll look for Eovaldi to put an end to his home struggles and help them to a fourth straight victory Wednesday when they host the Texas Rangers.

Miami (63-62) pitchers have posted a 2.68 ERA during a 6-2 home stretch, with starters recording quality starts in six of the last seven.

However, Eovaldi (6-7, 3.96 ERA) hasn’t won at Marlins Park since May 21, going 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in eight outings since while giving up eight-plus hits five times. He allowed four runs – two earned – and eight hits in six innings of a 5-2 loss to St. Louis last Wednesday. Second baseman Jordany Valdespin committed two errors.

“I felt like I didn’t pick up the team,” Eovaldi, who threw 107 pitches, told MLB’s official website. “We had a few errors. But I felt like I just didn’t pick them up after that.”

Miami’s offense has also left Eovaldi out to dry. He received no runs of support against the Cardinals, marking the seventh time he’s received two runs of support or fewer in his eight-start home winless stretch.

The Marlins found some timely – albeit late – hitting in a 4-3, 10-inning victory over the Rangers on Tuesday. Giancarlo Stanton drove in the winning run with a two-out single. He misplayed Rougned Odor’s double off the wall in the seventh, letting Odor score on the error.

“I was just like, ‘You put us in this situation, just make sure you’re calm and collected and get us out,'” said Stanton, who is 9 for 18 with seven RBIs over his last five games with six walks for a .625 on-base percentage.

Christian Yelich was 3 for 5, improving to 16 for 33 during an eight-game hitting streak while helping the Marlins surpass last year’s win total. Marcell Ozuna hit his 17th home run and his third in his last five interleague games. He has 15 RBIs over his last 18 matchups with AL clubs.

Miami is 12-4 in interleague play.

The Rangers (48-77) have scored four runs or fewer in 16 of 18 and were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday.

“That’s what we definitely have to get better on, driving in runs when they’re out there,” manager Ron Washington said.

Alex Rios, whose .284 average and 49 RBIs both rank second for Texas behind Adrian Beltre, was scratched from the lineup due to a bruised right thumb. He entered in the ninth as a defensive replacement but struck out in his lone at-bat.

The Rangers will give the ball to Nick Martinez (2-9, 5.27), who is 1-8 with a 7.01 ERA over his last 12 outings. Prior to that, he had posted a 2.28 ERA in his first nine appearances, though just four of those came as a starter.

He surrendered four runs in six innings of a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. A fifth-inning homer by Kole Calhoun accounted for three of those runs.

“I thought he threw well,” Washington said. “Just one unexecuted pitch, the one to Calhoun.”

The Marlins have won four of the last five meetings after dropping nine of the first 13.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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