ATLANTA (CBSMiami/AP) – As baseball enters the final month of the regular season, teams are gearing up for their final push towards a postseason berth.
The Miami Marlins are looking to make it two in a row after picking up a much-needed win.READ MORE: Heat Outlast Pacers 113-104
Miami’s Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound opposite Alex Wood in Sunday’s series finale against the Atlanta Braves.
The Marlins (66-68) had been outscored 19-5 during a three-game losing streak before breaking through with Saturday’s 4-0 victory. Donovan Solano went 3 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs and Christian Yelich scored twice as Miami improved to 3-5 on its nine-game road trip.
While the Marlins climbed within four games of Atlanta, they’re still 5 1/2 in back of St. Louis for the NL’s second wild-card spot.
“This was exactly what we needed,” manager Mike Redmond said after getting seven strong innings from Jarred Cosart. “Some guys need that adrenaline. He wants it. He wants to help us get to the playoffs.”
Miami now turns to Eovaldi (6-9, 4.30), who is on the verge of losing a career worst-tying fourth consecutive outing. The right-hander owns a 7.53 ERA during his skid after giving up six runs and 10 hits over 3 1-3 innings in Tuesdays’ 8-2 defeat at Angel Stadium.
He lost four consecutive outings Aug. 24-Sept. 11, 2012.
“My arm feels great,” Eovaldi said following his shortest appearance of the season. “It’s probably the best I’ve felt in my career. No issues. It’s extremely discouraging and real frustrating. I’m just going through a rough little rut right now, so I have to keep grinding and work through it.”
Eovaldi is 2-2 with a 2.35 ERA in 10 outings against the Braves despite struggling in his last one. He gave up five runs over seven innings in a 6-1 loss at Atlanta on July 23.READ MORE: Infectious Disease Specialist Fighting Omicron In South Africa Speaks Out On Variant
While Jason Heyward is 11 for 25 against Eovaldi, Chris Johnson and Evan Gattis are a combined 0 for 20 in their matchups. Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman have also struggled, going a combined 7 for 43.
Freeman is 4 for 26 with one RBI over the last seven games and 4 for 58 with 20 strikeouts against the Marlins this year. Andrelton Simmons is batting .158 over an 11-game stretch in the series.
The Braves are 7-8 against the Marlins this year. Heyward has hit safely in all but one of those games, going 24 for 60 with nine RBIs.
Wood (9-10, 3.09 ERA) is hoping to bounce back from Tuesday’s 3-2 road loss to the New York Mets. The left-hander allowed all three runs and five hits over seven innings while striking out six and walking one.
Wood has dropped his last three starts against the Marlins after yielding a career worst-tying seven runs over five-plus innings in a 9-0 road loss April 29. While his only other seven-run performance also came against Miami last September, he’s allowed a combined one run over 14 innings in his other two starts in the series.
Yelich has given Wood trouble, going 6 for 12 in their matchups. He’s batting .414 with seven doubles and 14 runs scored over a 17-game stretch.
The Marlins have won four of their last six in Atlanta.
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