Marlins Notebook

Miami Marlins pitcher Nathan Eovaldi shows off strikeout ability in victory against Mets

 

mnavarro@MiamiHerald.com

To remedy the dissatisfaction of a high-scoring tie Saturday, the Marlins held off the New York Mets with a 6-4 victory Sunday.

Nathan Eovaldi retired seven consecutive batters with four strikeouts in his second start before giving up a home run to Mets third baseman Brandon Hicks in the third.

“I think it caught too much of the plate. The wind up there just got enough of it [and] carried it out,” Eovaldi said.

The right-hander was pulled after giving a free pass to Omar Quintanilla on a 3-2 count. Eovaldi tossed 31 of 47 pitches for strikes, allowing one walk and three earned runs in 2 2/3 innings of work.

“The first two innings, I felt like I moved [the ball] in and out real well. I didn’t just stay to one side. I felt like I threw good, low, quality strikes,” the starter said. “That third inning, I felt like I was just staying away from everybody.”

Miami staved off further damage from New York, responding with a six-run rally to secure its first win in four games. Adeiny Hechavarria’s two-run double sparked the Marlins’ offensive hot streak in the sixth. The Fish outhit the Mets 11-6.

“Hech got a big hit, drove in couple runs, too,” manager Mike Redmond said. “All in all, we came back. ... A nice win on another cold day.”

Christian Yelich tied the game with a double off left-hander Scott Rice in the sixth, driving in Gorkys Hernandez. Rice gave up the lead for the first time in the game as Kyle Skipworth’s sacrifice fly sent Yelich home.

Kevin Kouzmanoff homered in the seventh. The infielder has homered in two consecutive at-bats, going long against the Cardinals in Friday’s loss.

• Third baseman Placido Polanco, who missed 72 games last season with the Phillies because of a bad back, missed his first scheduled start of the spring Sunday because of back stiffness. But according to the two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner the pain isn’t serious, and he likely will only need a few days off as a precautionary measure.

"I should be ready for Tuesday," said Polanco, who played in only 90 games and hit .257 with two homer runs and 19 RBI for the Phillies last season. "It’s not bad. I’m feeling good right now. It has nothing to do with what happened be fore. It’s something to be on the safe side. If the season started today, I could go."

Redmond said the Marlins will be cautious with Polanco.

"We want him to be healthy over the course of the season," Redmond said. "So, if we got to hold him back a little bit in spring training and make sure we get him in when the it counts, that’s what /is/ most important."

• Left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, the team’s 2012 first round pick, was reassigned to rehab with a strained lat muscle. Heaney, 1-2 with a 4.66 ERA in six minor-league starts last season, had yet to appear this spring.

• Center fielder Justin Ruggiano (strained back) said Sunday he feels a lot better and is hopeful he can make his Grapefruit League debut later this week. Ruggiano, who strained his lower back two weeks ago, started playing catch Thursday. He hit in the batting cage for the first time Saturday and ran for the first time Sunday.

"It takes me a good while to get my timing down and get my legs underneath me so I’m kind of chomping at the bit to get back out there," Ruggiano said.

Coming up

•  Monday: Off.

•  Tuesday: Venezuela World Baseball Classic team at Marlins LHP Wade LeBlanc (2-5, 3.67 ERA), 7 p.m., Jupiter.

•  Wednesday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (0-1, 5.40 with Marlins) at St. Louis Cardinals TBA, 1:05p.m., Jupiter.

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