(SportsNetwork.com) - Nobody knows for sure how long Nathan Eovaldi will be able to pitch, or if he'll even make it to the mound Friday night when the Miami Marlins welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to Marlins Park for the opener of a three-game series.
Eovaldi's wife is expecting the couple's first child at any moment, and when she goes into labor, the right-hander said he would leave for Texas to be with his family.
"(Pitching coach Chuck Hernandez) said once I get the call, I'm coming out of the game," Eovaldi said.
"We're not sure when we're having the baby. If it doesn't happen any day now, it will happen Sunday. I'd probably come to the field and throw a bullpen on Sunday and leave after that, and be back Wednesday."
Over his last four starts, Eovaldi has gone 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA. He struck out eight batters while allowing three earned runs over 7 2/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs his last time out.
For Pittsburgh, Jeff Locke makes his third start of the season due to a rash of injuries in the starting rotation. He got the nod against Milwaukee on Sunday and took the loss despite allowing just three hits and one run over seven innings.
Pittsburgh took three of four from the Cubs this week. On Thursday, the Pirates claimed a 4-0 victory in a game that included two rain delays. Starter Edinson Volquez was nearly untouchable, as he tossed seven shutout innings and struck out five. Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin both hit a pair of doubles in the win.
The Pirates called up prized outfield prospect Gregory Polanco earlier this week after placing second baseman Neil Walker on the 15-day disabled list. Walker joined starters Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano on the DL.
Friday's series opener kicks off a 10-game homestand for the Marlins, who were off Thursday. They split two games with the Texas Rangers in Arlington and are coming off Wednesday's 6-0 loss.
The offense struck out 10 times and managed only six hits off Rangers ace Yu Darvish, who went the distance for the first time in his big league career.
"We've got to play better than that," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "By no means is it one area. We made some mistakes running the bases. We made some defensive mistakes. It's not one of our better games.
"When you go up against a frontline pitcher, a guy where you know it is going to be tough to score runs, you've got to play better baseball than that."
The loss put an end to Miami's 13-game win streak in interleague play.
The Pirates have won seven of the last nine head-to-head meetings against Miami.