(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the best young pitchers in baseball oppose one another on Saturday, as Sonny Gray and the Oakland Athletics continue a three- game set against Nathan Eovaldi and the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park.
Gray got a little extra rest after beating Texas on June 18 to snap a two- start losing streak. The 24-year-old hurler gave up two runs and six hits over seven innings in that one and improved to 7-3, while lowering his ERA to 2.91.
"He's going to have four starts before the break anyway," A's skipper Bob Melvin said. "It'll just back it up a little bit and give him a longer stretch in between his last start and his next one."
Eovaldi, meanwhile, has assumed the role of de facto ace for the Marlins in the wake of the devastating elbow injury to reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez and has responded well, going 5-3 with a 3.52 for the young Marlins.
After having given up 11 runs over his previous two starts Eovaldi held the Philadelphia Phillies scoreless over 6 1/3 innings on Monday to get the win.
"I think it's pretty easy to put those [poor starts] behind you," said Eovaldi.
Eovaldi used 56 pitches to dance around trouble and keep the Phils off the scoreboard. But he found his rhythm as the game progressed, and needed only 33 pitches to get through the next three frames.
"Later in the game, I was able to locate my fastball on both sides of the plate and get ahead with some offspeed pitches, so I think that was one of the main factors," Eovaldi said.
Oakland benefited from a replay reversal during a four-run ninth inning that pushed it past Miami, 9-5, in Friday's opener.
With the score tied at 5-5 in the top of the ninth, Giancarlo Stanton gobbled up Yoenis Cespedes' single to right and appeared to throw out Coco Crisp at the plate for the first out of the inning.
Replays, however, showed Crisp's right foot slid in just before Jeff Mathis' tag, and following a long review, the out call was overturned.
"It was a great slide on a guy with a cannon for an arm in the outfield," A's third baseman Josh Donaldson said.
Donaldson added his third RBI of the night with a sacrifice fly, while Stephen Vogt and Josh Reddick each drove in an insurance run with base hits.
Reddick recorded three of Oakland's 16 hits, while Luke Gregerson (2-1) stranded a runner in scoring position in the eighth to earn the win, the club's seventh in its last nine games.
The Marlins were forced to empty their bullpen when rookie starter Anthony DeSclafani exited due to a right forearm contusion after tossing three frames.
Closer Steve Cishek (4-3) was used in a tie game in the ninth and surrendered all four runs as the Marlins fell for seventh time in 10 games.
"I thought I made good pitches," Cishek said. "For some reason things just unraveled."
Despite Friday's loss the Marlins have won 13 of their last 15 interleague games.