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STL@MIA: Eovaldi fans four Cards over six frames

Staying above .500 has been a struggle this season for the Marlins, who will close out their homestand and their short series with the Rangers on Wednesday afternoon.

But with Nathan Eovaldi taking the mound, Miami a chance to be two games over the break-even mark for the first time since June 17.

August has been good to the 24-year-old. After going through a stretch of nine starts in which he allowed 38 earned runs over 53 1/3 innings, Eovaldi took on the Reds on Aug. 2, and held them to one run on two hits in seven-plus innings.

It was his best start of the season -- until he took his next turn against the Reds, only this time in Cincinnati. That night, he tossed eight scoreless innings of five-hit ball and earned his first win in a month and a half.

Last Wednesday, Eovaldi wasn't nearly as sharp. In six innings, the right-hander scattered eight hits and struck out four Cardinals. He allowed four runs, only half of which were earned because of some sloppy defense.

But Eovaldi, who took the loss in that game, has a 1.29 ERA in August, and he'll be facing Texas' Nick Martinez, a Miami native who hasn't had nearly as much luck this month (11 earned runs in his last 16 innings).

In his last start on Friday, Martinez yielded four earned runs in six innings against the Angels and received his ninth loss of the season.

Although a reversal of his recent luck would suffice, Martinez is also concerned about having to bat in a National League city. Martinez was an infielder at Fordham University, so he knows how to hit. The Rangers used him as a pinch-hitter against the Nationals on May 31 and he grounded out.

But he also strained a ribcage muscle taking batting practice and landed on the disabled list from July 8-22. The Rangers don't want him to get hurt again.

"I haven't been taking any batting practice," Martinez said. "I've been bunting off a machine. I'm not jeopardizing my health for batting practice. I'll leave it for the game."

Marlins: Bullpen stingy at home
Before allowing two runs in the series opener, Marlins relievers had allowed just five earned runs in their last 44 1/3 innings at Marlins Park.

Miami's bullpen ERA of 2.95 at home this season was the fifth best in the National League entering Tuesday. The only time a Miami relief corps has finished the season with a sub-3.00 ERA at home was in the last year at Sun Life Stadium, when it had a 2.87 mark in 2011.

Rangers: Carp trying to get hot
With the Rangers facing another right-hander in Eovaldi, Mike Carp will likely start at first base again Wednesday.

For the most part, Carp, who was acquired from the Red Sox two weeks ago from the Red Sox off waivers, has been platooning with J.P. Arencibia at first. He has also been batting third. Since joining the Rangers, he has just four hits in 28 at-bats.

"He looks a little rusty," manager Ron Washington said. "He is trying to get the rust off. Nothing more than that. He is a professional hitter."

Worth noting
• Because the series is so short, Adrian Beltre doesn't have much time at Marlins Park to hit a homer. Beltre, playing there for the first time, has homered in 40 different parks. One more and he will be the seventh player to go deep in 41 parks. The all-time leader is Sammy Sosa with 45 different parks.

• Carp, the only active Rangers player to have faced Eovaldi, is 0-for-1 with a walk against him. No Marlins player has faced Martinez.

• Marcell Ozuna has a hit in 22 of 24 career Interleague games in which he's had a plate appearance.

• After Tuesday's win, the Marlins lead the Majors with 11 walk-off victories, 32 one-run wins and 21 wins in their final at-bat. They are also 161-145 against the AL, which is the most wins and the best winning percentage (.526) in Interleague Play among NL teams. Comments