Opening Day starter fans nine in six frames; Braves take lead in four-run seventh
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Nathan Eovaldi matched Julio Teheran through six innings and then showed some signs of fatigue at the start of a four-run seventh inning that led the Braves to claim a 9-2 win over the Marlins on Wednesday afternoon at Champion Stadium.
Eovaldi had retired 11 consecutive batters before the bottom of the seventh began with him being hit on the right foot by Philip Gosselin's line-drive comebacker. The Marlins right-hander exited when Ryan Doumit followed with a go-ahead RBI double that capped his two-hit performance.
The Braves padded their lead when Carlos Marmol surrendered hits to four of the first six hitters he faced. Evan Gattis greeted the former Cubs closer with an RBI double down the left-field line, and Tyler Pastornicky did his part by scoring Jordan Schafer with a single.
Derrick Mitchell added a three-run triple off Marlins reliever Mike Dunn in the eighth.
Making his final tuneup before experiencing his first Opening Day start on Monday in Milwaukee, Teheran recorded nine strikeouts while limiting the Marlins to two runs in six innings. The 23-year-old right-hander notched a 1.80 ERA in five Grapefruit League starts.
Former Brave Reed Johnson's first-inning bloop double set the stage for Derek Dietrich to drive in the game's first run with a sacrifice fly. Teheran then held the Marlins scoreless until Jeff Baker and Ed Lucas doubled in the sixth inning. Lucas' game-tying double strengthened his bid to begin the season as one of Miami's backup infielders.
Eovaldi was charged with four earned runs and six hits over six-plus innings. The right-hander allowed three consecutive hits, including a two-run single recorded by Pastornicky, to begin the bottom of the third inning.
Up next: The Braves will close the Florida portion of their exhibition season with Thursday's game against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla., at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV. This will be Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez's first chance to see veteran starting pitcher Aaron Harang, who was released by the Indians earlier this week. Harang will attempt to complete at least six innings. Gonzalez is expected to give his regulars at least two-bats. The Braves will travel to Atlanta on Thursday night and then play one more exhibition game against some of their top Minor Leaguers on Saturday afternoon at Class A Rome's State Mutual Stadium.