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Straily's slider helps produce 14 strikeouts

Special to MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Dan Straily let the Padres see firsthand what they had. And what they let slip away.

Straily, who was once Padres' property, was sensational in his fourth Marlins start on Saturday night.

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SAN DIEGO -- Dan Straily let the Padres see firsthand what they had. And what they let slip away.

Straily, who was once Padres' property, was sensational in his fourth Marlins start on Saturday night.

View Full Game Coverage

With a career-high 14 strikeouts, Straily pitched seven solid innings as he allowed two runs on four hits. Walks? None for Straily as he flooded the strike zone with offerings, relying on his fastball and slider.

He didn't get a decision in the Marlins' 6-3 win over the Padres in 11 innings, but he gained much respect from Marlins manager Don Mattingly.

"He was very good,'' Mattingly said. "We talked about that before the game that his command was a little iffy the last time out. Tonight it was really good. He used both sides of the plate, used his slider.''

Straily, 28, had trouble finding a Major League home but he looks comfortable with the Marlins. They scooped up the right-hander in a four-player swap in January from the Cincinnati Reds.

The Padres traded for 6-foot-1, 220-pound Straily on March 28 of last year, snagging him from the Astros. But his stay in San Diego lasted a few days when the Padres released him.

"I made it all the way to San Diego, then I was on way to Cincinnati,'' he said. "That was an interesting couple of days of my life."

The Reds lassoed him three days before the season started. All he did was lead Cincinnati in wins (14), innings pitched (191 1/3) and strikeouts (162). In 11 of his starts he was charged with three or fewer hits, with tied the Cubs' Jake Arrieta and the Nationals' Max Scherzer for the Major League lead.

The Padres were facing Straily for the first time.

"He was definitely good tonight,'' Padres manager Andy Green said. "He's got a slider that's got some downward bite to it that looks a lot like his fastball. We were having trouble differentiating the two. There were a lot of chase swings on the slider.''

Manuel Margot greeted Straily with a double to open the game. But the next eight batters went down, half of them on strikeouts.

"Tonight was one of those nights where you can really have fun on the mound because you know you are going to execute each pitch,'' Straily said. "So you just pick a pitch and execute it. That is what it comes down to.''

Even if Straily came down with the equivalent of the yips in the bullpen. There were few clues that he was on the verge of the third double-digit strikeout game of his career.

"My bullpen before the game you wondered if I should be starting the game,'' said Straily, who had faced only one Padre, Erick Aybar, before Saturday's night. "But that happens all the time. I'm always terrible. I've learned that I am just getting loose out there and I never try to read into it. I was all over the place.

"But then you get to the mound and it's a different level of concentration, of focus, and I was able to get out there and get the job done.''

His only inning with a blemish came in the fourth. Yangervis Solarte produced a one-out double and a sizzling Austin Hedges smacked a two-run homer, his fifth shot in seven games.

That was all the Padres could muster, as they proved time again they were unable to catch up with Straily's fastball. After the Hedges homer Straily set down the next 11 batters, with all but two of them being punch outs.

"I just started to get more and more locked in with my command,'' he said, "and I was able to ride it out.''

Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego.

Miami Marlins, Dan Straily