When Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound against the Giants on Friday night, he hopes the Marlins will bring their bats along for the ride. Eovaldi has received zero run support while he was in the game during his past five starts.
Although a bad day at the plate bore little consequence when Eovaldi gave up six earned runs on 10 hits in a 6-0 loss to the Brewers on July 20, Miami's lack of production with the right-hander pitching has put him in a difficult place in subsequent outings.
During his past four starts, Eovaldi is 0-1 with a 1.04 ERA over 26 innings. Each outing was a quality start, upping his total to nine out of 10 starts. The stretch has lowered his ERA to 2.82, which ranks second among Miami starters behind All-Star Jose Fernandez.
When asked about the unfortunate trend for Eovaldi last Friday, Marlins manager Mike Redmond could not offer an explanation.
"There is always a guy like that, who the team just doesn't score runs for," Redmond said. "In 13 years that I played, you don't have an answer. All you can say is, 'Hang in there,' and hopefully it turns around for him."
Even though offense has been difficult to come by in Eovaldi's past five starts, the Marlins are 2-3 during a stretch that includes a significant win against the Braves on Saturday at Turner Field.
Seven scoreless innings from Eovaldi and a wild pitch by Atlanta reliever Jordan Walden in the ninth helped the Marlins snap the Braves' 14-game winning streak.
Adeiny Hechavarria, who led off the inning with a triple, scored on Walden's errant 2-2 slider in the dirt against Ed Lucas with no outs. Even though Eovaldi did not factor into the decision, he helped keep the Marlins competitive.
"Today was another well-pitched game by Eovaldi," Redmond said following the win. "[The Braves] are red-hot. I knew we would need another great pitching performance, and we got that. He was outstanding."
Miami will try to back Eovaldi against San Francisco starter Chad Gaudin, who has proven stellar in every start but one since July began. He gave up six earned runs on seven hits in an 8-3 loss to the Reds on July 24.
But in his other six starts since July 7, Gaudin is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in 37 1/3 innings. He has also tallied four quality starts in that span.
Gaudin, a former reliever, again proved his value in the Giants' starting rotation in his most recent start, limiting the Orioles to only two hits in five scoreless innings in a no-decision Saturday.
"In the long run, you just have to base your emphasis on getting outs as quickly as possible and keeping it simple," Gaudin said.
The right-hander's outing against Baltimore marked the ninth time in 11 starts Gaudin has surrendered two earned runs or fewer. One of those outings was a no-decision against the Marlins on June 20.
Gaudin left the game after a fifth-inning line drive off the bat of Derek Dietrich struck the pitcher's right elbow. He had given up only two hits in 4 1/3 scoreless innings up to that point.
Marlins: Ruggiano snaps out of slump
Justin Ruggiano ended his 0-for-42 skid with an infield single against Ervin Santana in a 5-2 win against Kansas City on Wednesday.
Ruggiano's skid fell three at-bats short of matching the longest hitless drought in modern history of 45, shared by Craig Counsell (2011) and Bill Bergen (1909).
The slumping outfielder's bad luck looked like it would continue when Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar made a diving play on a sharp grounder up the middle in the second inning, but a late throw allowed Ruggiano to reach base.
Giants: Pitching keeping games close
Entering Wednesday, San Francisco starters had surrendered three earned runs or fewer in the past 13 games, compiling a 2.04 ERA in 84 innings.
Wednesday starter Tim Lincecum is responsible for two of those outings, compiling a 1-0 record, a 0.60 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) in 15 innings against the Rays on Aug. 3 and the Brewers on Aug. 8.
On Thursday, starter Ryan Vogelsong only lasted 3 2/3 innings, as the right-hander allowed three runs on six hits and three walks. The San Francisco bullpen, however, strung together 5 1/3 scoreless frames. Guillermo Moscoso allowed two hits and three walks in two innings, but four other relievers combined for 3 1/3 perfect innings as the Giants claimed a 4-3 victory in Washington.
• Miami outfielder Chris Coghlan began a rehab assignment with Class A Jupiter at third base Wednesday night. Redmond hopes putting him at the hot corner will get him more at-bats when he returns.
Coghlan was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right calf nerve irritation June 8, but an MRI later revealed he had suffered a back injury.
• Giancarlo Stanton was out of Miami's lineup Wednesday "to regroup," according to Redmond. The slumping slugger, who is batting .150 (6-for-40) with one RBI in his past 10 games, also sat out the Marlins' 1-0 win against the Braves on Saturday.
• Marlins reliever Steve Ames was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans following Wednesday's game. The club will announce a corresponding move Friday.
• With 54 more innings this season, Giants righty Matt Cain would become just the second hurler in franchise history to post seven consecutive years of 200 or more innings pitched. Juan Marichal reached the mark in 10 straight seasons.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.