PHOENIX (AP) — Nathan Eovaldi missed out on a win Tuesday night, yet considered his season debut a success all the same.
“It felt good getting back on the mound,” he said. “This is the best my fastball has felt, locating it and everything. With my offspeed, it’s still a little timing issue and I’m rushing it a little bit.”
Eovaldi allowed two runs on three hits in six innings of the Marlins’ 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Paul Goldschmidt hit a leadoff homer in the ninth to win it.
Eovaldi was sidelined the first two-plus months of the season with inflammation in his right shoulder. In his rehab assignments he showed the same live arm that touched 99 mph on the radar gun against Arizona.
“You saw his velocity. It was very impressive, above 95-96 the whole night,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “His whole outing his arm looked good.
“I had seen his game reports in the minor leagues and he touched 100 a few times. I was pleasantly surprised by him being able to sustain and maintain that fastball through the course of his 85 pitches,” he said.
Eovaldi was long gone when the game was decided.
With the score 2-all, Chad Qualls (2-1) started Goldschmidt with ball one. Qualls left his second pitch over the plate and Goldschmidt drove it high off the batter’s backdrop in deep center field.
Goldschmidt’s 17th homer of the season was his second in as many nights, and the second game-ending home run of his career.
Martin Prado also homered for the Diamondbacks, who snapped a season-long four-game losing streak.
David Hernandez (3-4) threw a perfect top of the ninth for the win.
The Marlins, who were looking to win three straight for only the third time this season, took a 2-0 lead in the fourth against Randall Delgado. Derek Dietrich hit an RBI triple and scored on Adeiny Hechavarria’s single.
Eovaldi walked Miguel Montero with two outs in the fourth and Prado followed with his first homer since April 29.
“Especially after we just scored two runs and got the lead, it’s really big to get three quick outs,” Eovaldi said. “I end up walking Montero with two outs and then after that my timing was a little bit off. I started rushing it to the plate, fell behind against Prado, left a pitch middle-in and he hammered it.”
NOTES: Prado’s home run was his first in 167 at-bats spanning 44 games. … To make room for Eovaldi, the Marlins optioned LHP Edgar Olmos to Double-A Jacksonville. … The Diamondbacks optioned RHP Charles Brewer to Triple-A Tucson to make room for Delgado. … It was Delgado’s 25th career start and first with Arizona. The right-hander came to the Diamondbacks in January in a trade that also brought Prado to Arizona for Justin Upton. … Delgado had pitched once before for Arizona this season, allowing two runs on four hits in two innings after being recalled when RHP Brandon McCarthy was placed on the 15-day disabled list. … McCarthy, on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw on flat ground from 105 feet on Tuesday. … Diamondbacks RHP Trevor Cahill will try to snap a three-game losing streak Wednesday afternoon when he faces RHP Jose Fernandez and the Marlins.