Nathan Eovaldi shuts Braves down as Marlins avoid sweep
ATLANTA (AP) -- Nathan Eovaldi wanted his first career complete game.
He settled for a dominant win.
Eovaldi combined with Steve Cishek on an eight-hit shutout, Jeff Mathis homered and drove in three runs, and the Miami Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 7-0 on Sunday to end their six-game losing streak.
Ed Lucas had a two-run single and Mathis added a two-run double in the Marlins' five-run third inning.
Eovaldi (3-5) halted Miami's skid and his personal five-game slide by earning his first win since July 12 against Washington. He gave up seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in eight innings, his longest start of the season.
After throwing 102 pitches through eight innings, Eovaldi was not given the chance to return to the mound for the ninth.
"I felt great," he said. "I really wanted to go back out there."
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said it was important to give an inning to Cishek, the closer who had pitched only one inning in the last week.
"I said, `C'mon, Red!'" Eovaldi said with a laugh.
Cishek worked around a walk and single to get the final three outs.
Eovaldi earned his first win in six career starts against Atlanta. He began the day with a 2.79 ERA against the Braves. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing only one hit, but received a no-decision in the Marlins' 1-0 win at Atlanta on Aug. 10.
Eovaldi said he could relax after his teammates gave him a 7-0 lead.
"It was awesome," he said. "We blew it open in the third and I was able to relax, go right after the hitters."
Braves rookie Alex Wood (3-3) yielded seven runs in 2 1-3 innings as Atlanta's six-game winning streak ended.
It was a rare poor outing for Wood, a left-hander who was 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in five August starts. His overall ERA climbed from 2.27 to 3.15.
"Maybe experiencing it this time will help him the next time," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Wood, making his fourth appearance and second start of the season against the Marlins, didn't agree with the suggestion that Miami's hitters made adjustments to his pitches and delivery.
"I don't think it has anything to do with them getting a second look," Wood said. "I've thrown against some other teams more than once.
"Give them credit. They beat me like a drum today."
Veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia, called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game, replaced Wood in the third. The 36-year-old Garcia threw 4 2-3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and one walk.
"Freddy did a good job saving our bullpen," Gonzalez said.
The Braves acquired Garcia from the Orioles on Aug. 23 for cash.
"First-place team, you've got to be excited," Garcia said before the game.
Gonzalez said Garcia could also be used as a spot starter in the final month of the regular season.
Garcia is 155-106 in 16 major league seasons with Seattle, the White Sox, Philadelphia, Detroit, the Yankees and Baltimore. He was 3-5 with a 5.77 ERA in 11 games, including 10 starts, with Baltimore this season.
Placido Polanco's single drove in Christian Yelich in the first, and Mathis homered with two outs in the second for a 2-0 lead.
The Marlins knocked Wood out of the game with five hits in the third. Donovan Solano had a run-scoring single.
Miami's Jake Marisnick threw out Paul Janish at the plate in the seventh as Janish attempted to score from second on Jose Constanza's single to center.
NOTES: Braves 3B Chris Johnson was held out of the lineup with what Gonzalez said was "a little leg issue." Johnson had a pinch-hit single in the ninth. ... Marlins OF Chris Coghlan came off the 15-day DL and entered the game in right field in the seventh. Coghlan was placed on the DL on June 9 because of right calf nerve irritation, but a back strain was the more serious injury. ... Miami recalled RHP Chris Hatcher and LHP Zach Phillips from Triple-A New Orleans. ... Miami 1B Logan Morrison said his left knee was fine. He fouled a ball off the knee on Saturday. ... Miami OF Justin Ruggiano did not start due to slight tightness in his calf but was available as a pinch-hitter, according to Redmond. ... RHP Henderson Alvarez will be on the mound when Miami opens a series at the Chicago Cubs on Monday. ... The Braves' nine-game homestand continues when LHP Paul Maholm faces Mets RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka on Monday.