Wood falls in battle of young pitchers
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
September 02, 2013 12:11 AM | 871 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alex Wood gave up seven runs to the Marlins in two-plus innings, and the Braves were unable to fight their way back in Sunday’s series finale.
<Br>Associated Press photo
Alex Wood gave up seven runs to the Marlins in two-plus innings, and the Braves were unable to fight their way back in Sunday’s series finale.
Associated Press photo
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ATLANTA — Alex Wood quickly looked ahead after a rare ugly loss.

“It’s how you bounce back, you know?” Wood said after following up a dominant August run with the shortest start of his young career.

Wood gave up a career-high seven runs while lasting only 2 1/3 innings Sunday, and the Atlanta Braves’ six-game winning streak ended with a 7-0 loss to Nathan Eovaldi and the Miami Marlins.

Eovaldi combined with Steve Cishek on an eight-hit shutout and Jeff Mathis homered and drove in three runs for Miami, which snapped its 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.

It was a rare poor outing for Wood (3-3), a rookie 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 (Sunday).”

Veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia, called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game, replaced Wood in the third. Garcia, 36, 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.

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 try for his first career complete game.

“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 a 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 was able to get comfortable Sunday 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.”

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. ... Atlanta’s nine-game homestand continues when LHP Paul Maholm faces Mets RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka today.

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