Eovaldi hit hard early as Marlins fall in Atlanta

Gaudin, Jennings throw shutout relief, but first two frames too much

Eovaldi hit hard early as Marlins fall in Atlanta
ATLANTA -- Jose Reyes is on a hot streak, but the Marlins are not.

On a night Reyes matched his career-best hitting streak, the Marlins suffered another rough loss.

Recently acquired Nathan Eovaldi was tagged for six runs in two innings, and the Marlins were upended, 6-1, by the Braves on Thursday night at Turner Field.

Atlanta took three of four in the series, and used a quick eight-hit attack against Eovaldi to take control early in the finale. Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman each had two-run doubles.

"I felt like I never got into that good groove," Eovaldi said. "I felt every time I was ahead, I didn't get guys out. They took all of my offspeed pitches and just hit my fastball. It was just one of those nights."

Reyes tripled to open the sixth inning, extending his hitting streak to 20 games. It's the longest active stretch in the Majors. The veteran shortstop previously hit safely in 20 games while with the Mets from July 17-Aug. 7, 2005.

Reyes scored on Carlos Lee's sacrifice fly.

It was about the one thing offensively the Marlins were able to manufacture.

Reyes has been playing inspired during a rough stretch, but being down by six runs after two innings created a difficult uphill climb.

The Marlins acquired Eovaldi from the Dodgers on July 25 as part of the Hanley Ramirez trade. The right-hander was effective in his Miami debut, beating the Padres at Marlins Park.

In Atlanta, it was a different story.

"He only threw a few breaking balls for strikes," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "With the hitting club they have, they aren't missing too many fastballs. He was behind. His changeup was bad. His breaking ball was bad. To have a good game, especially against them -- they swing the bats very well -- your breaking ball has to work. He had a bad game."

For the second time in three days, rain halted play. In the top of the fourth inning, Miami had one on and two outs when a downpour caused the umpires to suspend play, and the game resumed after a 42-minute delay.

On Tuesday, the game was delayed an hour and 53 minutes.

The stoppage cost Atlanta lefty Mike Minor a chance to qualify for the win. The lefty allowed two hits over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Minor, who threw 55 pitches, was lifted for Cristhian Martinez.

Martinez was credited with the win, giving up one run in three innings.

As for Eovaldi, the right-hander was never able to get going. He threw 38 pitches in a three-run first inning and finished with 64 total pitches.

"I struggled with my changeup and slider, throwing it for strikes," Eovaldi said. "They were sitting on the fastball. Even the ones I located, they hit them pretty well."

Threatening weather hovered over the field from the time the Marlins began batting practice around 5:30 p.m. ET. The day got gloomier in the first inning, when Atlanta pounced on Eovaldi. In all, Atlanta sent nine to the plate and collected five hits.

Reed Johnson set the big inning in motion with a one-out single, and Jason Heyward's single to right put runners on the corners. Jones blistered a two-run double, and Dan Uggla added an RBI single. Eovaldi avoided further damage by striking out Minor, stranding the bases loaded.

The second inning was more of the same for Eovaldi, who got in an immediate jam after Michael Bourn singled and Johnson was hit by a pitch. Heyward lined a run-scoring single and Freeman collected a two-run double.

"He's got a pretty good arm," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Eovaldi. "His command wasn't as sharp as we've seen him, and we took advantage of it."

Although there wasn't much that went right for Miami, the team did receive a big boost from its bullpen.

Chad Gaudin stepped up, saving the 'pen by throwing four scoreless innings.

Dan Jennings added two scoreless innings the night before the team is set to play a doubleheader in Washington on Friday.

"Once again, Gaudin went out there and pitched well for us," Guillen said. "The bullpen, they didn't score any runs against them. I think they did a great job. I didn't think we'd make it through with just three guys. The bullpen did a tremendous job. We have a doubleheader tomorrow. Those two guys came up big."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.