video thumbnail

MIA@CHC: Eovaldi allows three runs over 7 2/3 frames

Marlins right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will have more than the Pirates on his mind as he enters his start Friday night at Marlins Park.

Eovaldi's wife is expecting the couple's first child any day, and the righty plans to head to Texas if the baby is on the way -- even if he is on the mound when she goes into labor.

"Chuck said once I get the call, I'm coming out of the game," Eovaldi said, referring to Marlins pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.

"We're not sure when we're having the baby. If it doesn't happen any day now, it will happen Sunday. I'd probably come to the field and throw a bullpen [session] on Sunday and leave after that, and be back Wednesday."

Eovaldi has pitched well in his last two outings, in which he has allowed five runs in 15 2/3 innings. Marlins pitchers have kept them in the National League East, despite the loss of ace Jose Fernandez to season-ending Tommy John surgery.

"I feel like guys have just continued to get better," Evoaldi said. "We're going deeper in ballgames and giving ourselves better chances to win. The bullpen has been throwing a lot better as well. We've just been playing very good baseball lately."

The Pirates are hoping the promotion of rookie Gregory Polanco can provide a spark, even as they deal with injury issues.

Starters Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano both landed on the disabled list, and second baseman Neil Walker had an appendectomy Monday.

Pittsburgh will send left-hander Jeff Locke to the mound for his third start of the year on Friday. He is 0-1 with a 5.11 ERA.

Pirates: Sunday's starter still unclear
The Pirates placed left-hander Francisco Liriano on the disabled list Wednesday with a left oblique strain, making him the second starter the Pirates have lost to the DL this week (Gerrit Cole, shoulder fatigue).

Liriano was scheduled to start Sunday in Miami, and it is unclear who will replace him in the rotation. Manager Clint Hurdle had no update on Thursday afternoon. However, right-handed reliever Casey Sadler, who was a potential candidate to get the nod, was sent to Triple-A in order to make room on the 25-man roster for utility infielder Michael Martinez.

Liriano left Tuesday's game in the fourth inning after feeling discomfort in his left side. This DL stint marks the sixth in the 30-year-old's career, although his first with an oblique issue. Liriano is 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA in 14 starts this season.

Marlins: Jones faces former team
Miami's Garrett Jones will get to meet up with some old friends when the Pirates are in town this weekend.

Jones played for the Bucs from 2009 through last season. A year ago, the left-handed-hitting first baseman was used in platoon situations. He rarely played against lefty starting pitchers. In 403 at-bats, he belted 15 homers and drove in 51 runs.

Now, the Marlins are giving Jones steady playing time no matter who is starting, and he has responded with 16 doubles, eight homers and 29 RBIs.

Jones, though, has sat on occasions against lefties, with either Ed Lucas or Jeff Baker filling in at first base, and that could be the case Friday against the southpaw Locke.

Worth noting
• The Marlins open a 10-game homestand on Friday.

• The Pirates have won seven of their last nine against Miami.

• Rafael Furcal, who has been on the disabled list all season, could be reinstated from the 60-day DL on Friday. The 36-year-old second baseman has been on the DL with a left hamstring strain and a strained right groin.

• Hurdle has accepted an invitation to serve on Cardinals manager Mike Matheny's NL coaching staff during the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field on July 15. Comments