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Eovaldi outpitched by Wood as Marlins lose 1-0

Sunday - 8/31/2014, 10:12pm  ET

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, left, stands on the mound after giving up a home run to Atlanta Braves' Evan Gattis, right, in the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

GEORGE HENRY
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- Most of Nathan Eovaldi's pitches were working fine, except for one fastball to Evan Gattis.

"I feel like I misplaced some fastballs," Eovaldi said. "I missed that one to Gattis. Right down the middle. That was the difference in the game."

Eovaldi was outpitched by Alex Wood, and the Miami Marlins couldn't overcome a punchless offense in a 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

Wood struck out 12 in eight dominant innings, and Gattis homered for Atlanta.

The Marlins, who have lost six of eight, had gone 60 games without getting shut out, the longest active streak in the majors.

Atlanta, which has won four of five and 11 of 15, remained 1 1/2 games out of the second NL wild-card spot.

Craig Kimbrel earned his major league-high 41st save in 45 chances.

Kimbrel retired Donovan Solano on a grounder and Giancarlo Stanton on a popup before giving up a single to Casey McGehee. The All-Star closer struck out pinch-hitter Garrett Jones to end it.

Wood (10-10) matched his career high in strikeouts for the second time this month. The 23-year-old left-hander, who improved to 3-2 with a 1.86 ERA in his last seven starts, gave up five hits and walked none.

"He was tough," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He mixed his speeds, in and out, threw some breaking balls, expanded the zone a little bit."

Eovaldi (6-10) allowed nine hits and struck out six in 6 2-3 innings, dropping his fourth straight start. Chris Hatcher replaced him after Phil Gosselin and Freddie Freeman had consecutive singles in the seventh, ending the threat on Justin Upton's flyout.

"We always have close games with them, it feels like," Eovaldi said. "Alex threw well tonight. Again, it came down to that one home run by Gattis."

Gattis, who batted .237 in his previous 33 games after returning from a back injury, hit his 21st homer in the second.

"I just wanted to stay aggressive with him," Gattis said. "I didn't want to get caught in between and take any heaters for strikes. Thought that would be my best chance."

The Braves got just three runners in scoring position after that despite finishing with 11 hits.

Wood had no concerns with not getting a chance to earn his first career shutout when manager Fredi Gonzalez removed him for a pinch-hitter so Kimbrel could pitch the ninth.

"I would've liked to go back out there, for sure," Wood said. "But that's the nature of the beast when you have the best closer in baseball."

In the first five innings, Wood allowed two hits -- a leadoff single to Solano in the fourth and a one-out single to Jeff Baker in the second -- before Eovaldi, Christian Yelich and Solano loaded the bases with consecutive singles in the sixth.

But Stanton, who was tied for tops in the majors with 98 RBIs, struck out on three pitches, and McGehee took a called third strike on a slow, inside curve to end the threat.

Wood threw strikes on 74 of 101 pitches.

UP NEXT

The Marlins return home Monday, when RHP Henderson Alvarez (10-6) faces the Mets. Alvarez has won four of seven career starts against New York.

RECORD RELIEF

Kimbrel is the first pitcher to begin his career with at least 40 saves in four straight seasons.

TOUGH CLIMB

Despite losing just four times in their last 15 games, the second-place Braves have gained no ground on Washington in the NL East and remain six games back.

LONG DAY

Atlanta RF Jason Heyward went 0 for 4 after going 5 for 7 in the first two games of the series. Heyward began the afternoon hitting .348 over his last 41 games. ... Upton, who went 1 for 4, had hit safely in 20 of 27 games with 28 RBIs this month. ... Miami's Nos. 3-6 hitters -- Stanton, McGehee, Baker, Jones and Marcell Ozuna, went a combined 2 for 15.

HE'S OUT

Redmond unsuccessfully challenged that Solano was safe in the ninth after 3B Chris Johnson's throw barely beat the runner. The review took 1 minute, 27 seconds.


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