Headline starters clash as Red Sox host Marlins

MLB Baseball

Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi will look to settle into a groove against his former team when the Red Sox host the Miami Marlins in the second of a three-game weekend series on Saturday afternoon.

Eovaldi (5-2, 4.39 ERA) has had an up-and-down season on the mound. The veteran right-hander has surrendered two or fewer runs in six starts this season, but he has allowed four or more in four of his 10 outings.

At home this season, Eovaldi is 2-2 with a 5.08 ERA in seven starts. He has pitched much better on the road, going 3-0 with a 2.76 ERA.

“I feel like I’ve pitched a little bit better than what it’s shown,” Eovaldi said after giving up two runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings in a 4-3 win at Philadelphia last Saturday. “I feel like I’ve had that one bad inning that’s really affected me. I’ve got to find a way to go out there and go deeper into ballgames.”

The 31-year-old Eovaldi spent three seasons with Miami from 2012 to 2014. He posted a 13-27 record with a 4.10 ERA over 63 starts — his most with any team — as a member of the Marlins. Eovaldi is 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA in four career starts against the Marlins.

Starling Marte, who went 1-for-3 with a strikeout in his return from a non-displaced rib fracture in Friday’s series-opening 5-2 loss, is 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs against Eovaldi. Garrett Cooper is 1-for-4 with a double against him.

Marlins left-hander Trevor Rogers is hoping to continue his impressive season and his strong run of late on the mound.

Rogers (6-2, 1.75 ERA) has permitted one run or fewer in six of his last nine outings. He has allowed just one earned run in each of his last four starts spanning 23 2/3 innings.

In his last start, Rogers limited the Phillies to two runs — one earned — on three hits and three walks while striking out a season-low five over five innings in a 9-6 victory. Rogers had struck out at least six batters in each of his prior nine starts.

The 23-year-old has faced the Red Sox only once before as a rookie in 2020. Rogers allowed one run on three hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts over three innings in an 8-4 home win against Boston last Sept. 16.

Alex Verdugo is 2-for-2 lifetime versus Rogers, and Hunter Renfroe is 1-for-2 with a solo home run against him.

Verdugo hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth on Friday to give the Red Sox an eventual three-run win to open the series. Play was paused in the middle of the sixth and officially called following a 1-hour, 25-minute rain delay.

“(We have to keep the) same mindset,” said Marlins starter Cody Poteet, who allowed five runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings Friday. “Those things (the weather) are out of your control. … Wet field, the other team is dealing with it as well. So, it’s just part of the game.”

Despite losing back-to-back games, the Marlins have won four of their last seven and nine of 16 games overall. Meanwhile, Boston earned its sixth win in eight games and has taken nine of its previous 13.

–Field Level Media

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