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First spring start yields all positives for Eovaldi

VIERA, Fla. -- The quality of the swings told the story of Nathan Eovaldi's first Grapefruit League outing.

The Marlins' right-hander was impressive in two scoreless innings on Wednesday, striking out three without allowing a hit in Miami's 5-1 victory over the Nationals.

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"I don't know how hard he was throwing," manager Mike Redmond said. "They don't have a radar gun here. Usually you can tell by the reactions of the hitters. There were not a lot of comfortable swings in there. That's usually a good sign."

Eovaldi's fastball typically is in the mid-to-upper 90s. He certainly had plenty of movement on his pitches on Wednesday, although things didn't begin smoothly, as he walked Denard Span to open the first inning. From there, it was all Eovaldi. He struck out Bryce Harper with a slider, and fanned Jayson Werth on what turned into a strike out/throw out. With the count full, Span tried to steal second, but he was tossed out by Kyle Skipworth.

"I tried to be quick, to give him the best chance," Eovaldi said. "It was 3-2 [count]. I was assuming he was going to be running at some point. Make a good pitch, and he did the rest. Quick back there. Perfect throw."

Eovaldi had a perfect second inning, adding another strikeout. Of his 26 pitches, 15 were strikes.

"From what I've seen, he's got some good movement on that fastball," Redmond said. "He's got a plus fastball."

Eovaldi projects to be either Miami's second or third starter.

"I was a little anxious at the very beginning," he said. "I tried to stay within myself after that, and had a little better control.

"I think I threw two or three changeups. They felt really good. The fastball command, after those first few batters, I felt like it was there. The slider felt good. I didn't throw any curveballs. I felt good. I felt I got the work in."

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