Eovaldi sharp early, but finds trouble in third

JUPITER, Fla. -- The arm strength and command are there for Nathan Eovaldi. Next for the Marlins' right-hander is eliminating mistakes.

For 2 1/3 innings on Sunday, Eovaldi was dominant, retiring seven straight with four strikeouts.

But he wasn't able to complete the third inning, and he gave up a home run to Brandon Hicks on an 0-2 pitch he thought was a bit off the plate. So rather than having an impressive overall outing, Eovaldi's line was somewhat misleading -- three runs on two hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

The Marlins rallied to a 6-4 win over the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium.

Eovaldi had the misfortune of having two of his earned runs score on John Buck's three-run homer off Tom Koehler.

"I thought Eovaldi pitched well," manager Mike Redmond said. "He gave up an 0-2 home run, but his stuff is good. He's got good stuff. Obviously, you try not to get too caught up in the results this time in Spring Training.

"I would love to see us execute our pitches better ahead in the count. We're giving up too many 0-2, 1-2 hits. Obviously, I understand that is going to come the later we get into Spring Training."

The positive is: Eovaldi is progressing. His pure stuff has so far been the best of any starter in Miami's camp.

"The first two innings, I felt like I pitched it in and out real well," Eovaldi said. "I didn't just throw to one side. The third inning, I was just staying away from everybody. I wasn't getting the ball in as much."