Eovaldi tries to pitch Marlins to rare sweep of Cards

( - Miami right-hander Nathan Eovaldi hasn't won consecutive starts in over two months. He'll try to do so on Wednesday night and pitch the Marlins to their first three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals at home in over 19 years.

Eovaldi won for the first time in eight outings with a 2-1 decision over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, scattering five hits and a walk over eight scoreless innings while striking out six.

While Eovaldi snapped a three-decision skid with his first victory since June 23, the Marlins have won each of his last three outings.

"He executed his pitches and mixed in just enough breaking balls to keep them off-balanced," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of Eovaldi.

Eovaldi is 6-6 with a 3.99 earned run average on the year and has not won two starts in a row wince May 21 and 26.

The 24-year-old did not get a decision in his first two career starts versus the Cardinals before a 3-2 setback in St. Louis on July 4. Eovaldi yielded all three runs over six innings.

The Marlins have won four of their last five games and are attempting to sweep the Cardinals in Miami for the first time since July 28-30, 1995. After picking up a one-run victory in Monday's opener, Miami stole a 3-0 victory last night over Adam Wainwright thanks to a gem from Jarred Cosart.

Cosart logged seven shutout innings in his second start with Miami since being acquired from the Houston Astros on July 31. He made his debut with the Marlins the next day, but then had a start skipped due to a sore oblique.

It didn't show on Tuesday, with the hurler yielding three hits and one walk.

"He was great," said Redmond. "You never really know when a guy takes that many days off what you're going to get but I think the time off for him was good. He was sharp."

Donovan Solano hit a two-run homer for Miami, which got all three of its runs off Wainwright. The Cardinals hurler was aiming for his 15th win of the season, but instead yielded seven hits and a walk in seven innings.

The Cardinals, who have lost four of five, never really threatened until the ninth inning, when they had runners at the corners against Bryan Morris. But Mike Dunn came in to strike out Matt Adams and earn his first save this season.

"I speak on behalf of everybody, this is not the kind of game that we want to put together," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose club sits three games back of the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central.

Looking to avoid the sweep, the Cardinals hope that right-hander Justin Masterson can get on track in his third start with the club since being acquired from the Cleveland Indians.

Though Masterson has split his first two outings since the trade, he hasn't been impressive in either. He gave up five runs over six frames in his St. Louis debut on Aug. 2, but won a 9-7 decision. The 29-year-old then lasted only two-plus innings at Baltimore on Friday, charged with five runs on seven hits, including two homers, and three walks.

"I think we just tried to make the sinker do a little too much," Masterson said. "It just came out a little early, so hitters were seeing it a little earlier. They put some good swings on it. They didn't miss anything."

Masterson has a 2.25 ERA without a decision in two previous meetings with the Marlins, including one start.

The Cardinals have lost five of their last six in Miami after winning seven straight there.