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SD@MIA: Newly acquired Eovaldi discusses future start

The Marlins hope to get some early returns on the Hanley Ramirez trade when righty Nathan Eovaldi makes his first start for Miami on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Eovaldi, acquired along with Minor Leaguer Scott McGough on Wednesday for Ramirez and Randy Choate, was 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA in 10 starts with the Dodgers this season, and he also appeared 10 times for Los Angeles last year. He gave up just one run despite scattering seven hits over 4 1/3 innings against the Mets in his last outing as a Dodger. He struck out seven batters in that game, tying a career high.

Eovaldi may prove to be the gem of the Ramirez deal. The Dodgers certainly thought a lot of the youngster, who looks to kick off a successful tenure in Miami.

"He commands the zone well for a young kid, competes his butt off and isn't afraid of anything or anybody," Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White said before the season. "I think you're looking at a kid that, as long as he stays healthy, should be a heck of a big leaguer for a while."

"I'm still new to everything, it's just getting used to it, the new stadium and stuff," Eovaldi said Friday. "I'm not too nervous at all. I am taking it as another start, and I'm going to keep going with the same game plan and keep doing what I'm doing."

Eovaldi's opponent on the hill will be someone who knows a thing or two about evaluating deals, Padres starter Ross Ohlendorf. Once named the third-smartest man in professional sports by the Sporting News, the Princeton economics major believed his poor start in San Diego merited a new approach.

After giving up 10 runs and 20 hits over just 13 2/3 innings in June -- his first month with the Padres -- the 29-year-old Ohlendorf decided to sell some changes he had made to his old delivery. He reincorporated lifting his hands over his head and the twist of the body that had comprised his delivery in more successful stints in his career.

Since those adjustments, Ohlendorf is 2-0 in four appearances (two starts) with a 3.94 ERA, including 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball in his last outing against Colorado. His catcher in that game, John Baker, believes Ohlendorf's rediscovered motion is part of the reason for that success.

"He's got this almost Luis Tiant-like turn before he goes and throws the ball," Baker said. "It's added a little deception."

Marlins: Reyes takes over in the three-hole
Manager Ozzie Guillen is turning to shortstop Jose Reyes to start driving in runs from the three-spot in the order, rather than creating them from the leadoff spot he's held down for much of the season. Reyes did that Friday, turning in a fourth-inning RBI triple to give Miami its first run of the game and extend his hitting streak to 14 games, one short of his season high.

Filling the hole left by Reyes in the leadoff spot will be fellow speedster Emilio Bonifacio, who singled in his first at-bat Friday before being thrown out for just the third time in 29 stolen-base attempts this season.

Padres: Maybin returns to lineup
Center fielder Cameron Maybin was back in the starting lineup Friday night after being absent for seven games with soreness in his right wrist. Maybin made his presence felt almost immediately, making a diving grab to rob Bryan Petersen of a hit in the second inning of the series opener. He also had an RBI double in the game.

Maybin, who came to San Diego from the Marlins via trade after the 2010 season, has dominated against his old team, hitting .439 against them over the past two seasons coming into this weekend's series. The 25-year-old was rounding back into his strong 2011 form prior to the wrist soreness, hitting .356 in his last 18 games before his return to the lineup Friday.

Worth noting
• Padres utility man Alexi Amarista was not in the starting lineup for the third straight game after leaving Monday's game with a jammed left thumb. The injury did not require an MRI exam. Amarista is hitting .350 since June 13. Comments