Nathan Eovaldi was serving the San Diego Padres strikeout succotash all game.
He fanned eight Friars in seven innings and was working on a shutout. That was until he served a surprise to Padres pinch hitter and birthday boy Alexi Amarista.
That surprise turned out to be a three-run home run off Eovaldi's slider that went into the right field seats and changed the complexion of the game.
"Instead of getting a gift from his teammates, he gave a gift to the team," said Padres first base coach Jose Valentin.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond admitted that he "definitely didn't see that coming," but likes what he saw from Eovaldi, who continues to develop into their second ace.
"It's just one of those games where I really thought Eovaldi pitched so well in that game to win and to get beat on a three-run pinch hit homer," Redmond said, "you don't see that everyday."
Three earned runs and eight strikeouts in seven innings is almost all a manager could ask for in a starter, but the Marlins' bats could only muster one run from Ian Kennedy, who fanned five Fightin' Fish while in six innings while giving up only one run and three hits.
The San Diego bullpen held the game down after manager Bud Black took the ball from Kennedy. Aside from a pinch hit (go figure) RBI from Jeff Baker in the bottom of the seventh, the Marlins were suppressed by the Padres relievers, and didn't see a hit for the remainder 2.2 innings.
The Padres (2-5) will take their talents from South Beach to Cleveland and face the Indians while the Marlins (5-2) test their metal on the road against division rivals Washington and Philadelphia.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to going there and play after a nice homestand," Redmond said. "Hopefully we keep this momentum going."