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MIA@ATL: Eovaldi tosses eight scoreless frames in win

Jose Fernandez has drawn plenty of attention, and rightfully so. His start on Friday proves why, as the dominant 21-year-old carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of the Marlins' 7-0 win over the Nationals. While Fernandez has easily served as Miami's ace, Nathan Eovaldi has become a consistently reliable starter for the Marlins.

The right-hander is coming off his first win since the All-Star break, which came on a stellar, eight-inning performance against the Braves. Eovaldi allowed seven hits, but didn't allow a run.

He'll look to build off that start on Saturday when he takes the mound for the Marlins in the middle game of a three-game series against the Nationals. Washington will hand the ball to its own young pitcher, Tanner Roark.

Eovaldi has 12 quality starts in 14 outings this season, and he has thrown at least seven innings in four of his last six starts. Since a difficult start against the Giants on Aug. 16, the 23-year-old has allowed a total of five runs in three starts.

Before his last start, he hadn't recorded a win since July 12, though that's not because he hadn't pitched well enough.

"He's an exciting guy as well. I say it kind of quietly, but he's had a nice run as well," manager Mike Redmond said of Eovaldi. "Unfortunately for him, we haven't scored him many runs. In his last start in Atlanta, he finally got some runs, and he was able to throw an outstanding game."

Eovaldi is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA against the Nationals this season. He last started against Washington on Aug. 27, and he gave up two runs on eight hits over six innings.

Meanwhile, Roark will be making his first Major League start on Saturday after pitching out of the bullpen since coming up to the big leagues from Triple-A Syracuse on Aug. 6.

In nine appearances, he's 4-0 with an impressive 1.19 ERA. The 26-year-old has allowed 14 hits in 22 2/3 innings.

Washington moved him into the starting rotation to take the spot of Ross Ohlendorf, who's going back to the bullpen. Ohlendorf was 2-0 with a 3.62 ERA in five starts.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said this is a good opportunity to see how Roark pitches as a starter in the Major Leagues.

"This is giving Tanner Roark an opportunity to start up here in the big leagues and see how he fits," Johnson said. "He was good out of the 'pen, but he is a young starter. [Pitching coordinator] Spin Williams really likes him as a big league starter. So we figured we take a look at that."

Nationals: Harper hitless in return to lineup
Bryce Harper has been dealing with a hip strain, but after two days of rest, he returned to the Nationals' lineup in their series-opening 7-0 loss to the Marlins on Friday. The left fielder went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.

Johnson gave Harper a day off on Wednesday, and then the Nationals had an off-day on Thursday. Johnson said Friday that Harper wasn't 100 percent, but he wanted to be in the lineup. With Washington fighting for a National League Wild Card spot, having Harper's bat in the lineup is crucial.

"Just a little hip sprain," Johnson said. "He still can run good. I think occasionally, he aggravates it at home plate on a swing and as soon as he gets out of the box. The trainers informed me that it's not something that will get worse, so he can play with it."

• Zach Walters made his Major League debut Friday against the Marlins, and the 24-year-old made sure his first at-bat would be memorable. Walters broke up Fernandez's no-hitter with an infield single for his first big league hit. Washington selected Walters' contract from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday.

Marlins: Coghlan continues to show versatility
Chris Coghlan started in left field for the Marlins on Friday, his third different position in a week. When he came off the disabled list on Sept. 1, Coghlan saw some time in right field, and then started at third base for two of Miami's games against the Cubs this week.

Redmond said this is the time of year to see certain players in different positions. Coghlan, especially, is showing his versatility.

"I embrace it," Coghlan said. "I think it only helps our team. It helps me. I think it's a win-win to be able to play and be more versatile and not be locked into one or two positions. I think there are things I can help the team do."

• Outfielder Christian Yelich went 1-for-4 on Friday night to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He's 13-for-29 (.448) over that span.

Worth noting
• Giancarlo Stanton is 5-for-11 (.455) in his last three games.

• Denard Span was scratched from the Nationals' lineup on Friday with tightness in his groin.

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