Eovaldi's best not enough

Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi holds the Diamondbacks to one run in seven innings, but a near victory slips away when closer Steve Cishek gives up three runs in the 10th. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images / July 9, 2014)

Steve Cishek has been synonymous with game over for nearly two seasons since taking over as the Miami Marlins' closer.

Lately, the lanky sidearmer's touch has been fleeting with blown saves in two of his past four outings.

In failing to hold a two-run lead Wednesday as the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied for three runs in the 10th inning, Cishek was unable to record an out for the first time since getting the closer job after the All-Star break in 2012.

Paul Goldschmidt's two-run double gave the Diamondbacks a walk-off 4-3 victory and series win. The Marlins had taken a 3-1 lead in the top of the 10th on Donovan Solano's two-run double.

"Went out there today pretty confident. Then, for whatever reason, I couldn't even hit a spot if I tried," Cishek said. "It's just disheartening, considering our guys are up there battling every inning and they give us a chance to win the ballgame, and I can't get three outs. This one hurt pretty bad."

Trouble started with a leadoff single by pinch hitter Aaron Hill and quickly snowballed when Ender Inciarte walked on a full count.

David Peralta tied it with a single to right before Goldschmidt, the D-backs' All-Star first baseman, clubbed the first pitch from Cishek, a slider, into the gap in left-center.

"It looks like his command. He was just up [in the zone] today," manager Mike Redmond said. "That's a tough one to swallow. That's definitely one you've got to have after coming back in the 10th and getting the big hit from Solano. We've got to lock that down."

The Marlins were poised for their second winning late-inning rally in two nights with Solano's liner in the left-field corner scoring Adeiny Hechavarria and Christian Yelich. Hechavarria singled to open the 10th.

The Marlins got a sterling performance from right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who held Arizona to a run and four hits in seven-plus innings.

Say this for Eovaldi, he has been a workhouse, giving the Marlins a lot of innings but little lately in the way of positive results.

Eovaldi has only one victory in his past eight starts, and the Marlins have lost the other seven, although he didn't figure in five of those decisions. He's gone at least six innings in all but one of them.

Redmond will gladly take what Eovaldi gave them Wednesday anytime.

Eovaldi took a two-hitter into the eighth inning but a scant 1-0 lead due to another inefficient effort by Marlins hitters.

Failure to muster more support proved costly when Giancarlo Stanton just missed a diving attempt at Didi Gergorius' sinking liner to right leading off the bottom of the eighth. Stanton sprawled on the ground while the ball rolled to the fence for a triple.

Nick Ahmed followed with a single past third baseman Casey McGehee to tie the game and end Eovaldi's best performance of the season. He walked one and struck out two in a 90-pitch effort (64 strikes).

The Marlins have been one of the hottest-hitting teams in the majors so far this month. They didn't look like it in this series.

Even after scoring a mere three runs in the first two games against the Diamondbacks — two of them on Marcell Ozuna's ninth-inning home run Tuesday — they had the fourth-best July batting average in the National League at .288.

Stanton, the Marlins' lone All-Star, went 0 for 11 in the series, though he did drive in the first run Wednesday with a sacrifice fly.

The Marlins managed only seven hits against D-backs starter Josh Collmenter, six of them singles.

McGehee had his career-best 14-game hitting streak and string of reaching base in 31 consecutive games end Tuesday. He wasted no time in getting back on track with a blop single in the second.

Ozuna extended his hitting streak to 15 games, one away from his career best, with a double in the seventh.

Eovaldi allowed only an infield single in the first six innings on a hard-hit ball off second baseman Solano's glove.

"I was able to get first-pitch strikes. That was the biggest key for me tonight," Eovaldi said. "I was feeling good."

Cishek said he felt fine physically, too, but was left with some soul-searching about his recent inconsident performances.

"I've felt good for a couple outings where I feel like I can hit a fly on the butt. Now [Wednesday] I felt like I couldn't hit water if I fell out of a boat," Cishek said. "I honestly don't know what it is."

Cishek had a franchise-record streak of 33 consecutive saves before he blew his first in nine months in April against the Mets at Citi Field, where the Marlins conclude the nine-game trip with a weekend series beginning Thursday. He has 20 saves in 23 chances this season.

"It's frustrating the past couple weeks, but I'm just looking forward to my next opportunity," he said.