The San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins can partially attribute their disappointing seasons to struggling offenses that have scored fewer runs than any other in the NL.
Chad Gaudin and especially Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi are plenty familiar with their team's scoring woes.
Eovaldi hasn't received any run support in his last five starts, and he'll oppose Gaudin as the last-place clubs begin a three-game series Friday night in Florida.
Defending World Series champion San Francisco (53-67) ranks second-to-last in the NL in runs scored, ahead of only the major league-worst Marlins (46-73). Though Miami has managed to win two of Eovaldi's last five starts, it hasn't been able to push across any runs with him on the hill.
Eovaldi (2-2, 2.82 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 1.04 ERA in his last four outings, hasn't received any run support in 34 innings since the Marlins scored twice in the second when he tossed six frames of an 8-3 win over Washington on July 12.
The right-hander gave up one hit and struck out a career high-tying eight in seven innings before the Marlins scored in the ninth for a 1-0 win at Atlanta on Saturday.
"There is always a guy like that, who the team just doesn't score runs for," manager Mike Redmond said. "In 13 years that I played, you don't have an answer. All you can say is, 'Hang in there,' and hopefully it turns around for him."
Eovaldi gave up two runs and struck out seven in six innings of a 7-2 victory over the Giants on June 23 as Miami took three of four from San Francisco, which has provided Gaudin with two or fewer runs of support in four of his last five starts.
Gaudin (5-2, 2.42), though, is 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA over his last eight outings, beginning when he gave up two hits in 4 1-3 scoreless innings of San Francisco's 2-1 loss to Miami on June 20. He's allowed fewer than two earned runs seven times in that stretch, yielding one unearned run in five innings of the Giants' 3-2 win over Baltimore on Saturday.
The right-hander has made 11 straight starts after 117 consecutive relief appearances dating back to 2009.
"In the long run, you just have to base your emphasis on getting outs as quickly as possible and keeping it simple," Gaudin, who went 4-2 with a 4.54 ERA in 46 relief appearances for the Marlins last season, told the Giants' official website.
The Giants saved most of their runs for late Thursday, as pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth for a 4-3 victory at Washington that ended a three-game skid.
''The boys needed this,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. "Save a little sanity here.''
Miami had lost eight of its previous nine before taking the final two of their series with Kansas City, including Wednesday's 5-2 win. Justin Ruggiano, who homered twice when Eovaldi beat the Giants in June, snapped a franchise-worst 0-for-42 slump by going 3 for 4.
''It became a mental issue. I wouldn't wish that on anybody in the world,'' Ruggiano said. ''I'm just glad it's over with. Now I can get back to doing what I do.''
The Marlins have won eight of the last 11 meetings with the Giants.