The Miami Marlins were not expecting another brilliant performance from Henderson Alvarez given his first two outings from the 2014 season, but the Alvarez from the tail end of the 2013 campaign reappeared against the Seattle Mariners. In front of a lively Marlins crowd (for Marlins standards), Alvarez put up a masterpiece. striking out four Mariners and allowing just two hits while navigating the complete game shutout.
Alvarez was creating some magic early in the game, as he retired the first 15 batters he faced. Murmurs and rumblings began of a no-hitter akin to the performance he flashed in the final game of the 2013 season, and it was beginning to look like a dominant performance. Alvarez allowed a single to Dustin Ackley on the first pitch of the next inning, and Mike Zunino managed a double down the line in the ninth inning with the game out of hand, but otherwise Alvarez suppressed the Mariners efficiently. Not only did he notch four strikeouts versus no walks (the two hits were his only blemishes in the game), but he did so in 90 pitches, making the game a highly efficient one. The finish came at just before 9:30 PM EST, making for an extremely easy watch (makes it easier being on the winning side).
Alvarez got plenty of run support in case he or the bullpen faltered. The Fish jumped out early, as Miami took advantage of a double by Christian Yelich (along with an error that moved him to third base) and brought him home with one out thanks to a Casey McGehee single. The Marlins scored again in the next inning against Mariners lefty Roenis Elias after a balk and a passed ball eventually brought one runner home.
The capper, however, came in the sixth inning. Henderson Alvarez contributed with the bat by singling home a run, and Christian Yelich found himself aboard with a walk for Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna then blasted his third home run of the season, a three-run shot into the Clevelander pool. It was the tenth straight game with a Marlins home run.
The Fish will look for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon with Kevin Slowey on the mound.