JUPITER, Fla.—Splitting first baseman duties for the Marlins on Saturday afternoon, Miguel Rojas and Pedro Álvarez combined to go 5-for-5 at the plate with three extra-base hits and six runs batted in, leading the Fish back from a 6-0 deficit to beat the Mets, 11-6. It extended the club’s Grapefruit League winning streak to eight games.
On the other hand, it’s concerning that highly regarded right-hander Sandy Alcántara put them in that hole in the first place. Don Mattingly had set a goal for Alcántara to complete six innings. He fell well short of that: 3.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.
With a handful of other arms performing more consistently during Spring Training, Alcántara’s inefficiency could cost him an active roster spot. He hopes to finish on a high note with one more outing next week.
The Marlins saved Alcántara from a losing decision in this one when the Mets attempted to extend Jason Vargas for a third time through the lineup. The crafty lefty failed to record an out in the bottom of the fifth, as Miami rallied from down 6-0 to 6-5 before the bullpen finally completed the inning.
Álvarez put the Marlins ahead with a three-run homer in the sixth. He then added insurance with another two-run blast in the eighth. The power display boosted the 32-year-old to a 1.001 OPS, but veteran lefty bats Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson currently block him from an Opening Day role. (Saturday was Granderson’s 38th birthday, by the way. Enjoy it, Grandy Man!)
Four Marlins contributed 5 1⁄3 innings of scoreless relief. Rule 5 draft pick Riley Ferrell was on the mound at the end when a rain shower intensified and the umpires called the game with two outs in the ninth inning.
Listen to Mattingly’s postgame comments:
In pursuit of an undefeated week, the Marlins host the Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Fish Stripes’ own Ian Smith will be there covering it.