Retiring the first 17 batters, Caleb Smith was locked and loaded Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, snapping Miami’s four-game losing skid and leading the Marlins to a 5-1 victory.
After combining to score one run Sunday and Monday, the Marlins jumped on starter Dylan Covey in the fourth to shake up the scoreless contest. A Brian Anderson leadoff double and Garrett Cooper’s groundout pushed Anderson to third, allowing Neil Walker to drive home Anderson and giving the Marlins an early 1-0 advantage. Miami was able to cross home plate three more times in the inning, including a two-run homer from Curtis Granderson.
That was plenty of run support for Smith to work with. The talented lefty attacked hitters on a consistent basis, striking out nine overall, and five consecutive at one point throughout the ballgame.
Smith had noticeably better command in this outing than he had shown since returning from the injured list. That helped him avoid hard contact and maintain an efficient pitch count.
Flirting with a perfect game after recording the first two outs in the sixth, Smith walked consecutive batters, still retaining a no-hitter. Jon Jay, the very next hitter, smacked an RBI single to right, trotting home Adam Engel to put the White Sox on the scoreboard.
In the seventh, Chicago had a runner on first, but a spectacular two-out catch in left from Granderson allowed Smith to complete seven effective for the first time since a May 1 outing at Marlins Park versus Cleveland.
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Harold Ramírez belted his fifth homer on the year to right center, extending Miami’s lead to 5-0. Covey exited after allowing five runs through six innings of work, dropping his overall record to 1-6.
Nick Anderson and Jarlin García backed up Smith’s dominance. Both of them tossed scoreless frames in relief. Anderson struck out two in a perfect eighth, whereas García’s 11-pitch ninth sealed the Marlins’ 37th victory of the season. The White Sox’s bullpen was also strong, pitching a scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth.
Miami will hope for a series victory Wednesday night, sending RHP Zac Gallen to the hill, still seeking his first big league win. Previously, Gallen held a dangerous Dodgers lineup in check this past Friday night, surrendering one unearned run in 5 1⁄3 innings of work, his longest outing thus far. Reynaldo López will be the third righty the Marlins see in the series, posting a 5-8 mark, striking out 101 batters in 111 innings. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.
Marlins vs. White Sox box score (Baseball Theater)
#Marlins snap four-game losing skid, defeating the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night, 5-1. Caleb Smith was really really really really really good, not allowing first base runner until a two-out walk in sixth. Smith 3-0 in four starts since returning from IL July 6.— Brandon Liguori (@BrandonRLiguori) July 24, 2019
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