Marlins ace Sandy Alcántara, who had missed more than a month of in-game action due to testing positive for COVID-19, returned to the mound Sunday afternoon in the series finale vs. the Tampa Bay Rays at Marlins Park. However, the right-hander was greeted with two solo home runs in the opening inning, as the Rays, who once led, 12-1, finished off a struggling Miami club, 12-7, smacking four home runs in the victory.
Alcántara tossed 32 pitches in the first and left in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and zero down. Alcántara’s replacement, Robert Dugger, allowed four runs on five hits in his only inning out of the bullpen.
Tampa Bay left-hander Blake Snell had a no-hitter going on until Corey Dickerson’s one-out, solo home run in the fourth trimmed the deficit to 5-1. Garrett Cooper, who missed over a month due to COVID-19, returned to the starting order Friday night and finished 2-for-5 with 4 RBIs Sunday, adding a solo home run in the sixth. As a team, the Marlins totaled three home runs Sunday, with Lewis Brinson belting his first homer of the season an inning prior.
Lewis Brinson's first home run in 2 years pic.twitter.com/j7b6E2UZaW— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 30, 2020
Brinson had gone homerless in his previous 364 plate appearances—dating back to 2018—before snapping the drought against Snell. Though still unbecoming of somebody previously considered a top MLB prospect, he’s on pace for the most effective offensive season of his career.
Unfortunately, the Marlins dug themselves into a deep, deep hole and never truly threatened to make the game competitive.
Manager Don Mattingly noted postgame that the organization had a team meeting to discuss their recent run production struggles, as the Marlins currently sit in third place in a tight National League East.
Sunday’s defeat marked the first time the Marlins slipped below the .500 point (14-15) and Monday does not get any easier. The team will travel to Citi Field to face New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom for the fourth time in 2020. Miami left-hander Trevor Rogers, who debuted this past Tuesday night in game two of a day-night doubleheader, will get the nod. Rogers walked five batters, struck out six and allowed a two-out, second-inning single to Amed Rosario in four scoreless innings, which resulted in a 3-0 Marlins victory. Monday’s matchup is a make-up for last Thursday’s postponement. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET.
The Marlins/Mets game coincides with the MLB trade deadline. Get caught up on the latest Miami-related developments here.