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MIA 3, WSH 5; Spring undefeated streak snapped in rain-shortened game

Sandy Alcantara and the Marlins pitching staff combined for 10 strikeouts on Saturday.

Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Jupiter, Fla.—With the news that Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sixto Sánchez is slightly behind schedule due to a false positive COVID-19 test delaying his throwing program, it is almost a sure thing Sandy Alcantara will be the Marlins’ Opening Day starter.

After a two-inning shutout in his first start of the spring, Alcantara struggled with his command on Saturday. He needed 27 pitches to get out of the first inning, giving up two hits, one walk, and two unearned runs.

He settled down in the second inning, but opened up the third with a strikeout and a walk before being pulled for Richard Bleier, who finished the inning without giving up a run. Alcantara ended his afternoon with 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 6 K.

Daniel Castano, who started six games for Miami last year, allowed three runs in three innings. He is one of three pitchers competing for the fifth rotation spot, along with Nick Neidert and Trevor Rogers. Non-roster invitee Jake Fishman—acquired in the minor league phase of December’s Rule 5 draft—was about to make his Marlins spring debut before the rain delay and subsequent postponement.

As for other position competitions, the battle for the Opening Day first base spot stayed hot. Jesús Aguilar opened the Marlins’ scoring with an RBI single up the middle to score Corey Dickerson. After getting brushed by a pitch up and in in the third inning, Garrett Cooper hit a two-run home run to left field.

Because of the short game, the reps were limited for Miami’s bench players. Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison, Lewin Diaz, Jon Berti, and Isan Diaz were all hitless in their lone at-bats.

With six complete innings, the game was official, meaning the Marlins recorded their first loss of the spring, 5-3. The Marlins travel north to Port St. Lucie Sunday to take on the New York Mets at 1:10 p.m. Pablo López will start on the mound for Miami against Marcus Stroman and the Mets.