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Sandy Bounces Back, Cooper Breaks Out, Marlins Take Two of Three From The Phillies

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The Marlins were led by a gem from their ace, Sandy Alcantara, and a breakout game from Garrett Cooper to a 6-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies
Garrett Cooper launches a game breaking home run that led the Marlins to a series-clinching win over the Phillies.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sandy Alcantara bounced back from the worst start of his career with a gem that led the Marlins to a 6-0 series-clinching win over the Phillies on Thursday.

The Marlins got out to an early lead with a Miguel Rojas home run off David Hale in the 3rd inning. Hale got the start after Vince Velasquez was scratched about 20 minutes before game time and provided three solid innings of work, allowing just the one run on Rojas’s round tripper.

Garrett Cooper then expanded on that lead with a two-run blast off Matt Moore in the 4th that landed in the 2nd deck in left field at Citizens Bank Park. That home run was Cooper’s first since April 26th in Milwaukee.

Cooper added another extra base hit in the 6th, this time a triple into right field that extended the Marlins lead to 4-0. Cooper had a .959 OPS on the Marlins 10-game road trip, and his emergence could be huge for the Marlins lineup as they continue to get healthy. “I think I found exactly where I wanna be,” said Cooper.

Cooper was almost on cycle watch after he doubled down the line in the 7th, but the official scorer ruled it an error and took away his chance at the first cycle in Marlins history. Either way, Dickerson came around to score and stretched the Marlins lead to 6-0 in the 7th. “Yeah, that’s not an error,” Cooper said with a laugh in the postgame.

Despite his big night, Cooper he doesn’t see it so much as a “breakout game,” because this happened a few times early in the season, then he came out flat afterwards. “You got four or five at bats the next day, so what you did yesterday is in the rearview mirror,” said Cooper.

As for Alcantara, he struggled with efficiency early, he was at 75 pitches through four innings, but worked hard and threw just 25 pitches in his last two innings in order to get through six scoreless, the second time this year Alcantara has thrown 100 pitches.

Alcantara issued a two-out walk in each of the first three innings, but got around all of them with relative ease. He did not allow a hit until the fourth inning, and racked up nine strikeouts on 18 whiffs. To bounce back with that kind of performance after the worst start of his career shows the true ace potential Marlins fans see in Sandy.

“I’m always thinking positive, from a bad thing you gotta take advantage,” said Alcantara about bouncing back from the worst start of his career. “You’re gonna have bad days,” he said.

Adam Cimber, Ross Detwiler and Zach Pop pitched three scoreless innings to cap off the victory.

The Marlins now return home after a .500 road trip to open a three-game set with the Mets at loanDepot Park on Friday.