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MIA 4, CHC 1: Pitching Leaves Fish On Right Side of the Sweep

Elieser’s return and key home runs lead to a series sweep.

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Elieser Hernandez (57) blows a bubble-gum bubble as he sets to pitch during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at loanDepot Park. Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

In a game where velocity wasn’t an option for Sunday’s starting pitching matchup, one that pitted Alec Mills against Elieser Hernández, runs would initially be hard to come by.

That being said, it would be the Marlins - better late than never at this point in the season - who would come out victorious, exiting loanDepot Park 4-1 winners in what was their first series sweep since April 4-6 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Hernández was activated from the 60-day IL to make his first start since June 3. The right-hander looked sharp, allowing just 1 earned run over 5 13 innings pitched, striking out 4.

The only damage against Hernández came in the top of the 6th when first baseman Frank Schwindel connected for his fifth home run of the season.

Further of note in his return was Hernández’s changeup, a pitched he noted emphasizing during his rehab from a quad strain suffered back in June. On Sunday, Hernández threw 9 changeups, generating 2 swings and misses.

The Fish would strike first, and back, though, with center fielder Magneuris Sierra plating the game’s first run in the 5th with an RBI single.

Following Schwindel’s home run, Jazz Chisholm would put Miami ahead thanks to his 12th home run of the season.

With the home run, which traveled an estimated 435-feet, Chisholm would snap a 15-game long ball drought. That stretch dating back to July 10 had seen the second baseman post a .580 OPS and a reduction in his slugging percentage from .444 to .418.

First baseman Jesús Aguilar extended the lead as well as his NL leading RBI total to 84 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the 7th in what would be a three-hit day for the former All-Star.

Reliever Paul Campbell would earn his first career win in relief of Hernández, stranding the inherited runner, third baseman Matt Duffy, in the 6th. Campbell, who has now pitched 4.2 scoreless innings over his last 4 appearances, recently returned from an 80-game suspension following a positive PED test.

The disheveled Cubs would not go without a fight, though, as Dylan Floro would allow a leadoff single to Jason Heyward before walking Robinson Chirinos to set up a 1st-and-2nd-no out-situation in the top of the 9th.

But, as numbers illustrate—particularly his 1.21 ERA in 22 13 innings at home this season entering Sunday—Floro would rebound from Saturday’s blow-up outing. He navigated around the early 9th-inning jam to lock down his 5th save of the season.

The Fish will be back in action Monday when the team welcomes the division rival Atlanta Braves as they look to extend their winning streak to a season-best 5 games.

Braxton Garrett will try to turn the page from his last outing when he allowed 5 runs over 3 13 innings in a 6-5 loss to the Padres on August 10. Touki Toussaint, who attended local Coral Springs Christian Academy, will get the assignment for Atlanta.

Chicago Cubs (1) @ Miami Marlins (4), Win Probability Chart, 15 August 2021

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