Five days after starting the season opener in San Francisco, Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara was back on the bump for the home opener on Thursday night in Miami.
The Phillies got to Alcantara early. After taking a first-pitch ball, newly acquired Kyle Schwarber barreled a ball off the center field wall for a double. The ball left Schwarber’s bat at 109 mph. After reaching third on J.T. Realmuto’s single, Schwarber scored on a Bryce Harper sacrifice fly, giving the Phillies the early 1-0 lead.
Each of the first 4 Phillies batters to begin the game produced exit velocities of at least 95 mph.
I don't think the Phillies were fooled much in the first. pic.twitter.com/KGTx35m13l— Isaac Azout (@IsaacAzout) April 14, 2022
Sandy settled down after that, and didn’t allow another run until the 7th.
The score remained 1-0 until the 4th inning, when Garrett Cooper launched his first homer of the year, tying the game at 1-1. The ball left his bat at 107.4 mph and traveled 414 ft.
The Marlins weren’t done.
Jesús Sánchez followed with a booming triple to left-center that electrified the South Florida crowd of 31,184 fans. After an Avisaíl García walk, Joey Wendle came through with a huge 2-run double down the left field line, scoring Sánchez and Garcia and giving Miami a 3-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, Miami struck again. Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Garrett Cooper both drew walks, and Jazz scored on a Sánchez RBI single, making it 4-1.
After not scoring since the first, Philadelphia made things interesting in the 7th. Sandy retired Bryson Stott on a strikeout to begin the inning, but then hit Matt Vierling with a pitch. After that, manager Don Mattingly opted for Steven Okert to address the lefty-heavy top of the Phillies batting order.
Okert began his outing by striking out Schwarber, but then walked Realmuto. Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper made Okert pay by driving a ball into the right field corner, scoring two and making it a one-run game.
Juuuuust out of the reach of Garrett Cooper. One run ballgame. pic.twitter.com/34lTbcQWlv— Isaac Azout (@IsaacAzout) April 15, 2022
It stayed that way for Anthony Bender in the ninth. After allowing a lead-off single to pinch-hitter Alec Bohm, Bender induced a ginormous 4-6-3 double play from Kyle Schwarber. The job was not finished, however. Realmuto extended the game with a single, his fifth time reaching base in the game (matching his career high for any game).
Bryce Harper got an opportunity to be a hero. Fortunately for the Marlins, Harper drove a ball directly to defensive replacement Bryan De La Cruz in left field to end the threat.
Miami improved to 2-4 on the season, winning their first home contest. Philadelphia falls to 3-4 on the year. Pablo López gets the ball for Miami on Friday, facing Zach Eflin.