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MIA 4, ATL 3: Sandy Stellar

Alcantara goes the distance as Miami avoids the sweep to end the homestand on a high note.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Miami, FL—Saturday made for the latest in what has become the prevailing narrative surrounding the Marlins the past two seasons, one-run losses. Miami would earn their 13th one-run loss falling 4-3 despite a strong start by Elieser Hernández.

Playing to 17,908 on-lookers Sunday, Sandy Alcantara would do what he does best, efficiently carve his way through big-league lineups, allowing one unearned run on 103 pitches over the first 8 innings.

Enter the 9th inning, and with Alcantara looking for his 4th career complete game, the Marlins ace would be faced with some adversity, as a routine pop-up dropped by Jesús Aguilar facilitated Atlanta in scoring 2 unanswered runs. The Fish would, however, find themselves on the other side of yesterday’s defeat, taking the series finale to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Braves, 4-3, with Alcantara finishing what he started.

“That’s my mentality every time, to throw 9 innings,” said Alcantara to Bally’s Kelly Saco.

Amid two Miami errors, the Marlins’ ace would finish the day with 0 earned runs allowed, striking out 7, and walking 2 on 115 pitches.

Sunday saw Alcantara become the first pitcher in the majors to complete 8 innings in 3 or more starts this season. Houston’s Justin Verlander is the only other pitcher to do so twice. In 9 starts now, Alcantara owns a 2.11 ERA and leads all of baseball in innings pitched (59.2).

“(Sandy) was good all day,” said manager Don Mattingly.

“We’ve seen a lot of games like this where he’s in the zone, and teams aren’t waiting around.”

Alcantara’s 14.8 P/IP (Pitches Per Inning) ranks 12th among all qualified pitchers.

With the win, Miami improves to 18-22—this despite a +17 run differential—and 6-13 in one-run games. The Marlins are now half-game behind Atlanta for 2nd in the NL East, currently trailing the Mets by 8 games.

Miami would come out of the gates hot early, touching Atlanta starter Ian Anderson (6+ IP, 7 H, 4 R) for a run in the bottom of the 1st. It wouldn’t be until the bottom of the 6th when a Brian Anderson single would drive home Garrett Cooper to help Miami reclaim the lead. Atlanta had previously tied the game in the 5th following an error on a fly ball hit to center fielder Jesús Sánchez.

Ultimately though, Jacob Stallings would drive in the go-ahead run in 7th with a single, his second hit of the day. Stallings would reach base safely 3 times in Sunday’s win.

Baseball Savant

Looking Ahead

With an off-day scheduled for Monday, Miami will travel to St. Pete, where they’ll begin a brief two-game set against the Rays. Pablo López (4-1, 1.57 ERA) will square off against Shane McClanahan (3-2, 2.33 ERA) with first pitch slated for 6:40 Eastern from Tropicana Field.

Of Note

  • After Sunday’s game, center fielder Jesús Sánchez became the 12th player this season to register exactly 12 games of 2 or more strikeouts. The Cubs Patrick Wisdom and Dodgers Chris Taylor, lead all of baseball with 19-such occurrences.
  • Brian Anderson matched a career-best 24-game on-base streak with a 4th inning double. Anderson previously had said-streak from June 2-27, 2018.
  • Second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. exited Sunday’s game after two innings with what reports are calling left hamstring tightness. Recently recalled Joe Dunand would replace him in what was his first career big-league appearance at 2nd base.