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MIA 4, ATL 1; Everything clicks in a huge win for the Fish

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara (22) throws against the Atlanta Braves in the fourth inning at Truist Park. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Every part of the team contributed on Saturday as the Marlins beat the Braves, 4-1. Sandy Alcantara got the win and tied his career high in strikeouts at 14. The loser of this game is Tucker Davidson.

Sandy Alcantara had arguably his best start of the season to date, going 8 innings and allowing only 1 earned run. Sandy was in full control of this game, combining some of his best command with amazing pure stuff. He was throwing even harder as the game progressed and struck out 8 different batters in the Braves lineup at least once.

Sandy touched 100 MPH on 8 separate pitches, including his final one which was a strikeout to Adam Duvall. This continues a trend of dominating the Braves for the Marlins ace—in 9 career regular season starts against them, he has allowed only 12 earned runs (1.74 ERA).

As for the opposing pitcher, Tucker Davidson began the game well. He held the Marlins off the scoreboard until running into some trouble during the 4th inning. Davidson walked Jorge Soler and Jesús Aguilar, then Miguel Rojas singled to load the bases with nobody out. Joey Wendle provided the first run for the Marlins thanks to a sacrifice fly.

Besides that one run, Davidson pitched better than expected. His command was a little bit off, repeatedly throwing pitches in the dirt that the Marlins took for obvious balls. Davidson walked 4 batters, but nonetheless, he did his job and kept the game within reach for the Braves.

Tucker Davidson's Final Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 77 NP (6.46 ERA)

In the top of the 6th inning, the Marlins extended their 2-0 lead with a surprising home run from Captain Miguel Rojas. This home run was an emotional one: Saturday would have been his mother’s birthday (she passed away last offseason).

Not known for his power, Rojas easily cleared the left-field wall this time.

Just when you thought that Sandy had everything under control, the Braves made a move. Newly called up Michael Harris II (MLB Pipeline #1 prospect in the Braves system) singled and also scored a run in the bottom of the 6th.

Miami struck one more time in the top of the 7th inning. An Astudillo single and Berti walk set the stage up for Garrett Cooper. Cooper had himself in a 3-2 count with one out in the inning. The Marlins capitalized on the opportunity with Coop’s 2-run double.

In typical Marlins fashion, things didn’t go too smoothly in the 9th inning. With Cole Sulser replacing Alcantara, Harris was robbed of a hit by an amazing Rojas defensive play.

Sulser then struck out Ronald Acuña Jr. on a 3-2 count pitch.

With 2 outs, Dansby Swanson got a double and Marcell Ozuna walked. Representing the potential tying run, Austin Riley struck out to finish off the Marlins win.

There is a lot to take away from this game. For one, Rojas is getting back on track after an awful start to the season. He’s now a .220 batter.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Alcantara hit Acuña with a 99 MPH sinker, but there was no controversy. He immediately walked up to check on Acuña and Jacob Stallings arrived at the scene to make sure nothing escalated. This was obviously unintentional pitch as the count already had 2 strikes in a crucial part of the game. Acuña didn’t complain or try to get a certain player thrown out as he has done in previous incidents.

Acuña made a couple important outs as a baserunner. He got picked off right after the HBP and also got caught trying to advance to third base on a grounder later in the game.

A player of note who deserves a quick shoutout is Willians Astudillo. Brian Anderson was a late scratch from the lineup due to lower back spasms, so Astudillo made his first start as a member of the Marlins. He went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and played second base before being lifted during the 9th inning defensive substitutions.

Sulser picked up the save, becoming the first Marlins pitcher in the month of May to get one. Don Mattingly wasn’t ready to commit to him as the full-time closer moving forward, but we’ll see who handles the next save opportunity.

Don Mattingly’s Postgame Press Conference

Win Probability - Marlins @ Braves - 2022 - 05 - 28

The Marlins and Braves will go at it again on Sunday at 1:35 PM EST. Elieser Hernandez will face off against Max Fried as the Fish go for the series win.