Miami, FL—It has been a tough stretch for the San Diego Padres. Almost ten days after their franchise-altering deal to acquire superstar Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell, it was reported that Fernando Tatis Jr. violated Major League Baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy and was suspended for 80 games. He is now ineligible for the 2022 postseason, the 2023 World Baseball Classic, and will miss the first 32 games of the 2023 regular season. A brutal blow for the organization that invested $340 million into the young superstar.
Nevertheless, Major League Baseball was played in South Florida on Monday night with two aces on the mound. Sandy Alcantara toed the rubber for Miami while Joe Musgrove started for San Diego. Musgrove recently signed a 5-year, $100 million extension with the Padres.
Sandy got off to a hot start in this one, as five of the first six outs he recorded were via the K. Things went a bit differently for Musgrove early on.
In the bottom of the second, cleanup hitter JJ Bleday launched his first career home run at loanDepot Park to give Miami an early 1-0 lead. The ball carried 367 feet and exited his bat at 101.5 mph.
JJ Bleday with his first career home run at loanDepot Park! A shot off of Musgrove. 1-0 Miami. pic.twitter.com/cxEzABP2r3— Isaac Azout (@IsaacAzout) August 15, 2022
Miami wasn’t done. After a perfectly executed hit-and-run that put runners on the corners with nobody out, Lewin Díaz lifted a fly ball to deep center field to score Miguel Rojas, extending the Marlins' lead to two.
In the bottom of the sixth, Miami’s offense struck again. Rojas registered a one-out triple before catcher Jacob Stallings drove him in with a single to center, which extended the lead to 3-0.
Slotted in the fifth and sixth spots in the order, respectively, Rojas and Stallings combined to go 6-for-7 with a walk.
As per usual, Sandy Alcantara was great in this one. Against a talented San Diego lineup, he kept them off balance all night long. He threw 108 pitches (77 strikes) through 7 shutout innings and only allowed four hits and two walks. He struck out seven batters, including Josh Bell twice.
His fastball maxed out at 99.8 mph, and he only allowed two “barrels” in his seven innings. He earned his 11th win of the season and lowered his season ERA to 1.92. He continues to pace the National League in ERA and innings pitched. He has all but cemented his case to win the 2022 National League Cy Young award, which would be the first in Marlins history.
Steven Okert worked a 1-2-3 8th inning before Tanner Scott closed it out. Scott notched his 17th save of the year a day after blowing it to the Braves. Scott has thrown 66 pitches in the last two days. Miami won 3-0 and improved to 51-65 while the Padres fell to 65-53.
Edward Cabrera and his sparkling 2.05 ERA will take the mound Tuesday against lefty Sean Manaea.