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Sandy, Marlins Fall to Braves Again

The Marlins have suffered four straight losses in games started by their ace.

Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves slides safe to second base against Jon Berti #5 of the Miami Marlins during the sixth inning at loanDepot park on May 02, 2023 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

MIAMI—After playing a doubleheader on Monday, the Atlanta Braves rolled into loanDepot Park on Tuesday ready to face Sandy Alcantara for the second time in 6 days.

Asked pregame whether or not facing the same pitcher in back-to-back series could be an advantage for the hitters, manager Skip Schumaker didn’t think so. “It’s a chess match, you know? You watch certain game plans, and guys make adjustments throughout the game. That’s the beauty about this game, it’s a chess match to see who can figure out the adjustment quickest, who’s the smarter guy.”

The Braves proved to be the smarter team on Tuesday, as they knocked Sandy out early and beat the Marlins 6-0.

After a clean top of the first in which Sandy worked around a leadoff double by Ronald Acuña Jr., he ran into trouble in the second. After he retired Eddie Rosario, Alcantara surrendered a solo blast to Ozzie Albies, which gave the Braves an early 1-0 lead.

Sandy labored to complete the inning. After recording the second out, he allowed a hard-hit single to Marcell Ozuna (just his sixth hit of the season) and then hit Vaughn Grissom with a pitch. He battled with Acuña for 8 pitches before finally striking him out. Sandy was at 48 pitches through just two innings.

Things didn’t get much easier for Sandy in the third and fifth innings, as he loaded the bases both times. Luckily for him, he induced a 4-6-3 DP in the third that scored another run but limited any further damage.

After a perfect fourth, he loaded the bases again via a few walks and an RBI single by Rosario, which extended Atlanta’s lead to 3. He retired Micheal Harris II to end the inning and his night.

His final line: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 103 pitches, 69 strikes.

“He struggled to put guys away,” said Schumaker postgame. “A lot of foul balls, a lot of deep counts got his pitch count up. I thought the movement and depth on his pitches were really good. Just, you know, when you get those long at-bats, deep counts, that’s what happens.”

Scarce Offense

Miami failed to get anything going offensively against Bryce Elder, whom they just saw last week. He limited the Marlins to 3 base runners over seven innings pitched and struck out six.

More from Schumaker: “He did a really nice job tonight, credit to him on our side. We just needed the ball in the air, but we just got a lot of ground balls and a lot of weak contact.”

Quezada Struggles

Standing at 6-foot-9, Johan Quezada made his season debut Tuesday. He entered the game in the 8th inning looking to keep things close. Unfortunately for him, he did everything but. Quezada walked 5 batters in 0.2 innings pitched, and allowed 3 ER, which extended Atlanta’s lead to six.

Miami fell to 16-14 on Tuesday, while the Braves improved to 20-10. Sandy Alcantara received his third consecutive loss on the season, falling to 1-3.


-Pregame on Tuesday, outfielder Avisail Garcia was placed on the 10-day IL with left back tightness. Move is retroactive to April 29.

-Xavier Edwards was recalled from AAA Jacksonville as the corresponding move. He arrived to Miami on Tuesday morning. He is ranked as the #12 Marlins prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. “I found out on the bus heading back from Memphis. Coach told me and I thought he was joking at first.” Edwards is from Coconut Creek, Florida, so he told us that a lot of immediate family will be at loanDepot Park this week.

-Trevor Rogers is still not throwing, and it could be a couple more weeks until he starts to do so.

The Marlins will look to even up the series on Wednesday night as Braxton Garrett will toe the rubber against Kyle Wright, a rematch of Sunday’s thrilling Marlins win in Atlanta.