Marlins’ Alcantara dominant again, shuts down Giants
MIAMI (AP) — Sandy Alcantara allowed three hits in seven innings and the Miami Marlins beat the San Francisco Giants 3-0 on Thursday night.
The 26-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic walked two and struck out eight, extending his string of recent dominant outings. Alcantara (6-2) has completed at least seven innings in his last five starts and allowed only three earned runs. He lowered his ERA to 1.81.
The impressive stretch has featured one complete game, two eight-inning outings and another two that lasted seven.
“My goal is to complete every game possible,” Alcantara said in Spanish. “If it were up to me, I would have stayed until the ninth, but I respect the manager’s decision.”
In the fifth, Alcantara struck out Jason Vosler for the 500th of his career. Alcantara finished his 111-pitch performance with perfect innings in the sixth and seventh.
“We’ve seen Sandy enough now and know that as the game gets going, he just almost gets better at the end,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It gets easier for him. It’s easy to send him back out and trust that he’s good.”
Jon Berti had two hits while Jacob Stallings, Jesús Aguilar and Miguel Rojas drove in runs for the Marlins.
“Every time he takes the ball, he’s a different guy,” Rojas said of Alcantara. “I’m seeing a more mature player who’s taking advantage of this great opportunity.”
Miami struck early on Stallings’ run-scoring single in the second. Avisaíl García hit a leadoff single, advanced on Rojas’ walk and scored on Stallings’ two-out line drive to left.
Camilo Doval relieved Giants starter Alex Wood after Jorge Soler’s one-out single in the sixth. Aguilar hit an RBI double off Doval and scored on Rojas’ single.
Steven Okert relieved Alcantara and pitched a scoreless eighth. Tanner Scott closed with a perfect ninth for his second save.
The Giants had their best threat against Alcantara in the first. Mike Yastrzemski hit a one-out double and Wilmer Flores walked. But Alcantara retired Joc Pederson on a drive to deep center and struck out Luis González.
Wood (3-5) allowed two runs, four hits, walked two and struck out five. The left-hander has lost his last three decisions.
“Any time you face a guy like Sandy, he’s pretty good, so there’s no going to be a whole lot of room for error,” Wood said. “He threw a great game tonight.”
STORM’S PATH COULD AFFECT THE SERIES
A tropical storm watch was issued for South Florida on Thursday evening, possibly impacting the remainder of the series. Early projections from the National Hurricane Center have Tropical Storm Alex making landfall in Central Florida on Saturday, but the southern section of the state will feel its effects. A Marlins spokesperson said the team is monitoring the situation.
The flight that returned the Marlins from their doubleheader at Colorado Wednesday landed in Miami at 5:30 on Thursday morning. Consequently, the club didn’t take on-field batting practice before the game.
The Marlins returned RHP Zach Pop to Triple-A Jacksonville. Pop was promoted to occupy the 27th roster spot for the club’s doubleheader at Colorado.
Giants: SS Brandon Crawford (cold-like symptoms) was a late scratch and didn’t play. ... Austin Slater (left wrist inflammation) could be activated from the injured list Friday, manager Gabe Kapler said.
Marlins: 1B-DH Garrett Cooper (right side muscle tightness) didn’t start but was available to pinch hit. ... 3B-OF Brian Anderson (back spasms) is progressing with baseball activities. ... RHP Jordan Holloway (undisclosed) will throw a 30-pitch bullpen Friday.
RHP Alex Cobb (3-2, 5.73) will start the second game of the series for the Giants Friday and the Marlins will go with RHP Elieser Hernández (2-5, 5.77).