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Miami Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara retires final 20 batters faced in 8-2 win over Washington Nationals

The Nationals had their chances early, but Sandy Alcantara retired the final 20 batters he faced in an 8-2 win for the Marlins...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez vs Miami:

Aaron Sanchez held the New York Mets to three runs on six hits in 5 13 IP last time out, in an 8-3 win for Washington’s Nationals and their 29-year-old starter, who finished the night (2-2) in four outings since he was called up from Triple-A in late April, with a 7.58 ERA, a 4.53 FIP, three walks, and 10 Ks in 19 IP. His outing against NY ended when he took a comebacker off his left wrist and his manager decided to end things there.

“It caught him right in the bottom palm,” Davey Martinez explained. “He said, ‘Man, I think I can go.’ I said, ‘Can you squeeze your glove?’ And he went to squeeze his glove, he says, ‘Oh no.’ I said, ‘You’re out.’”

Five days later, Sanchez was good to go for tonight’s series opener in Miami, and he took the mound with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of an RBI single by Yadiel Hernández in the first, and retired the Marlins in order in a nine-pitch frame, but Avisaíl García hit the starter’s 18th pitch, a 1-2 sinker, out to center, 402 feet from home, for a game-tying, one-out solo shot that tied things up at 1-1 in the second.

A walk to Brian Anderson in the next matchup, and a double to left by Bryan De La Cruz put runners on second and third with one down, before Marlins’ shortstop Erik Gonzalez shot a 2-run single through a drawn-in infield to make it a 3-1 lead for the home team. A double to right by Jacob Stallings sent Gonzalez around to third, then Jazz Chisholm, Jr. drove him in with a single to center field via the right side of second, 4-1.

Jorge Soler reached on a grounder to the left side, where Cesár Hernández, in the shift, couldn’t come up with it, and Garrett Cooper lined a double off the wall in left-center to give the Marlins two runners in scoring position with one out in the bottom of the third.

Sanchez got Avisaíl García swinging for out No. 2, and after an intentional walk to Brian Anderson, Bryan De La Cruz grounded into an inning-ending 5-3 DP.

Sanchez got another double play in the fourth, after a leadoff walk, but a double to right by Jazz Chisholm, Jr. (2 for 3, 2B) on the Nats’ starter’s 74th pitch, ended his outing...

Aaron Sanchez’s Line: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 74 P, 46 S, 4/2 GO/FO.

Alcantara Again:

On April 26th in the nation’s capital, Marlins’ righty Sandy Alcantara held the Nationals to a run on six hits and three walks in six innings, striking out five batters in a 5-2 win for Fish.

In three starts since the Nats last saw him, Alcantara, 26, had put up a 4.15 ERA, a 5.12 FIP, and a .210/.319/.452 line against in 17 13 IP going into tonight’s game, leaving him with a 2.74 ERA, a 4.06 FIP, and a .222/.316/.356 line against in seven starts and 42 23 IP this season.

“Alcantara is one of those guys where we got to get the ball up in the zone, he’s got a great changeup, great mix of pitches, but we got to hit the ball in the strike zone, we can’t chase,” Nats’ manager Davey Martinez said before the series opener in Miami.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals jumped on the Marlins’ starter early tonight, with César Hernández and Josh Bell connecting for leadoff and one-out singles, respectively, in the top of the first, setting Yadiel Hernández up with an RBI opportunity he cashed in with an opposite field single to left which drove Hernández in for a 1-0 lead. A HBP on Keibert Ruiz loaded the bases up in front of Maikel Franco, who sent a grounder to third on which the Fish got a force at home for out No. 2, before Lane Thomas K’d looking to end the threat.

The Nationals stranded two in the second as well, and Alcantara came out for the third with a 4-1 lead and retired the side in order for five straight outs, and his five-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth gave him eight-straight batters set down. Fourteen pitches, and three more outs in the fifth left the Marlins’ starter at 71 pitches overall, with 11-straight outs.

Alcantara was up to 14-straight and 81 pitches after a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the sixth, and a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh made it 93 pitches total and 17-straight outs.

With the score 8-1 Marlins after seven, Alcantara returned to the mound and retired the side in order, on seven pitches, giving up 20-straight outs and leaving him at 100 pitches overall.

Sandy Alcantara’s Line: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 100 P, 71 S, 14/4 GO/FO.

Bullpen Action:

Carl Edwards, Jr. stranded the runner he inherited from Aaron Sanchez to keep it 4-1 Fish after four in Miami, and came back out with a 1-2-3 fifth to keep it a three-run game.

Austin Voth got the sixth, and worked around a one-out single for a scoreless frame.

The Marlins added three in the bottom of the seventh, with three straight hits loading the bases for Jorge Soler, who drove in two with a single, before a third run scored as the ball got thrown around the field by the Nats in an ugly sequence, 7-1.

Avisaíl García drove Soler in with an RBI single, 8-1.

Anthony Bass finished things off for the Marlins after eight strong by Alcantara, but only after he made an error on a grounder to the mound by Yadiel Hernández and gave up a single by Keibert Ruiz, and an RBI infield single by Lane Thomas, 8-2.

Nationals now 12-25