The visiting Miami Marlins will send reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara to the mound on Sunday in the hopes of slowing the streaking Atlanta Braves and salvaging a game in the three-game set
Atlanta captured the first two games of the series, 16-4 on Friday and 7-0 on Saturday. The Braves have won seven straight games and 15 of their last 16. Atlanta has won eight of nine games against the Marlins, who they now lead by eight games in the NL East
Alcantara (3-6, 4.82 ERA) will be opposed by Atlanta’s Spencer Strider (9-2, 3.73), the major league strikeout leader who is trying to become the fifth pitcher to reach double-digit wins.
Alcantara pitched seven innings against Boston on Tuesday to earn the win, his first victory since May 24 at Colorado. Against the Red Sox, he allowed one run on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
“I’ve been doing not so good this year, but I’m happy with what I did (against Boston),” Alcantara said. “I tried not to think too much, tried to attack the hitter and tried my best pitches.”
Alcantara said he used more changeups than he has in his previous 15 starts.
The right-hander has made 12 career starts against the Braves, going 4-3 with a 2.67 ERA
Strider, who leads the majors with 146 strikeouts, is riding a five-game winning streak. In his last start on Monday, a 4-1 victory against the Minnesota Twins, Strider pitched seven innings and allowed one run on three hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. He was also strong in a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on June 20, but had given up 13 combined runs in two previous starts.
“It’s baseball. You play any game long enough, you’re going to have bad games,” Strider said. “I try not to get too high or too low. It’s too early in the season.”
The Braves continued to click on offense on Saturday, particularly in the first inning, when they scored six runs. They have scored 87 runs, hit 29 homers and collected 121 hits in the opening frame — the most in each category by any team in any inning this season, according to MLB.com
“What we’re doing, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “A lot of these guys don’t ever throw one away, and they grind at-bats every time. I think all the runs and the damage we’re doing is a byproduct of that.”
Ronald Acuna Jr. continues to put up MVP numbers and led off Saturday’s home half of the first with a home run. It was his only hit in four at-bats, but it extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Acuna is batting .333 with 21 homers and 37 stolen bases this season.
Marcell Ozuna had a double and has hit safely in 11 straight games.
The Marlins made a roster move on Saturday, designating right-handed pitcher Archie Bradley for assignment and recalling right-hander George Soriano from Triple-A Jacksonville. Soriano pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts on Saturday and settled the game down after Atlanta’s big first inning
–Field Level Media
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