The visiting Miami Marlins hope Sandy Alcantara can rediscover his Cy Young Award-winning form and help them stop a three-game losing streak when they meet the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday
Alcantara (1-2, 5.47 ERA) will be matched up against Atlanta's Bryce Elder (2-0, 1.14) in the third game of a four-game series. The Braves won the first two games, 11-0 and 7-4
Alcantara missed his last scheduled start, on Saturday against the Cleveland Guardians, due to biceps tendinitis.
"It didn't feel right to start him in a cold-weather day, cold-weather environment," Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. "It just felt a couple more days to let it calm down was the move."
Alcantara has been roughed up in the early portion of the season aside from the shutout he threw on April 4 against the Minnesota Twins.
Over his two most recent starts, he allowed 14 runs (12 earned) in 10 innings. He gave up five runs (three earned) in his latest outing, on April 16 against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, but had a season-high nine strikeouts.
Alcantara has enjoyed plenty of success against the Braves. In 10 career starts vs. Atlanta, Alcantara is 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA. He was 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in three starts against the Braves in 2022, logging 24 strikeouts in 22 innings
Elder has pitched at least 5 1/3 innings in each of his four starts this year, and he held the opposition without an earned run three times. In his latest appearance -- on Friday against the visiting Houston Astros -- Elder did not get a decision after pitching six innings and yielding only one unearned run.
"It ultimately comes down to trusting my stuff in the zone, trying to get outs in the zone and not trying to get swinging misses," Elder said. "This year, (I'm) really focusing on getting out in the zone and going right at guys and just kind of seeing what happens."
Elder has made four career starts against Miami, all of them in his rookie year of 2022. He is 0-2 with a 2.78 ERA vs. the Marlins, having fanned 25 in 22 2/3 innings
After being dormant during a four-game losing streak last week, the Atlanta offense heated up in the first two games of the current series, scoring 18 runs.
Among the hottest hitters is second baseman Ozzie Albies, who is 4-for-9 with two home runs, a triple and five RBIs. On the current homestand, he is 7-for-19 (.368) with three homers and nine RBIs.
"You work on your swing and things start to come around," Albies said, "so that's a good sign."
The Marlins hit two home runs on Tuesday -- a solo shot by Jazz Chisholm Jr. an inside-the-park homer from Yuli Gurriel. That gives the team 23 homers in the first 24 games. Miami has scored 37 of its 76 runs via home runs
Miami could get second baseman Luis Arraez back on Wednesday. He has missed three straight games after fouling a ball off his left knee on Saturday. Arraez has 32 hits in his first 20 games, with 10 multi-hit games. He leads the National League with a .444 batting average.
--Field Level Media