The Miami Marlins turn to their ace in an effort to get their starting rotation back on track as they open a three-game series against the host Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night
Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 1.84 ERA), coming off the first and only complete game in the majors this season, takes the mound for the Marlins in the opener against the defending National League champions
Alcantara allowed just three hits in nine scoreless innings last Tuesday in Miami's 1-0 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins.
Alcantara has faced the Phillies more than any team over the course of his seven-year career. The right-hander is 6-7 with a 3.15 ERA in 16 career starts
Left-hander Braxton Garrett fell one out shy of qualifying for the win in Sunday's 7-2 decision over the New York Mets.
In losses to the Mets on Friday and Saturday, the Marlins watched as their starting pitcher was unable to work past the fifth inning. On Saturday, left-hander Trevor Rogers lasted 4 2/3 innings. Edward Cabrera on Friday had difficulty getting out of the third inning
On Sunday, Garrett -- staked to a 3-0 first-inning lead -- worked around a one-out double to Starling Marte for a scoreless first before allowing a run in the second inning.
"We have to figure out that first inning," Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. "Sandy and (Jesus) Luzardo saved us a couple of days ago and kind of reset (the bullpen)," Schumaker said. "The bullpen has done a really good job of keeping us in games. It really has. It's tough to go back-to-back this early in the season, and you try to avoid that as much as you can. That's the reality in the last couple of days
With the short outings from Rogers, Cabrera and Garrett in New York, Miami's bullpen has pitched a combined 13 innings the past three games, including a scoreless 4 1/3 innings Sunday.
The Phillies send left-hander Matt Strahm (0-0, 0.00) to the mound in the series opener. Strahm is coming off a strong outing in his first start of the season last Tuesday against the New York Yankees, allowing just one hit in four shutout innings. He struck out three and walked one in his first start of 2023
Strahm, who tossed a perfect inning of relief on Opening Day in Texas, didn't pitch the requisite five innings to qualify for the win in Philadelphia's 4-1 victory over the Yankees.
The last two games have been a tale of two outcomes in the ninth inning for the Phillies. On Saturday, they rallied from 2-0 down to score three times in a 3-2 walk-off victory. On Sunday, Seranthony Dominguez couldn't hold a 4-3 lead, allowing a three-run double to Jake Fraley in a 6-4 Cincinnati win
Nick Castellanos was the spark against his former team on Saturday when he opened the rally with a lead-off walk against Reds closer Alexis Diaz. Alec Bohm, who homered Sunday, and Brandon Marsh singled for the first run. Edmundo Sosa's sacrifice fly tied the game before Bryson Stott won it with a single.
"There's plenty of ways to win games other than just hitting the ball out of the park," Castellanos said. "We just had to find a way that we could to get it done. Sometimes, you have to play small ball, work a walk and take your hits."
Stott singled twice Sunday, running his hit streak to open the season to nine games.
--Field Level Media