MIAMI — Sandy Alcantara was masterful on the mound once again. The offense, finally, came up with clutch hits.
With those two forces coming together, the Miami Marlins avoided being swept by the Atlanta Braves, taking the series finale on Sunday 4-3 at loanDepot park. Miami (18-22) dropped the first two games of the series 5-3 on Friday and 4-3 on Saturday.
Alcantara threw his first complete game of the season and the fourth of his career, holding held the Braves (19-22) to three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out seven. He recorded the 27 outs on 115 pitches.
Over his last three starts, all Marlins wins, Alcantara has given up five total runs (four earned runs) over 24 innings.
The Braves made him work for the final three outs, though. Travis d’Arnaud and Ozzie Albies started the ninth with back-to-back doubles to drive in a run. Austin Riley then hit a fly ball to right field for the first out of the inning that moved Albies to third. Dansby Swanson hit an RBI groundout that drove in Albies to cut Miami’s lead to one. Adam Duvall popped out to catcher Jacob Stallings to end the game. Stallings and Alcantara embraced at home plate after the final out was recorded.
The only run he gave up before that on Sunday came in the fifth inning. The Braves’ Albies reached third base on an error by Jesus Sanchez when he dropped a ball on the warning track in center field. Swanson then drove Albies home with a bloop single that dropped into shallow right field.
That tied the game at 1-1, with the Marlins having opened scoring in the first on a Garrett Cooper sacrifice fly that scored Jazz Chisholm Jr., who led off with a walk and made it to third base on a Jesus Aguilar double.
Miami retook the lead on a Brian Anderson RBI single in the sixth that scored Cooper. The Marlins added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on a Stallings RBI single that drove in Erik Gonzalez, who led off the inning with a single, stole second and reached third on an errant throw from Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud, and an Avisail Garcia sacrifice fly with the bases loaded that scored Stallings.
An infield of injuries
The Marlins’ infield depth is being severely tested as the group deals with an assortment of injuries.
Joey Wendle and Jon Berti are on the injured list. Wendle has been sidelined since May 12 with a right hamstring strain, his second issue with that hamstring already this season. Berti was placed on the IL since May 7 following a positive COVID-19 test.
Shortstop Miguel Rojas has been dealing with a left calf injury since May 11, when he was removed from the Marlins’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He left late in Miami’s game Saturday and did not play Sunday.
And now Chisholm Jr. is dealing with a left leg issue. He was spiked by Albies on a stolen base attempt in the eighth inning Saturday and was playing gingerly the rest of the game. He started on Sunday but was removed in the third inning with left hamstring tightness. Joe Dunand, who was recalled from Triple A Jacksonville prior to the game, finished the game at second base.
Wendle and Berti did baserunning drills pregame with manager Don Mattingly, general manager Kim Ng and the training staff observing. The two will most likely go on a rehab assignment before rejoining the active roster.
More injury updates and roster moves
— The Marlins optioned Daniel Castano to Triple A Jacksonville to make room for Dunand on the active roster.
— Richard Bleier (recovery after having COVID-19) began a rehab assignment with Triple A Jacksonville on Sunday.©2022 Miami Herald. Visit at miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.