MIAMI (AP) — Sandy Alcantara retired his last 20 batters, pitching three-hit ball over eight innings to lead Miami over the Washington Nationals 8-2 Monday night and give the Marlins just their fourth win in 15 games.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Bryan De La Cruz had three hits each, and Avisaíl García homered for the Marlins, who had 16 hits and matched their second-highest total this season.
Alcantara (3-2) needed 43 pitches to get through the first two innings and 57 for innings three through eight. Washington had three hits in the first, including Yadiel Hernández’s RBI single, and had the bases loaded with one out before Maikel Franco grounded into a forceout at home and Lane Thomas struck out.
“After the first inning, just felt a little tired, but after that I said, ‘I’ve got to be outside and win this game, compete pitch by pitch.‘/” Alcantara said.
Alcantara struck out five, walked one and hit a pair of batters. And the string of retired Nationals to finish his outing left Alcantara elated.
“That means a lot,” Alcantara said. “I’ve never done that. I feel so happy with that.”
Alcantara’s start was moved up a day after left-hander Jesús Luzardo went on the injured list Sunday.
“When he’s rolling like that, it’s fun to watch,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s in and out of innings quick, throwing strikes. Everything’s working.”
Aaron Sanchez (2-3) allowed four runs, eight hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings. Washington has lost nine of 12 and is last in the NL East at 12-25.
García’s leadoff homer tied it at 1-all and started a four-run second. Erik González had a two-run single and scored on Chisholm’s RBI single.
Miami increased its lead with a four-run seventh keyed by Jorge Soler’s two-run single and García’s RBI single.
Signed to a $48 million, four-year deal as a free agent deal during the offseason, García has three homers and nine RBIs.
“Things haven’t gone as expected but it is part of the game,” García said. “You have to continue battling and improving. It is a super-long season and you need to remain positive.”
Thomas had an RBI single in the ninth for an unearned run off Anthony Bass, who finished a five-hitter.
“We had him early,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said of Alcantara. “We had some opportunities. We couldn’t cash in.”
The Marlins optioned 1B Lewin Díaz to Triple-A Jacksonville and recalled LHP Daniel Castano. Díaz had been promoted from the minor league club on Sunday and his brief stay with the Marlins ended without a game appearance.
Nationals infielder Dee Strange-Gordon went 0 for 4 in his first game against the Marlins since the club traded him following the 2017 season. Gordon became the first of the Marlins core group of players, which also featured Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto, to be dealt after new ownership took over in 2018. As the Marlins’ leadoff hitter in 2015, Gordon won the NL batting title and also led the league in steals and hits.
Nationals: DH Nelson Cruz was a late scratch after he didn’t feel well, manager Dave Martinez said.
Marlins: INF José Devers (shoulder) returned from rehab and was optioned to Double-A Pensacola.
RHP Joan Adon (1-6, 7.03) will start for the Nationals on Tuesday while RHP Cody Poteet (0-0, 0.55) will make his first start of the season for the Marlins after eight relief appearances.
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