Sandy Alcantara pitches great, Marlins drop Opening Day game

Sandy Alcantara did what we’ve been expecting him to do.

He pitched great and held the American League champions to no runs through six innings, but the Marlins lost the opening game of the season.

The Marlins started the 2021 season as they finished their run in the playoffs last year: struggling to score runs.

Only three hits, all singles, two by Jesus Aguilar, and one by Jorge Alfaro, were the only offensive production on the day.

Virtually impossible to beat these Rays that way, but it was fun to watch baseball with fans in the stands again.

However, Sandy really made Marlins fans enjoy their comeback to the stands.

Besides struggling a little bit in the first after a two-out base hit by Randy Arozarena, a walk to Brandon Lowe and hit by pitch to Yandy Diaz, and then striking out Kevin Kiermaier, Sandy look imposing on the mound.

A leadoff double in the fourth looked like could have been the beginning of the meltdown, but it was the opposite.  He retired the side after that and cruised the rest of the way, finishing with six very solid innings to start the season.

Austin Meadows was the only difference

Sandy Alcantara and Tyler Glasnow’s face-off was just great. Both starting pitchers dominated, and both bullpens were dominating, until Yimi Garcia came in.

Yimi Garcia had allowed a couple of balls to go deep into the outfield, and Marlins fans were breathing hard already.

Then, the third hard-hit ball of the inning came out of the bat of Austin Meadows and never came back.

That was all the Rays needed to get their first win of the season, and sadly, the Marlins wasted a great performance by their ace.

Aguilar, the one and only

Jesus Aguilar got the first basehit of the season for the Marlins. An infield hit, after a slow bouncer to third baseman Yandy Diaz.


Then, he got the second hit of the season for the Marlins, hitting a ball through the right side of the infield.

Miami got to the eight inning with only two basehits on the board, until Jorge Alfaro got his first of the season (the second infield hit of the day for the Marlins).

Alfaro stole second and the Marlins had the only real opportunity in that eight inning, with pinch hitter Garrett Cooper drawing a walk and Corey Dickerson flying out to left field.

Aguilar came back in the ninth and almost tied the game against Rays’ closer Diego Castillo. He hit it too much on a line drive, and there were the Marlins hopes for the day.

The Marlins face the Rays again on Friday, with Pablo Lopez taking the mound, facing lefty Ryan Yarbrough, starting at 7:10 pm.

 

By Alejandro Villegas | @Alejandrovg32 on Twitter 

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