The Braves were looking for the sweep Sunday at LoanDepot Park, but they ran into Sandy Alcantara. The Marlins pitcher twirled a complete game (they even let him throw 115 pitches), allowing three unearned runs on six hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.
There really isn’t much more to say about this one than that, to be honest. The Braves got a run in the fifth inning largely thanks to a three-base error by center fielder Jesus Sanchez. He ran a long way to get to a ball in deep center, got there and then proceeded to drop the ball. Dansby Swanson popped a one-out single down the right-field line to an area where Miami had no fielders stationed, and it tied the game 1-1 at the time after the Marlins had scratched a run across off Ian Anderson in the first.
Anderson cruised into the sixth after that, but he allowed the go-ahead run in that inning. It was 2-1 going to the bottom of the seventh and the Braves seemingly couldn’t afford to fall behind Alcantara any further. Anderson entered the inning with 92 pitches. Whether or not he stayed in was something of a toss-up decision, and I was frankly happy to see Snit go this way instead of immediately reaching for the bullpen. That’s probably just me. It didn’t work out, in any case. Anderson allowed a leadoff single to Erik Gonzalez, who stole second and reached third on an error, then scored on another single by Jacob Stallings. Snitker lifted Anderson, but the mess continued and the Marlins wrung another run out of it to make it 4-1.
The Braves scored a couple in the ninth, largely helped by a Jesus Aguilar dropped foul error to extend the at-bat of Travis d’Arnaud. The Braves catcher followed with a double and they scored a couple in the inning, but Alcantara never allowed the potential tying run to get on base. Duvall popped out with the bases empty to end it.
Atlanta is now 19-22 and moved into a tie with Philly for second place in the East, for whatever that’s worth. All in all, I’d say this series was a decent recovery from the debacle to end the Milwaukee series early in the week. I’ll take winning the series here. It would’ve been difficult to beat Alcantara today. Let’s keep it going into our first series against the Phillies early this week.