Last night, the Marlins delivered what could be one of the most surprising results on Opening Day around Major League Baseball. Behind an excellent start by Sandy Alcantara, Miami defeated the Phillies, 5-2, to start the 2020 regular season with a victory.
Jonathan Villar opened the scoring for Miami in the third inning, driving in Francisco Cervelli with a sacrifice fly. Didi Gregorius tied it with a solo homerun in the fifth, however, Jesus Aguilar gave the Marlins another lead with a shot of his own in the sixth.
Philadelphia starter, Aaron Nola, was then replaced by reliever Ramon Rosso. In his Major League debut, the Santo Domingo native allowed a run in one-third of an inning. Moreover, he was responsible for another, after Corey Dickerson scored on a wild pitch, Rosso’s second of the inning. Garrett Cooper followed that with an RBI double to drive in Harold Ramirez.
Gregorius got a run back for the Phillies, scoring after Jay Bruce reached on a fielding error by Jonathan Villar in centerfield. This was the only mistake by the Marlins bullpen, which allowed just two hits over the final 2.1 innings.
Win: Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 1.35 ERA)
Loss: Aaron Nola (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
Save: Brendan Kintzler (1 SV, 0.00 ERA)
The ace on the mound: Sandy Alcantara was no different from last year. The Marlins ace continued his 2019 success, allowing just two runs in 6.2 innings pitched. In addition, Alcantara struck out seven and walked just two for his first win of the summer. He now has 198 career strikeouts, just two short of 200.
New faces shine: Villar, Aguilar, and Dickerson quickly showed their value to the new-look Marlins lineup entering 2020. The trio was instrumental to the Miami win. Villar went 0-for-4 with an RBI and Aguilar batted 1-for-5 with his first big fly with the Marlins. Meanwhile, Dickerson recorded two hits in four at-bats with a run scored.
Rojas starts on a high note: Miguel Rojas started a season of expectations in the best possible way, getting two hits and a walk. He reached base three times in four plate appearances.
The stars of the bullpen hold it off: The Miami bullpen was exceptionally good late in a three-run game. That was perhaps because it used its most important pieces. Brad Boxberger came in for relief after Sandy Alcantara’s outing, and Yimi Garcia retired the sides in a scoreless eighth. Furthermore, Brandon Kintzler, the Marlins’ new big-name closer, got his first save of the year.
Miami and Philadephia continue their three-game series on Saturday at Citizen’s Bank Park. In addition, the game gets underway at 4:05 PM Eastern Time.
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