Done with New York teams, Marlins move on to Rockies

National Sports

The Miami Marlins have seen enough of New York teams and now they’re ready to face someone from a different state.

That starts with a three-game weekend series at the Colorado Rockies, with the first game Friday night. Miami will send Sandy Alcantara (6-9, 3.12 ERA) to the mound to face Colorado All-Star German Marquez in a battle of right-handers.

Alcantara is making his 23rd start of the season and third since his mother, Francesca, died in the Dominican Republic. He has pitched well in his last two starts but has an 0-1 record to show for it. In his last outing on Sunday against the New York Yankees, he didn’t allow a run and gave up just two hits in seven innings of a no-decision.

It was the seventh time this season Alcantara had pitched at least seven innings while allowing two or fewer runs, but the Marlins are just 2-5 in those games. Alcantara has been able to keep an even demeanor during a frustrating season.

“I don’t feel any pressure,” Alcantara said after the game against New York. “It is what it is. We have to keep working hard and keep playing the game.”

Miami is coming off a successful series against the Yankees’ crosstown rivals, the Mets. The Marlins took three of the four games from the NL East leaders, including a 4-2 win on Thursday afternoon, and finished 3-4 in the New York-heavy homestand.

“To get three out of four against the Mets, who are in first place and a really good ballclub, was really impressive,” Marlins acting manager James Rowson said. “The players in that clubhouse need to be proud of themselves for what they did (Thursday).”

Rowson, the team’s bench coach, has been leading the team since manager Don Mattingly tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

Marquez (9-8, 3.51), like Alcantara, is making his 23rd start of the season but has gotten a little more support from his lineup. He is coming off a gritty 5-3 win at San Diego on Sunday, when he allowed two runs over six innings and helped his own cause with a solo homer off Yu Darvish — the second dinger of his career.

“I love batting,” Marquez said. “Darvish is a good pitcher, one of the best, and so hitting a homer against him is amazing to me. I still can’t believe it.”

Marquez made his first All-Star team last month and pitched one clean inning in the game, and he has been solid since then. He is 5-2 with a 1.99 ERA over his last eight starts and 7-4 with a 2.43 ERA over his last 13.

He has been even better at Coors Field, where he is 6-2 with a 3.29 ERA in 13 starts, and he has a 1.53 ERA over his last seven home starts. He is 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins.

The Rockies won two of three games against the Chicago Cubs in the series that ended with a 6-5 win on Thursday.

–Field Level Media

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