Alcantara’s yo-yo season rolls on with dominant five-hitter against Yankees in Marlins’ win
MIAMI — Sandy Alcantara threw a complete-game five-hitter, Luis Arraez homered and the Miami Marlins beat the New York Yankees 3-1 on Saturday.
Alcantara (5-10) struck out 10 in his major league-leading third complete game and first home win since going the distance against Minnesota on April 4. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner coaxed 11 groundouts before a season-best crowd of 33,980.
“Today was as good as you’ve seen him,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “Maybe the Twins game matches that, but where we are in the season for him to do that, it was a really impressive outing at a time where our team needed it the most.”
In his previous home start against Philadelphia, Alcantara was lifted after eight scoreless innings and 100 pitches. The Phillies rallied in the ninth and won 3-1.
After Alcantara struck out the side in a perfect eighth against New York, Schumaker entrusted him to start the ninth. Alcantara gave up a leadoff single to Gleyber Torres before retiring the next three batters to complete his 116-pitch outing.
“You can count on me in any situation,” Alcantara said. “Just give me a chance. If I run into problems, he can make the decision to remove me. But he trusted me and I know what I have to finish it.”
Jake Burger and Jesús Sánchez each had two hits for the Marlins. Arraez finished 1 for 4 and his major league-leading batting average fell a point to .365.
Arraez’s two-run blast in the first inning staked Miami to an early lead. The 409-foot shot against Yankees starter Michael King bounced off the first row of upper deck seats in right-center. It was Arraez’s fourth homer of the season and longest of his career.
“I don’t focus on home runs, just on putting the ball in play,” Arraez said. “Today before the game I worked with my hitting instructor and we made a minor adjustment. Basically, I just had to relax more at home, wait for the ball and use my hands.”
Arraez began Saturday on a 1-for-12 skid. He was removed from the leadoff spot and has since hit second or third.
“If I am in the lineup, I will be happy,” Arraez said.
The Marlins increased their lead on Joey Wendle’s RBI single off Jhony Brito in the fourth.
New York had its first runner reach scoring position in the seventh, when Billy McKinney drew a one-out walk and advanced on Alcantara’s balk. Isaiah Kiner-Falefa then hit a single to right, driving in the Yankees’ run.
The Yankees could not carry over the nine-run, 14-hit performance in the series’ opening win Friday.
“I don’t know about gut punch just because you realize you’re up against a guy that’s really capable and is at the level he is,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “For us, it’s about getting wins right now. We know we need to rack those up.”
King (3-5) was lifted after two innings and 41 pitches. The right-hander gave up two runs, four hits and struck out three.
The Yankees used their third straight opener after starters Carlos Rodón and Nestor Cortes went on the injured list this week.
Marlins first baseman Yuli Gurriel tracked Giancarlo Stanton’s high pop up as it headed toward the netting in the seventh. Gurriel reached the railing and caught the pop up against the netting for the out.
Yankees: INF DJ LeMahieu (right calf tightness) sat out his fourth straight game. … RHP Scott Effross (right elbow surgery) said before the game that he continues to ”check all the boxes” in his recovery and, barring a setback, could progress to throwing live batting practice as early as September or October.
Marlins: OF-DH Jorge Soler (stomach virus) did not play. … LHP Steven Okert was available after absorbing a 113-mph comebacker from Giancarlo Stanton to his left calf in Friday’s game.
RHP Gerrit Cole (10-3, 2.75) will start the series finale for the Yankees on Sunday against Marlins rookie RHP Eury Pérez (5-4, 2.79).