BALTIMORE (AP) — Five pitchers combined on a four-hitter for Don Mattingly’s undermanned, gritty and first-place Miami Marlins, who beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Wednesday night for a doubleheader sweep.
Brian Anderson homered in opener, and Miami won 1-0 despite getting only two hits.
The sweep kept the Marlins atop the NL East and earned Mattingly his 281st win as Miami’s manager, tying Jack McKeon’s club record.
In a baseball season complete with new rules and an ever-changing, abbreviated schedule, this doubleheader raised the bar on strange. Not only were both games seven innings apiece, but the Orioles were the home team in the opener and the Marlins served as hosts in the nightcap.
And to top it all, the Marlins won their third straight game since emerging from a coronavirus-prompted layoff that left them with a roster filled with callups, free agents and rookies. Miami has allowed a total of one run and 10 hits in those three games at Camden Yards.
And so, a team that was inactive for eight days after 18 players tested positive for COVID-19 finds itself with a 5-1 record and leading the division by percentage points in this absolutely unpredictable baseball season. The Marlins had to scramble to fill out the roster after filling their injured list with COVID-impacted players, and the new-look club looks nothing like the team that lost 105 games last year.
The Orioles entered this series coming off a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay, but their bats have been silent against a Miami pitching staff that is not considered to be anything close to extraordinary.
In the nightcap. Jon Berti hit an RBI double off Asher Wojciechowski (0-2) in the first inning and scored on a fly ball by Jesús Aguilar. That proved to be enough offense for the Marlins in a bullpen game managed deftly by Mattingly.
Josh A. Smith started, Brian Moran (1-0) struck out three over one inning and Stephen Tarpley got four outs for his first save.
A bad-hop RBI single by Austin Hays in the sixth ruined Miami’s bid for a third straight shutout.
In the opener, Anderson produced the game’s lone run with an opposite-field drive to right off Alex Cobb (1-1).
Miami starter Elieser Hernandez gave up a one-out double to Chance Sisco in the fifth and Pedro Severino followed with a single before Nick Vincent (1-0) got Hanser Alberto to hit into a double play, ending Baltmore’s only threat.
Tuesday night’s game was originally scheduled for July 29 and the first game of the doubleheader was a makeup for July 30. The Marlins were to serve as the “home” team in the nightcap and on Thursday to make up for two games scheduled in Miami on July 27-28.
The Marlins’ battle with COVID-19 has cleared the way for two rookies to make their major league debut.
Outfielder Monte Harrison got his first taste of big league ball Tuesday night, and second baseman Eddy Alvarez — a silver medalist U.S. Olympic speedskater in 2014 — joined the fray Wednesday.
Both are still looking for their first hit.
Marlins: OF Matt Joyce, who missed all of summer camp with the coronavirus, said his antibodies tests have come back negative and he continues to observe protocols. Joyce came off the injured list Tuesday.
Orioles: LHP John Means was placed on bereavement list. Hyde was uncertain if Means would be back for his next start, tentatively Sunday in Washington. “He’s dealing with a family matter and we’re going to give him some space and time,” Hyde said.
Marlins: Mattingly is filling out his rotation the fly and has not named a starter for Thursday night.
Orioles: Wade LeBlanc (1-0) makes his third start of the season after turning in a solid performance against Tampa Bay on Saturday.
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