ATLANTA (AP) — Sixto Sánchez is helping the Miami Marlins match up with the Braves, even in Atlanta.
Sánchez combined with four relievers on a four-hitter, Jorge Alfaro hit one of three homers for Miami and the Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 8-0 on Tuesday night.
Garrett Cooper had two hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in three runs. Alfaro drove in two runs with two hits, including his first homer. Matt Joyce also homered.
Before the series, the Braves were 22-6 at home against the Marlins since Truist Park opened in 2017. Suddenly, the matchups are looking better for Miami — especially in the rotation. The Marlins are 3-2 in this year’s series overall, including 2-0 in Atlanta.
“I want to continue to do that and help my team to win some games and make the playoffs,” Sánchez said through a translator.
The first-place Braves’ hopes of a fourth straight NL East title suffered a setback when left-hander Max Fried, the team’s top starter, was placed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with a left-side muscle spasm in his lumbar spine.
Miami trails Atlanta by 2 1/2 games in the division after winning the first two games of the three-game series. Second-place Philadelphia is 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta.
“I feel like we’re a little more equipped to deal with them,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of the Braves. “Our rotation is more solid. We have a little bit of experience in our pen.”
Sánchez (2-1) allowed three hits in six-plus innings. The right-hander opened the game by striking out Ronald Acuña Jr. with a 100-mph fastball, the first of six strikeouts with one walk.
“If he stays healthy, he’s going to give people fits for a long time,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Sánchez threw 10 or fewer pitches in three straight innings, beginning with the third.
“He has definitely brought, I think, excitement to our rotation,” Mattingly said.
The 22-year-old Sánchez didn’t allow a runner to reach second base until the seventh. Marcell Ozuna had an infield single and Sánchez hit Austin Riley with a pitch.
James Hoyt walked Adeiny Hechavarria with two outs to load the bases. Richard Bleier ended the inning on pinch-hitter Travis d’Arnaud’s groundout.
Kyle Wright (0-4) allowed five runs on seven hits, including three homers, in four innings as his ERA climbed to 8.05.
Freddie Freeman doubled off Nick Vincent with two outs in the eighth for Atlanta’s only extra-base hit.
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