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Braves complete sweep with 6-3 win over Marlins

Atlanta has won eight-straight games.

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

Both teams sent out their aces as the Atlanta Braves looked to secure a sweep over the Miami Marlins in a divisional clash. Strikeout king Spencer Strider was called upon to take on reigning NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara. Both Strider and Alcantara are carrying uncharacteristically high ERA’s into the game, with Sandy’s being particularly high, sitting at 4.82 entering the game.

Strider got off to a strong start, getting two ground balls and overwhelming Jorge Soler on three pitches to work around a Jazz Chisholm base hit.

Sandy also pitched a scoreless inning, but it took him much more effort. He got into a bases loaded two out situation, but got out of by inducing a Marcel Ozuna ground out.

In the second, the Marlins played some small ball to plate two runs. Jesus Sanchez started things off with a base hit and the Jean Segura followed it up by poking a ball in the hole on a hit and run to make it first and third. A Jonathan Davis fielders choice would give the Marlins the lead before Luis Arraez extended it with a two out double. Strider would buckle down and limit the damage, getting Soler to fly out to leave it at two runs.

The Braves would quickly cut the lead in half when Orlando Arcia hit a long home run to centerfield to make it 2-1.

After that both pitchers would settle in for a while. Strider got into a groove and began to mow down the Marlins lineup after giving up five hits in the first two innings. After the second, he only gave up one hit the rest of the outing. Alcantara would also go on a good run after giving up the Arcia home run, sitting down the next nine hitters he faced.

Sandy would get into trouble in the fifth inning, with Michael Harris setting the table. He would score from first by stealing a base, getting to third on a wild throw and then scoring on a wild pitch to tie the game. Later in the inning, Ozzie Albies would just get a fly ball out of the yard, aided by a warm summer day to make it 4-2 Braves.

Alcantara finished the inning without any further damage, but he left the game after five innings, giving up four runs. This start is part of an extended malaise Alcantara has been in all season long. After this start, last years Cy Young winner’s ERA ballooned to 4.93. While Sandy could not make it into the sixth, Strider dominated in the sixth inning, striking out the side.

After the dominant sixth, Strider picked up where he left off in the seventh, striking out the first two batters he faced. However, he would get into trouble after that. Following man Ozzie Albies error and a walk, Strider gave way to AJ Minter. Minter would give up a hit to the hitting machine that is Luis Arraez, which made it a one run game.

After a scoreless bottom of the seventh, AJ Minter and Ben Heller teamed up to put a zero on the board in the eighth. The Braves would extend the lead in the bottom of the inning. Matt Olson doubled following a Bryan De La Cruz misplay and Travis d’Arnaud would drive him in, as well as himself with a two-run blast to give the Braves much needed insurance.

With a 6-3 lead, Raisel Iglesias got a comfortable save, getting a 1-2-3 inning to end the ball game. The Braves improved to 56-27, with their eight straight win. Following a dominant 21-4 June, the Braves have continued that run into July so far, winning their first two games of the month.

They go out to Cleveland to start a series with the Guardians tomorrow in a run of games against American League teams. Bryce Elder squares off against highly touted Guardians prospect Gavin Williams in the first game of a three game set. After that they will go to Tampa where they face the Rays in a showdown of the two best teams of the 2023 regular season. The game on Monday is at 7:10 p.m. ET and will be shown on Bally Sports South.

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