The visiting Atlanta Braves will be targeting a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins when the teams meet Sunday afternoon.
William Contreras recorded his second multi-home run game of the season with two solo homers in Saturday’s 4-3 victory as Atlanta won for the third time in its last four games.
Miami struggled to find timely hits in the first two games of the series, going 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position, including 1-for-9 on Saturday.
“We had chances again,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s not something you want to keep talking about. We take good sticks. We just have to find a way to push these races through when we get opportunities.
Miami will be monitoring two players who suffered injuries in Saturday’s game.
Shortstop Miguel Rojas left the game in the seventh inning with a left calf tightness and is listed as day to day. Second baseman Jazz Chisholm was hampered by an apparent knee injury after being spiked in the ninth inning.
The Braves received a spark this month from outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who is batting .303 (10 for 33) with four homers during his eight-game hitting streak.
Atlanta has won eight of its last nine games in Miami and will look to Ian Anderson (3-2, 3.75 ERA) as a starter on Sunday. The right-hander has a 2.70 ERA in his last three starts spanning 16 2/3 innings.
Anderson, 24, allowed one run on four hits in six frames in a 1-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. He struck out three and threw a season-high 103 pitches.
“I feel like I’m throwing the ball well,” Anderson said. “The speed was good again.”
Anderson is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA in six career starts against Miami. He struggled to contain Chisholm (5 for 13), Jesus Aguilar (4 for 11) and Jesus Sanchez (5 for 6).
Right-hander Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 2.49) will take the mound for Miami on Sunday. He put in a dominating performance against the Washington Nationals last Monday, allowing one run on three hits in eight innings of an 8-2 win.
“When he rides like that, it’s fun to watch,” Mattingly said. “He’s in and out of quick innings, throwing strikes. Everything is working.
Alcantara, 26, lost his first two starts this month but allowed a total of two runs and five hits in his last two outings spanning 15 innings.
Ozzie Albies is 7-for-22 (.318) against Alcantara, who is 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA in seven career starts against the Braves.
Atlanta outfielder Travis Demeritte is hitless in his last 26 at-bats. The rookie has started in right field the past two games with Ronald Acuna Jr. as the team’s designated hitter.
The Braves are cautious with Acuna, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on July 10 on artificial turf at Miami Stadium.
“If it was a natural surface, he would play the outfield,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “But because of the turf and everything, we just wanted to keep him from doing it.”
–Field level media
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