MIAMI (AP)The Toronto Blue Jays’ bats came alive as soon as they had a chance to face someone other than Sandy Alcantara.
Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled on consecutive pitches against reliever Yimi Garcia to break a ninth-inning tie, and Toronto beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 Tuesday night.
The hits came with one out. Garcia (3-6) entered the game after Alcantara stymied the Blue Jays while throwing only 86 pitches in eight innings before departing for a pinch-hitter.
”He was really good,” said Blue Jays coach John Schneider, who ran the team while manager Charlie Montoyo served a one-game suspension. ”Seeing what our hitters were saying, we were happy to get him out of there, obviously. He was on tonight. It worked out for us.”
With the score 1-all, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said, the decision to pinch-hit for Alcantara was easy. His replacement, Sandy Leon, struck out.
”We’ve got to try to score,” Mattingly said. ”We’ve got to try to put a run on the board and give him a win that way.”
MLB RBIs leader Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled home the Blue Jays’ only run off Alcantara in the sixth.
Toronto’s Ross Stripling allowed one run in six innings. Tim Mayza (2-1) pitched a perfect eighth, and Jordan Romano faced only three batters in the ninth for his fourth save to complete a three-hitter.
Starling Marte led off Miami’s ninth with an infield single but was thrown out trying to steal.
”He’s definitely got the green light there,” Mattingly said. ”The math works, but it didn’t look like he had a great jump.”
Miami rookie Jesus Sanchez hit his second home run in the second inning.
Toronto outfielder George Springer went 0 for 4 in his return to the lineup. He was activated after missing 66 of the first 70 games because of a strained right quadriceps.
”Alcantara pitched his tail off, and our lineup didn’t show off like they usually do,” Stripling said. ”But our lineup is special, and now we’re going to throw George Springer in it for the next 90-plus games. It’s going to be a lot of fun to see him in there.”
The Blue Jays scratched out a run in the sixth. Bo Bichette was hit by a pitch, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and came home on an opposite-field single by Guerrero.
Toronto improved to 12-2 in interleague games, including 3-0 against Miami. The Marlins fell to 5-13 in one-run games, while Toronto is 6-9.
Both starting pitchers passed inspections by the umpires between innings as part of MLB’s crackdown on sticky substances.
”They kept it lighthearted and quick and easy,” Stripling said. ”We started to get a feel for what it looks like. I’ve made adjustments; it’s not a big change. I’m not worried about it moving forward.”
ON BEING REMOVED
Alcantara remained just 4-6 despite an ERA of 2.93. He declined to complain about being lifted after eight innings with the game tied.
”Every five days I try to throw nine innings,” the Dominican said in Spanish. ”Things happen during the game which might not allow me to, and you have to respect that.”
Montoyo’s penalty came after MLB concluded Blue Jays rookie Alek Manoah intentionally threw at the Orioles’ Maikel Franco last weekend.
Blue Jays: Bichette was hit on the left elbow guard by a 97 mph fastball but stayed in the game. ”I think he’ll be fine,” Schneider said. ”His guard helped him out a little bit.”
Marlins: OF Corey Dickerson (bruised left foot) is expected to be in a boot for three weeks, manager Don Mattingly said. … 1B-OF Garrett Cooper (lumbar strain) took batting practice and is expected to begin a rehab assignment this week. … RHP Jorge Guzman (right elbow inflammation) is scheduled to start a game Thursday at extended spring training.
The Marlins’ Trevor Rogers (7-3, 1.87), who leads all MLB rookies in wins, ERA and strikeouts, is scheduled to start in the series finale Wednesday against Robbie Ray (4-3, 3.50) in a matchup of left-handers.
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