The Milwaukee Brewers snapped a six-game losing streak on Saturday with a 6-2 win over the host Miami Marlins, setting them up to go for a series victory on Sunday.
Milwaukee’s skid was its longest since July 2018.
“We just have to keep grinding,” Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain said.
Of course, a series victory is also available to the Marlins, who have won four of their past five games.
The Marlins are led by leadoff batter Miguel Rojas, who has scored a first-inning run in four consecutive games. During that span, he has slugged two leadoff homers.
However, Marlins batters struck out 18 times on Saturday, contributing to their defeat.
Sunday’s pitching matchup features Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcantara (1-2, 2.95 ERA) against Brewers lefty Brett Anderson (2-2, 4.15 ERA).
Alcantara has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his seven starts this year. He is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA against the Brewers this season, having beaten them 6-2 with seven strong innings on April 28.
For his career against Milwaukee, Alcantara is 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA in four appearances, including two starts.
A deeper dive into Alcantara’s performances show that he has improved in many areas. For his career, lefty batters are hitting .243 against him with 24 homers and a .742 OPS. This year, lefties are hitting only .193 against him with a .634 OPS.
However, all four homers he has allowed this season have come against lefty batters, including a two-run shot pulled by Milwaukee’s Kolten Wong.
Against all batters, Alcantara is working on career bests in several categories: fewest walks per nine innings (2.53), best strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.5), fewest hits per nine innings (6.54), lowest OPS (.601) and lowest batting average for balls in play (.250).
“Nothing is perfect in this life,” Alcantara said philosophically. “I’m just trying to learn something every time out.”
Anderson is set to make his first appearance since he suffered an injury to his right hamstring on April 23. He lasted just 11 pitches in that game.
In his two starts prior to that game, he allowed just one earned run in 12 innings.
Anderson is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against the Marlins. He hasn’t faced the Marlins this year.
For his career, Anderson has reverse splits: Lefty batters are hitting a healthy .292 against him, but righty batters are hitting .268 against him.
Even so, look for the Marlins to go traditional by starting all right-handed hitters against Anderson, possibly with outfielders Adam Duvall, Lewis Brinson and Garrett Cooper from left to right. The infield will likely comprise all right-handed hitters: Jesus Aguilar at first, Jon Berti at second, Rojas at shortstop and Brian Anderson at third. Switch-hitter Sandy Leon will likely draw the start at catcher.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s three most dominant relievers — J.P. Feyereisen, Devin Williams and Josh Hader — should be available on Sunday. All three pitched one scoreless inning on Saturday, combining to strike out eight batters.
–Field Level Media