Replacement-heavy Marlins sweep O’s
Jonathan Villar hit a first-pitch leadoff homer Thursday night to spark a robust offensive performance by the Marlins, who beat the Orioles 8-7 in Baltimore to complete a startling four-game sweep and make Don Mattingly the winningest manager in franchise history.
Villar had three hits and Brian Anderson drove in three runs for the upstart Marlins, who put 18 players on the injured list before the series opener Tuesday as a result of a teamwide coronavirus outbreak that kept them out of action for more than a week. They lead the National League East at 6-1.
Tougher times may lie ahead. The Marlins and Phillies will play seven times in five days from Sept. 10 to 14 as part of MLB’s reconfigured schedule, released Thursday, which accounts for 21 coronavirus-caused postponements in the first two weeks of the season.
The Marlins will finish the season playing 27 games in 23 days, a stretch featuring no days off and four doubleheaders in a 10-day span.
MLB shortened doubleheaders this year to a pair of seven-inning games to help keep pitchers fresh during a 60-game schedule that has been squeezed further by the rash of postponements.
The Cardinals, who have been out of action since July 31 because of an outbreak, have added three doubleheaders against the Brewers to a previously scheduled series in September to make up their three games postponed last weekend. Ohtani, Bundy deliver for Angels
Shohei Ohtani homered off Taijuan Walker in the second inning in his first plate appearance since being shut down as a pitcher as the Angels beat the Mariners 6-1 in Seattle. Angels right-hander Dylan Bundy (2-1), traded from the Orioles last offseason, allowed four hits and struck out 10 in the third complete game of his career. He has pitched at least six innings in all three of his starts, with 25 strikeouts and two walks in 21 ⅔ innings.
In other games of note . . .
Kevin Newman’s two-run pinch single off Twins closer Taylor Rogers with one out in the ninth lifted the host Pirates to a 6-5 victory that snapped their seven-game losing streak. The Twins missed a chance to put together the best start in franchise history, falling to 10-3.
† Jose Ramirez homered from both sides of the plate — a solo drive from the left side against Luis Castillo in the first and a two-run drive off Cody Reed in a 10-run seventh — as the Indians blistered the visiting Reds 13-0.
† A week after opting back into the season, Nick Markakis capped his first start of the season with a game-ending homer in the ninth off Wilmer Font (0-1) as the host Braves topped the Blue Jays 4-3.