Re­place­ment-heavy Mar­lins sweep O’s

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS -

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.

Sho­hei Oh­tani

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