Pitching ace Sandy Alcantara excelled seven innings on the mound, helping the Miami Marlins shut out the San Diego Padres 3-0 on Monday.
Alcantara, who signed an 11th victory this season, conceded only four hits and two walks. He recorded seven strikeouts.
A serious candidate for the Cy-Young trophy in the National, Alcantara has an ERA of 1.92 in 25 starts this season.
The 26-year-old right-hander has eight starts of seven or more innings without giving up a run. It’s the second-highest total in Marlins history, tied with Jose Fernandez’s 2016 season.
Quebecer Charles Leblanc was not on the Miami roster for the third time in the team’s last four meetings.
JJ Bleday gave the hosts the lead in the second set with a solo slap at the expense of Joe Musgrove (8-6).
Moments later, Lewin Diaz produced a point on a sacrifice fly. After four innings without allowing a run, Musgrove then allowed a productive single to Jacob Stallings in the bottom of the sixth.
The Braves send a message to the Mets
The Atlanta Braves are trying to join the New York Mets at No. 1 in the Eastern Division standings, and their performance on Monday is a good step in that direction.
Ronald Acuna Jr., Dansby Swanson and Travis d’Arnaud each drove in three runs, leading the Braves to a landslide 13-1 win over the Mets.
Atlanta (71-46), which signed a seventh straight victory, thus approached four and a half games from their rivals.
Starter Carlos Carrasco pitched just two innings for the Mets (75-41), who had won their previous two games.
Opposite Spencer Strider pitched for five innings, allowing just one run.
In the loss, second baseman Jeff McNeil had four hits to raise his batting average to .315.
The two clubs will meet three more times, between Tuesday and Thursday.
Elsewhere in the MLB :
Phillies 4 – Reds 3
PHI: Noah Syndergaard (7-8) pitched seven innings, allowing three runs.
CIN: Jake Framey made it interesting by hitting his 4th homer, late in the 8th inning.
Cubs 4 – Nationals 5
CHC: Ian Happ hit two homers, his 11th and 12th of the season.
WAS: Veteran Nelson Cruz made the difference by hitting the long ball at the end of the 8th.
Dodgers 4 – Brewers 0
LAD: The Dodgers are the first Major League team to reach 80 wins.
MIL: Starter Freddy Peralta (4-3) was limited to four innings on the mound. He allowed two hits and four walks.