MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Sometimes a player does particularly well against a certain team, or teams. That point was proved once again on Tuesday night in Miami.
Henderson Alvarez has pitched well against a number of teams, especially the Philadelphia Phillies.
Alvarez pitched into the eighth inning to outduel Cole Hamels and the Miami Marlins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0 Tuesday night.
“This is the second time I’ve faced him and he’s gone on to pitch good games and it kind of helps me go along as well,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez (12-6) gave up five hits and struck out two over 7 2-3 innings to lower his ERA to 2.70. Jeff Baker and Casey McGehee had RBIs for the Marlins in the 2-hour, 20-minute contest.
“When he gets into a rhythm, he gets quick outs and he was able to do that, which allowed him to stay in the game and he did exactly what we needed him to,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “We got him his two runs and we were able to hang on.”
Alvarez is 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA in six starts against the Phillies this season.
“I’d say for the most part he’s given us a tough time this year,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. “He’s good with his live fastball. He’s got some body action out there that has some deception to it, but I’d say overall he’s pitched good against us.”
Hamels (9-8) allowed seven hits and two runs in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Alvarez issued a two-out walk to Carlos Ruiz in the top of the eighth inning, ending his night after 97 pitches as he was replaced by left-hander Mike Dunn. After Chase Utley singled, Dunn struck out Ryan Howard with runners on first and second to end the inning.
Steve Cishek pitched the ninth for his 38th save in 42 chances to preserve the Marlins’ 16th shutout of the season.
Hamels got into trouble in the fourth inning when he allowed consecutive singles to Jeff Baker, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Lucas – who drove in Baker with his base hit to center.
“I thought they were good pitches too, that’s what stinks,” Hamels said. “They were at least the right pitches I wanted to throw at the right time, they missed by just a hair.”
The Marlins extended the lead to 2-0 in the fifth after Christian Yelich doubled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by McGehee.
Only two Phillies runners advanced to scoring position against Alvarez, who calmly retired the next batter each time to end the second and fifth innings.
Alvarez was just four outs away from his fourth shutout of the season.
“No doubt he’s had some adversity along the way, but at the end of it, he’s doing a great job and logged a ton of innings and pitched some really big games for us and he’s won,” Redmond said.
Hamels will look to reach the 200-inning plateau for the fifth consecutive season when he makes his final start of the year on Sunday against Atlanta.
Alvarez plans on starting the season finale at Washington and hopes to duplicate last year’s performance when he tossed a no-hitter against Detroit.
“I’m just trying to go out and have a strong end to the season,” Alvarez said. “If it ends like last year, that would be perfect.”
Marlins: CF Marcell Ozuna suffered a high ankle sprain on his right ankle during Sunday’s game against Washington after running into second base. “We’ll see how he comes in today as far as if there’s even a possibility of him playing any more this season,” Redmond said before the game.
UP NEXT: Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick (9-13, 4.73) will face Marlins LHP Brad Hand (3-8, 4.59) on Wednesday. Kendrick is 13-3 with a 3.57 ERA in his career against the Marlins.
Hamels is on pace to establish a new career-best in ERA, but currently only has nine wins in 29 starts.
“Yeah (it’s hard to believe), because sometimes when you’re looking at guys that have (low) ERAs, most of them have 18-20 wins,” Hamels said. “It’s just going out there trying to plug away and work towards something the next year – I think that’s something that I can kind of control. When you start a season and make personal goals, what can you control, and ERA and innings are what you can really control.”
With the win, the Marlins improved to 41-38 at home, which assured them of a winning record at Marlins Park for the first time since the stadium opened in 2012.
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