Marlins face Pirates after late heroics on Tuesday night

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Jose Urena #62 of the Miami Marlins celebrates with Bryan Holaday #28 of the Miami Marlins after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 3, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 03: Jose Urena #62 of the Miami Marlins celebrates with Bryan Holaday #28 of the Miami Marlins after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 3, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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What will the Miami Marlins do for an encore after an extra-inning win on Tuesday night?

What does Sandy Alcantara have to do to earn a victory? The Marlins pitcher once again had a solid outing, but could not muster a win. The Marlins needed extra innings to gain the “W” in Pittsburgh, 5-4 on Tuesday night.

The teams meet on Wednesday night with Robert Dugger getting the ball in his third start of his Major League Career. The Marlins are now 49-88 on the season with 25 games remaining. Miami would need to go 16-9 in that span to top the 64 wins from last season.

By all accounts, based on the team’s efforts of late, that accomplishment looks bleak. Last night, however, it was the long ball that helped the visitors pull out the win.

"“With Miami down to its final out in the ninth, shortstop Miguel Rojas hit a two-out solo homer to center off Pittsburgh closer Felipe Vázquez, which tied the game at 4,” Alan Saunders of MLB.com writes.More from Marlins NewsMiami Marlins news: Another target goneWhy didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offerMiami Marlins are pursuing Michael ConfortoMiami Marlins need to spend to win“Garrett Cooper followed with a game-winning blast in the 10th inning that traveled a Statcast-projected 444 feet and cleared the deep notch in left-center field.”"

Despite another no-decision, the night did belong to Alcantara, who worked seven-plus innings and struck out seven batters. He has been consistent since the All-Star break, with a string of five straight games of six innings or more while giving up four or fewer runs. It is something manager Don Mattingly has been pleased with, especially since he has been critical of Alcantara and his lack of dominance on the mound during different periods of the season.

"“It’s really almost like he’s turned the spigot and was like, ‘I’m going to be aggressive,’” Mattingly said. “He’s been attacking the zone. This guy’s stuff is as good as anybody’s. When he’s like that, it doesn’t matter the lineup. [The Pirates] have a good lineup. We’ve seen it with other teams, too, the same way. When he’s aggressive, the stuff plays. It’s good to see him start to find himself.”"

Now, the team shifts to tonight and Dugger trying to get the elusive first win of his career. His second outing for the team was much better than his initial start in the Majors. He gave up only two unearned runs over seven innings last week. In his last three starts, which includes his final start at Class-AAA in New Orleans, he has struck out 24 batters and has given up a total of four earned runs.

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The Pirates will go with Trevor Williams, who has looked good in his last two starts. He has pitched against the Marlins twice in his career in 2017. He gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings in those games.

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