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Marlins' Sandy Alcantara faces Phils, eyeing possible All-Star start
Sandy Alcantara has cemented his status as an All-Star this season.
The Miami Marlins right-hander has pitched at least seven innings in his past 12 starts, holding the opposition to two earned runs or fewer in 11 of those outings.
He can still add to his stack of qualifications to be named the National League's All-Star starting pitcher when he takes the mound against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of a three-game series on Friday.
"It would be great for me, for my country and for my team," the 26-year-old Dominican said of the possibility of being named the NL starter for the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.
Alcantara (9-3, 1.73 ERA) seems to be getting better as the season goes along. He hasn't allowed a run in his past two outings, covering 15 innings, while striking out 14 and walking just one.
Alcantara won't be disappointed if he gets beat out by one of the other NL pitchers who are also having great first halves. He's ecstatic just to be an All-Star for a second time.
"I feel so happy because they know the job that I've been doing," Alcantara said. "I deserve it. I'm just going to go there, have fun and enjoy the game."
Alcantara is 6-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 12 career starts against the Phillies.
He'll be up against a Philadelphia team that has lost four in a row after winning seven of its previous nine. Miami just won the last two games of a four-game set to earn a road split against the Pittsburgh Pirates, capped by a 3-2, 11-inning victory on Thursday.
The Phillies plan to send veteran right-hander Kyle Gibson to the mound in an attempt to end their slump.
Gibson (4-3, 4.53 ERA) is coming off one of his best starts of the season, when he threw seven shutout innings against the host St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.
He didn't factor in the decision after leaving while the game was still scoreless, but he was pleased with his performance, especially after getting an extra day of rest leading up to the start.
"It was probably as much work as I've done in between starts in a long time," Gibson said. "I think I touched the mound three times and worked on a lot of stuff. Any time you can get an extra day, especially when you're struggling, it helps a little bit."
Gibson is 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA in three career starts against Miami.
Gibson was one of 10 players for the Phillies who did not make the two-game trip to Canada earlier this week to play the Toronto Blue Jays because they were not vaccinated. Philadelphia lost both games to extend its losing streak.
Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm was also among the 10 who didn't travel to Toronto, but he was doubtful to play anyway after injuring his left ring finger while trying to stretch a single into a double in the second inning of a 6-1 loss to the Cardinals on Monday.
The Phillies had an off day on Thursday, and Bohm's status for the opener against the Marlins was unknown.
--Field Level Media
Updated July 15, 2022