The short-handed and yet surprising Miami Marlins -- getting great pitching once again -- defeated the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 on Wednesday night, sweeping a doubleheader.
The Marlins (5-1) lead the National League East in win percentage despite the fact that the team has had 18 players test positive for COVID-19 during the past two weeks.
Miami had eight straight games postponed due to the outbreak but is 3-0 since returning to action, with all three wins in Baltimore.
The Marlins were designated as the home team in Wednesday's nightcap, so, technically, this was their 2020 home opener -- and why not in this highly unusual season?
When the Orioles finally scored in the sixth inning of Wednesday's nightcap, it snapped Miami's streak of 24 consecutive scoreless inning. The last team to score on Miami before then was the Philadelphia Phillies on July 26.
Still, the Orioles, who entered this series after sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays in three games, have scored just one run in three contests against Miami's no-name pitching staff.
Because of the COVID-19 positive tests, the Marlins had to replace 10 pitchers, and they did so with waiver pick-ups, trades and rookie call-ups.
On Wednesday night, Miami used five pitchers to get the win, including three of them who made their Marlins debut: starter Josh Smith and relievers Sterling Sharp and Justin Shafer. For Sharp, 25, it was also his major league debut.
Reliever Brian Moran (1-0) picked up his second major league win. Stephen Tarpley picked up his first save of the season and the third of his career.
For the Orioles, starter Asher Wojciechowski (0-2) took the loss, allowing four hits, one walk and two runs in five innings. He struck out four.
Miami's Brian Anderson, who homered in the first game of the doubleheader, had an RBI single in the second game. In the nightcap, he played first base for the first time in his major league career and made a juggling catch of a foul pop near the Orioles dugout.
The Marlins scored twice in the first inning. Jonathan Villar drew a four-pitch walk, went to third on Jon Berti's double and scored on Jesus Aguilar's sacrifice fly. Anderson then singled to right-center to give Miami a 2-0 lead.
Baltimore cut its deficit to 2-1 in the sixth. Anthony Santander singled, advanced to second on a Pedro Severino walk and scored on an Austin Hays chopper, barely over the glove of Marlins third baseman Eddy Alvarez -- who was making his major league debut.
But Tarpley got Pat Valaika to fly out to right to end the threat. Tarpley then pitched a scoreless seventh inning to end the game.
--Field Level Media