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Marlins stay in wild-card hunt, prevent Brewers from clinching NL Central

Carmen Mandato / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MIAMI (AP) — Jake Burger hit a three-run homer, the Marlins scored the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning and Miami beat Milwaukee 5-4 on Saturday to stay within a game of the Cubs for the third NL wild card and prevent the Brewers from clinching the NL Central.

Pinch runner Garrett Hampson scored the winning run on a wild pitch by reliever Joel Payamps (6-5).

Burger drew a leadoff walk before Bryan De La Cruz’s single to right advanced Hampson to third. Payamps’ slider got past catcher William Contreras and Hampson sprinted home.

“Obviously, a very good ball club over there, so anything we can do to get a win from them and hopefully ride momentum going into (Sunday),” Burger said.

Miami’s Luis Arraez went 1-for-5 and his major league-leading batting average dropped to .353. Carlos Santana hit the 300th homer of his career and Christian Yelich had career hit 1,500 for Milwaukee.

Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said Arraez didn’t play the top of the ninth after he slipped on the dugout steps heading to his position. Arraez sprained his left ankle on Tuesday when he stepped on a baseball during infield drills and missed the last two games of Miami’s series against the New York Mets.

“Another freak injury,” Schumaker said.

Andrew Nardi (8-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and Tanner Scott closed with a perfect ninth for his 10th save.

“You ask anybody in that clubhouse — that’s why I’m so proud of them — whatever it takes,” Schumaker said. “I know other guys say it but they literally believe that.”

The Brewers erased a 4-0 deficit with a four-run sixth on William Contreras’ infield single and Santana’s three-run homer over wall in center off reliever A.J. Puk.

“It was great in the dugout, game-tying three-run homer,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Santana’s milestone. “Really happy for him and it’s something to be proud of.”

Marlins starter Jesus Luzardo allowed three hits, struck out four and walked three in five innings. His outing ended after Contreras’ single.

“Frustrating the way it ended,” Luzardo said. “But I felt good. Felt strong overall. My pitches were doing what I wanted to. Not too upset about it, especially after the win.”

Miami struck quickly on Burger’s three-run homer in the first. Burger drove the first pitch from starter Brandon Woodruff over the wall in left for his 34th homer and ninth since joining the Marlins Aug. 1.

“He has a really good fastball and just reacted to the slider there,” Burger said. “You have to honor his fastball always because it’s an electric one.”

Nick Fortes’ sacrifice fly in the fourth made it 4-0.

Woodruff, who threw a complete-game shutout against Miami in a home win Sept. 11, was lifted after five innings. The right-hander gave up four runs, six hits, struck out six and walked two.

Earlier Saturday, Marlins ace right-hander Sandy Alcantara said he will not pitch again this season after experiencing a setback during a minor league rehab start Thursday. Alcantara, the reigning NL Cy Young winner, went on the injured list Sept. 6 because of a right forearm flexor strain.


Arraez’s parents received visas from their native Venezuela and arrived in Miami on Thursday. They had never seen their son play in a major league game until the series against Milwaukee.


The Marlins selected the contract of RHP Jeff Lindgren from Triple-A Jacksonville and placed RHP Eury Pérez on the 15-day injured list because of left SI joint inflammation.


Marlins: RHP Huascar Brazoban (left hip impingement) threw one inning in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Jacksonville on Thursday and is scheduled to throw two innings on Sunday.


RHP Freddy Peralta (12-9, 3.71) will start the final game of the series for the Brewers on Sunday while the Marlins will go with RHP Edward Cabrera (6-7, 4.35).



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