Edward Cabrera was putting together one of the best months in baseball this season by a rookie.
It didn’t continue past the third pitch of Sunday’s game against the Dodgers.
Mookie Betts made sure of that when he belted a 416-foot blast to center field that landed just short of the AutoNation Alley section at loanDepot park.
It was the first of three runs Cabrera allowed over the first two innings and a career-worst six he’d been charged with overall, eventually sending the Marlins to an 8-1 loss.
Cabrera lasted 5 2/3 innings, walked three, gave up five hits (including a second home run by Trayce Thompson in the second inning) and struck out five on a season-high 102 pitches. Cabrera had allowed only two home runs over his first 38 1/3 innings this season.
The final three runs came after he was pulled in the sixth with two outs and the bases loaded and Tommy Nance allowed back-to-back singles to Austin Barnes and Betts that scored all three baserunners.
Still, the month was strong overall for Cabrera as the Marlins (55-72) finally began to see what having him in their rotation with Sandy Alcantara could provide.
Another Marlins’ ace in the making? Sandy Alcantara sees the qualities in Edward Cabrera
Despite Sunday’s overall rough outing, Cabrera finished August with a 1.90 ERA (6 earned runs over 28 1/3 innings) with 33 strikeouts against 13 walks.
Cabrera entered the game having thrown 22 2/3 scoreless innings in his first four starts of the month — road games against the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and Oakland Athletics and a home game against the San Diego Padres.
It was the second-longest such streak (in terms of innings) in club history for a starting pitcher behind Pat Rapp’s streak of 23 2/3 scoreless innings in 1995 over three consecutive starts. Cabrera also became the first Marlins pitcher to pitch four consecutive outings of at least four scoreless innings. The MLB record is six in a row set by Zack Greinke in 2015.
Cabrera and former Marlins pitcher Zac Gallen are the only pitchers this season to record four consecutive scoreless starts. Gallen’s streak is active and his next start for Arizona is scheduled for Tuesday.
Cabrera threw over 100 pitches for the second consecutive start after throwing 101 in eight shutout innings at Oakland on Monday.
Of the 12 earned runs that Cabrera has been charged with this season, 11 have come in just two starts against the Dodgers and Astros on June 12 before he went on the IL.
To Cabrera’s credit, he was able to adjust after the early trouble.
After his 29-pitch first inning, Cabrera threw only 50 pitches from the second to fifth innings before running into trouble again in the sixth. He allowed three runs on three hits and a walk his first time through the Dodgers order. He then retired the next nine batters in a row with two strikeouts.
The third time through the order though, Cabrera hit Trea Turner on the helmet with a fastball in the fifth inning, gave up a single to Max Muncy in the sixth and walked Gavin Lux and Thompson back-to-back with two outs in the sixth lead. to his exit.
Cabrera went very hard with the curveball (39 of 102 pitches) on Sunday. On the season, he was throwing the curveball just 15.1 percent of the time, making it his second-least used pitch. He followed a similar approach to Alcantara’s on Saturday against the Dodgers, going with breaking balls and offspeed pitches instead of fastballs. All five strikeouts on Sunday came on either the changeup or curveball and the Dodgers (88-38) went 4 for 20 on at-bats that ended with those pitches.
The Marlins’ lone run came in the fourth inning when Brian Anderson belted a 416-foot solo homer to left field off starter Julio Urias. It was Anderson’s third home run in 14 games since returning from IL, and one of two hits for Miami in the game.
The Marlins held a moment of silence before Sunday’s game in honor of the late Jason Jenkins, a longtime executive of the Miami Dolphins and beloved figure in the South Florida community who passed away suddenly on Saturday at the age of 47.
The Marlins placed a football with an arrangement of flowers on a spot in the press box in his honor.
Jason Jenkins, Dolphins executive and ‘an icon’ in the South Florida community, dies at 47
Jenkins was a fixture in the Miami Dolphins’ organization for more than a decade as part of their communications department. But beyond his role with the team, Jenkins became a recognizable face in the community involved in several youth initiatives.
Among his notable work, Jenkins founded the Dolphins’ Football Unites program and directed the team in #Huddlefor100, leading Miami to win the league-wide competition by encouraging nearly 90,000 volunteers to take part in 163 events and contribute more than 75 million volunteer minutes. Jenkins also oversaw the Dolphins’ charitable foundation and youth programs, and served as a board member for United Way Miami, YWCA South Florida, the Anti-Defamation League of Florida, the Urban League of Broward County and the Dolphins Cancer Challenge.