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Despite Bryan De La Cruz home run, Miami Marlins drop series finale to Houston Astros

Miami Herald logo Miami Herald 6/12/2022 Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald
Bryan De La Cruz of the Miami Marlins hits a three-run home run in the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022, in Houston. © Bob Levey/Getty Images North America/TNS Bryan De La Cruz of the Miami Marlins hits a three-run home run in the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, June 12, 2022, in Houston.

HOUSTON — The Miami Marlins’ chance for a series sweep against one of MLB’s top teams this season fell short.

Bryan De La Cruz’s three-run home run in the seventh got them close, but the Marlins dropped their series finale against the Houston Astros 9-4 on Sunday at Minute Maid Park.

Miami (27-31) won the first two games of the series by scores of 7-4 on Friday and 5-1 on Saturday. The loss snapped the team’s five-game win streak. Houston improves to 37-23.

After being shut out by Justin Verlander for six innings, the Marlins took advantage of a pair of Houston miscues in the seventh to start a rally.

Jorge Soler led off the frame with a ground ball to shortstop Jeremy Pena, whose throw to first went wide and out of play to let Soler reach second base. Soler moved to third base on a Jesus Sanchez groundout and scored on a Jose Altuve fielding error of a Willians Astudillo two-out ground ball. Verlander then walked Nick Fortes to set up De La Cruz’s home run — a no-doubter to left field to cut Miami’s deficit to one.

That was as close as the Marlins would get. The Astros got all four runs back in the eighth on an Altuve three-run home run off Louis Head and a Yordan Alvarez sacrifice fly against Aneurys Zabala and Houston’s bullpen held Miami off the board for the final two innings to salvage the finale.

Before the seventh, Miami recorded just two hits off Verlander: A leadoff single by Miguel Rojas in the fourth inning that landed in shallow right field and a one-out infield single by Astudillo in the fifth.

Both runners were stranded.

Rojas got to third base with two outs in the fourth when he stole second and the throw from Astros catcher Jason Castro sailed into the outfield. Jesus Aguilar hit a ground ball into the shift for the final out of the frame.

In the fifth, Fortes popped out before a De La Cruz’s hard-hit line drive to center field on a Verlander fastball died on the warning track.

A rough fourth inning from Edward Cabrera put Miami in its early hole.

The Marlins’ rookie right-hander held the Astros in check for the first three innings, giving up just one run in that span before they shelled him in his final inning of work.

Cabrera gave up three hits, including a two-run home run to Pena, and walked two and had allowed three total runs to score before getting pulled for Tommy Nance with two outs and runners on first and second. An Alvarez single against Nance drove in the lead runner.

— Right fielder Avisail Garcia was a late scratch from the lineup with left hand inflammation.

©2022 Miami Herald. Visit at miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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