MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brian Anderson hit his first career grand slam and the Miami Marlins spoiled Jimmy Nelson’s return to the major leagues, beating the Milwaukee Brewers 8-3 on Wednesday night.
Starlin Castro and Bryan Holaday each drove in two runs as the surging Marlins earned their fourth straight victory. Sandy Alcántara (3-5) pitched seven crisp innings in his first win since he tossed a two-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets on May 19.
Nelson lasted just three innings in his first major league start in 21 months. The right-hander was cheered loudly when he was introduced with the starting lineup and then received another big ovation from the Miller Park crowd of 26,615 when he went out to the mound for the first.
Nelson, who turned 30 on Wednesday, was working on a breakout season in 2017 when he injured his pitching shoulder diving back to first after rounding the base on a single. He had surgery and missed last year, when Milwaukee won the division title and made it to the NL Championship Series.
Orlando Arcia had a run-scoring double in the second and Yasmani Grandal connected for a two-run homer in the ninth, but that was it for Milwaukee. The Brewers have been outscored by the last-place Marlins 24-3 through the first two games of the series.
Grandal also tried to score on Arcia’s tying double to center, but he was cut down at the plate on a nice relay by shortstop Miguel Rojas. He was originally ruled safe, but the call was overturned by a replay review.
Miami also got a big defensive play in the first when Harold Ramirez robbed Lorenzo Cain of a homer with a leaping grab at the wall in right.
The Marlins, who have won 13 of 18 overall, went ahead to stay in the third. Nelson (0-1) issued a leadoff walk to Alcántara that proved costly. Curtis Granderson followed with a single and Garrett Cooper walked before Anderson drove Nelson’s next pitch over the wall in center for his seventh homer.
Nelson was charged with five runs, four earned, and four hits in his first big league start since Sept. 8, 2017. He struck out two and walked three.
Alcántara permitted five hits, struck out five and walked one. The right-hander pitched six scoreless innings in a no-decision against San Francisco in his previous start.
Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacín, who was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday with a lower-back strain, played catch Wednesday. “That went well, so we’re in better shape there,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We’ll probably wait for another throwing session before we plot that case moving forward.” … LHP Gio González (shoulder fatigue) might try some light-tossing Thursday. “Definitely just try to get my arm back up there, see how it feels,” he said. There is no timetable for his return.
Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta (2-2, 5.68 ERA) faces left-hander Caleb Smith (3-3, 3.10 ERA) in the finale of three-game series Thursday afternoon. Peralta, who turned 23 on Tuesday, is making his first start since May 13. Smith is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in his last four starts.
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