Rookie Ian Anderson stellar in 2nd playoff start to lead Atlanta past Miami


Rookie Ian Anderson pitched like a poised veteran, right fielder Nick Markakis made a nifty defensive play late and Atlanta threw another playoff shutout, beating the Miami Marlins 2-0 Wednesday for a 2-0 lead in the NL Division Series.

The winners have pitched three shutouts in four games this post-season. Travis d’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson each homered for the second straight day, putting Atlanta one win away from a sweep in the best-of-five matchup.

The 22-year-old Anderson scattered three hits and struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings. The lanky right-hander who made his major league debut in late August added to his impressive outing last week in the wild-card series when he fanned nine in six scoreless frames against Cincinnati.

The 36-year-old Markakis helped preserve the shutout and the lead in the eighth.

Corey Dickerson reached on an error by Swanson at shortstop to start the inning, setting up Markakis’ heads-up play. Jon Berti sliced a high fly down the line that Markakis alertly plucked on one hop and, with Dickerson holding up to see if the ball would be caught, threw to Swanson for a forceout at second base in a close play.

Will Smith retired the next two batters and Mark Melancon, Atlanta’s fifth pitcher of the game, closed the combined three-hitter for a save.

Swanson and d’Arnaud provided the offence in this one, with both players hitting solo shots a day after the two hit multi-run homers in a huge seventh inning for Atlanta in its Game 1 win.

Game 3 is Thursday in Houston.

Players from both teams behaved themselves a day after tempers flared in the opener when Atlanta star Ronald Acuna Jr. was nailed by a 98 mph fastball. Acuna had a quiet afternoon, going 0 for 4 and striking out all four times.

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