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WSH@MIA: Alvarez fans four in seven scoreless frames

When Jose Fernandez went down, Henderson Alvarez filled some big shoes. The 24-year-old Marlins righty has taken on a leadership role, and for the first time in his career, he's an All-Star and a 10-game winner.

Alvarez picked up victory No. 10 at Colorado last week, and he looks to build on that number in Wednesday night's series finale in Anaheim.

"We talked about when Jose went down about having guys step up," manager Mike Redmond said. "Henderson became the guy who really came to that forefront. He's definitely that guy."

Alvarez has had success against the Angels, but it came when he was with the Blue Jays.

In three career starts, the Miami right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in 23 innings.

"Henderson has been our most consistent starting pitcher," Redmond said. "He's pitched in some big games. I think everybody feels when he's on the mound that we have a great chance to win."

A win would bring the National League Wild Card-hunting Marlins back to .500, but to do that, they'll have to get through Angels left-hander Hector Santiago.

Santiago has never faced the Marlins. Not helping matters either is that the first-place Angels haven't won any of Santiago's four starts this month. But that doesn't mean he's pitched poorly.

The first-year Halos hurler has only allowed five runs in 22 1/3 innings in August, good for a 2.01 ERA. Santiago surrendered seven hits and two runs (one earned) in his most recent outing against the Athletics on Friday. That was a game the Angels would lose, 5-3, but Santiago wouldn't factor in the decision, extending his streak without a loss since June 15.

Santiago has also received two runs or fewer of support 10 times this season. And with Angels moving ahead of the Athletics for the best record in the Majors following Oakland's 4-2 slip-up vs. Houston, Wednesday would be a great time to finally give Santiago some offense.

Marlins: Hatcher stepping up in bullpen
The bullpen has been a strength of the Marlins, but now the unit is without one of its most reliable right-handers. Bryan Morris was sent back to Miami on Tuesday night to have his right hip evaluated. Morris is dealing with some discomfort after pitching on Saturday in Colorado.

While Morris is out, the Marlins will be looking for others to step up.

Chris Hatcher is one candidate who could help in the late innings. Hatcher has 49 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings to go along with a 3.05 ERA.

"He's been one of those guys that have come in and done a nice job," Redmond said. "He's pitched some big innings for us.

A former Minor League catcher, Hatcher is progressing as a pitcher. The Marlins feel lucky to still have him, because before Spring Training, he was taken off the roster. Any club could have claimed him, but none did.

Hatcher is out of options, but he continues to make a case to log important innings.

Angels: Herrera not sharp in return to bullpen
The Angels called up right-hander Yoslan Herrera on Tuesday, largely based on the positive reports they were receiving from Triple-A Salt Lake. But after the first appearance of his return to the big league club, he wasn't exactly receiving any rave reviews.

Herrera came on in the ninth to close out the Angels' 8-0 lead and proceeded to serve up the Marlins' only two runs of the evening.

Following two doubles and two singles, Herrera finally got the job done. He'll just need to do better than that if he's looking to pitch in more high-leverage situations.

The Angels would have certainly liked to have seen better as well, considering their relievers had tossed 36 2/3 innings in their previous 11 games entering Tuesday.

Worth noting
• The Marlins activated Derek Dietrich (right wrist sprain) from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday and optioned him to Triple-A New Orleans.

• Entering Tuesday, Angels pitchers had a 3.03 ERA (116 earned runs in 344 1/3 innings) since the All-Star break, which ranked fifth in the Majors. Comments