Alcantara became the first Marlins pitcher with two shutouts in his rookie season since Dontrelle Willis, and Miami beat the Kansas City Royals 9-0 Sunday.
“You’ve seen the same thing you saw last year — good spots, good decent outings, but now it’s starting to turn into every time out,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
Alcantara (5-12) threw a four-hitter with two walks and eight strikeouts for his first victory since the All-Star break. Willis had two shutouts while winning Rookie of the Year in 2003.
“Nowadays, you don’t see many guys that do what he does because he still more of a power sink and run, and now that’s kind of out of the game,” Mattingly said. “But to see him make a ball move the way it does at those velocities, it’s dominant stuff.”
Starlin Castro hit his 18th home run and drove in two for the Marlins, who pounded out 13 hits to avoid a sweep after being held to two runs and 11 hits over the first two games.
Alcantara, pitching a day after his 24th birthday, was 0-4 with a 4.99 ERA in his previous 10 starts after being named to his first All-Star team. The right-hander also pitched a two-hitter against the Mets in May.
“I feel like I’ve improved a lot,” Alcantara said. “I came in with a lot of weight. I had good days and bad days, but I never gave up. I worked hard to get better every time.”
Kansas City starter Mike Montgomery (3-8) allowed five runs and eight hits in four innings. Montgomery was the last pitcher in the majors to throw two shutouts as a rookie, doing it in 2015 with Seattle.