Bender (2-2) allowed four runs on three hits and two walks in an inning of work, taking the loss in Saturday's 7-4 defeat against the Reds. Bender entered into a fresh inning charged with protecting a 2-2 ballgame. Protect it he did not, as the Reds brought seven men to the plate and scored four times. Even with this brutal outing, the rookie reliever still sports a tidy 3.18 ERA thanks to a streak of 21 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run to begin his career.
Bender recorded the save Saturday against the Cubs after tossing a scoreless ninth inning, fanning two. Bender had the task of closing things out with a one-run lead after the Marlins restored the lead in the bottom of the eighth, and he got the job done while needing just 13 pitches (seven strikes) to do so. The right-hander has gone 3-for-5 in save chances this season, and while he has given up runs in two of his last four appearances, it's worth noting he has allowed only two runs over his last 10 games.
Bender earned the save Thursday after holding the Mets to one run (unearned) on one hit and a walk while striking out one batter over one inning. Bender was called upon to protect a three-run game in the ninth and worked around an error, a walk and pair of infield singles to hold onto the win for Miami. The 26-year-old has put together a solid season thus far with a 2.06 ERA and 0.92 WHIP across 39.1 innings and is expected to earn more save opportunities following Yimi Garcia's trade to the Astros.
Bender hit a batter and struck out one in a scoreless inning during Thursday's 3-2 loss to San Diego. He did not factor in the decision. Bender was effective in the first inning as the opener ahead of Jordan Holloway. Thursday was Bender's first major-league start, and the scoreless inning lowered his ERA to 2.20 with a 0.92 WHIP and 41:8 K:BB through 32.2 innings overall. The 26-year-old has been an effective reliever, although he's picked up only one save, five holds and two blown saves across 32 appearances.
Bender will serve as the Marlins' opening pitcher in Thursday's game against the Padres, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports. The newly recalled Jordan Holloway is expected to serve as the Marlins' primary bulk reliever behind Bender, who will be making his first career start in the big leagues. The 26-year-old rookie has only one save to his name, but he's arguably been the Marlins' most reliable reliever this season. Through 31 appearances spanning 31.2 innings, Bender has posted a 2.27 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 40:8 K:BB.
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