Entering Wednesday’s series finale between the Marlins and Twins, emotions were running high as fans and former teammates welcomed Pablo López back to the LoanDepot Park mound. The Venezuelan right-hander was making his first start vs. his former club while facing off against his World Baseball Classic teammate Jesús Luzardo.
The focus of the game shifted in the first inning when leadoff hitter Jazz Chisholm Jr. was caught stealing 2nd base and was very slow to get up with Marlins trainers coming to check up on him. The Marlins removed Jazz from the game immediately and put Bryan De La Cruz in his place.
Jazz Chisholm left today's game after suffering an apparent injury while sliding head first into second base— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 5, 2023
The Marlins later announced that Jazz was taken out with a stinger in his right shoulder. Hoping for a quick recovery for Jazz after this scare.
The very next Marlins hitter to come to the plate, Jorge Soler launched a 409-foot home run off Pablo for the early 1-0 lead.
Soler launches a 409FT homer to get the Fish on the board early on. pic.twitter.com/3gjVsTkWp4— Daniel (@Drodyyy) April 5, 2023
Soler has looked like a completely different player this season compared to 2022 as the power hitter looks to be healthy and in the zone.
Meanwhile, Luzardo dominated Twins batters throughout his outing. He had a no-hitter intact entering the fourth inning, only to be broken up by a Byron Buxton single. Swings-and-misses were a key factor for Luzardo early and he finished with 20 of them.
Luzardo is up to seven strikeouts and he's only thru four innings of work. pic.twitter.com/5gskaYms8Y— Daniel (@Drodyyy) April 5, 2023
In the top of the 6th, Luzardo gave up two singles and walked Carlos Correa to load the bases. But that was not enough to faze Luzardo, who got José Miranda to fly out to end the threat.
It wasn't until the seventh inning that Luzardo gave up his first run of the day with a Trevor Larnach RBI single. He was able to limit the damage to just one run, but when you’re the Marlins, you never know if or when your offense will show up.
Final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO (5th career double-digit strikeout game) on 99 pitches
In the bottom of the eighth, Soler continued his hot streak with a 3-run home run to give Miami a comfortable 5-1 lead. That homer and Bryan De La Cruz’s RBI single earlier in the inning ultimately decided the game.
Soler has come up big for the Marlins early on this season, whether it's with his homers or even his glove. This is a man who is looking to show why he was a former All-Star and World Series MVP.
Here are my three stars of the game:
t-1. Jesús Luzardo (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO)
t-1. Jorge Soler (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI)
3- Bryan De La Cruz (1-3, RBI)
The Marlins start a six-game road trip vs. division rivals the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets home opener has been postponed until Friday, so Thursday will serve as the first off day of Miami’s regular season.
Your projected starting pitching matchup is Edward Cabrera vs. Tylor Megill.