In the final game before the All-Star break, and on the eve of the 2023 Home Run Derby, loanDepot Park was the site of a mini-derby of its own. When the dust settled, the Marlins would emerge victorious, beating the Phillies 7-3 to end the first half at 53-39.
Batting in the bottom of the 1st following a Bryan De La Cruz one-out double, Jesús Sánchez tattooed a 94-mph Aaron Nola fastball 461 feet over the center field wall to give Miami for his 9th home run of the season, giving Miami an early 2-0 lead.
Two innings later, the Dane Myers honeymoon phase would persist by way of his first career home run. Through his first 6 career games, Myers has hit .409 with an 1.000 OPS.
The exclamation point of the bottom of the 3rd, though, came via the aforementioned De La Cruz, hitting a solo blast of his own in what would eventually be his third four-hit game of the season.
Jean Segura, though not homering, would add an RBI single of his own in the 3rd. In his first plate appearance, a 114 mph line drive that resulted in a line out to Trea Turner made for the hardest hit ball of Segura’s career dating back to the start of the Statcast era (2015-present).
As good as Miami was at the plate—with 8 of the 9 starters collecting hits—Jesús Luzardo matched that with his performance on the mound tenfold.
Over 6 1/3 innings, Luzardo held the Philadelphia bats to just 4 hits, striking out 9 in his 8th win of the season. Luzardo concludes the first half with a 3.29 ERA in his 19 starts, and his 129 strikeouts are tied with A.J. Burnett for second-most in franchise history before the break. In 5 starts dating back to June 18, Luzardo has pitched 31.2 innings and allowed just 4 runs, striking out 40 hitters in that stretch.
The only blemish on Luzardo’s line came by way of a two-run homer off the bat of Edmundo Sosa in the top of the 5th. Beyond that, the 25-year-old left-hander struck out the side in both the 3rd and 4th innings.
“On the attack,” noted manager Skip Schumaker. “Slider was good, 97 (mph) angling heater…He just kept guys off balance…You could see he had a little more adrenaline going.”
That adrenaline was its apex in the bottom of the 7th following a hit-by-pitch to Bryson Stott that caused merited some chirping between Luzardo and the Phillies dugout. In Saturday’s 5-3 Miami win, Braxton Garrett had hit DH Bryce Harper on the elbow with a pitch that forced the former MVP to exit early. Harper would sit out the series finale Sunday.
Miami would tack on runs in both the 7th and 8th thanks to RBI singles from De La Cruz and Nick Fortes, with the latter collecting his first hit since July 3.
- Sunday marked the third time this season that the Marlins had hit at least 3 home runs in a single game, having previously done so on April 26 and June 11.
- With his third consecutive game multi-hit game, Jean Segura continued a July surge that’s seen him hit .344 in 36 plate appearances while also raising his season average from .197 to .216.
- The 2023 Marlins are just the second team since 1901 to win 53 of their first 92 regular season games despite a run differential of -4 or worse, joining the 2005 Washington Nationals.
The All-Star festivities are set to commence in Seattle with the Home Run Derby on Monday, followed by the 93rd Midsummer Classic set for Tuesday featuring 2B Luis Arraez and OF/DH Jorge Soler. Marlins fans will have to wait until Friday to watch their entire team back in action.
When games do resume, Miami will continue playing against tough teams with a road series against the Baltimore Orioles.