De La Cruz goes 4 for 4 against Phillies as Marlins reach All-Star break back at a season-best 14 games over .500

MIAMI — Bryan De La Cruz homered among his four hits as the Miami Marlins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 on Sunday.

Jesús Sánchez and rookie Dane Myers also went deep for the Marlins, who reached the All-Star break with their best record in franchise history at 53-39.

“It’s been fun to watch them grow,” Marlins first-year manager Skip Schumaker said. “There is a lot of belief in that clubhouse that we’re ready to win, and they’ve proved it.”

Marlins starter Jesús Luzardo (8-5) struck out nine and allowed four hits over 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander gave up two runs and was lifted after he plunked Bryson Stott, who had two of the hits against Luzardo. He took steps toward Stott during his walk to first and they briefly exchanged words.

“Obviously, I was not intentionally trying to throw at anyone,” Luzardo said in Spanish. “I believe someone in the dugout didn’t like that I was pitching inside but that is part of the game. As a pitcher, if you stay on only one side of the plate, it is not going to go well for you.”

Phillies’ star slugger Bryce Harper was kept out of the lineup as a precaution because of right elbow soreness. Harper was hit by a pitch on his surgically repaired elbow Saturday and exited after the third inning.

Every Marlins batter, except Luis Arraez, had a hit against Phillies starter Aaron Nola and two relievers. Arraez went 0-for-4 and his major league-leading batting average dropped to .383.

“Just proud of how they come in and work every day,” Schumaker said. “When you’re excited to get to the ball park every day, that creates a fun culture.”

After a franchise-tying 13-game road win streak, the Phillies lost the final two of the three-game set against Miami.

“We lost two out of three against these guys and that’s going to happen,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “But I feel really good about this club. I love the rotation, the bullpen’s been great and I think there’s more offense there. We haven’t peaked there and we will.”

Sánchez gave Miami (53-39) an early lead with his two-run shot in the first. He drove the first pitch from Nola (8-6) over the wall in center for his ninth homer. The 53 wins is the franchise’s most before the All-Star break in its 31-year history, and the team is back at a season-best 14 games over .500.

Solo blasts by Myers and De La Cruz and Jean Segura’s RBI single in the third made it 5-0. The 27-year-old Myers has four multi-hit games since being promoted from the minors July 3.

Selected in the Rule 5 draft in December, Myers joined the lineup after centerfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. and his replacement Jonathan Davis were sidelined with injuries.

“It’s been pretty surreal, today it finally sunk in during the anthem, got a little emotional that I’m actually here,” Myers said. “God’s put me in a good spot and I’m glad I’m taking advantage of it.”

Myers also retrieved the ball that became the first homer of his major league career. He exchanged a separate signed ball for the homer ball caught by a spectator.

Nola was lifted after six innings. The right-hander gave up five runs, eight hits and struck out six. His final strikeout against Joey Wendle on a third-strike clock violation in the sixth was the 1,500 of his career.

“Just too many pitches over the plate and they put good swings on them,” Thomson said. “Those guys hit the ball hard today. They hit the ball hard off everybody.”

Philadelphia cut the deficit on Edmundo Sosa’s two-run shot in the fifth before De La Cruz added an RBI single off Phillies reliever Matt Strohm in the seventh.


The reduction of inter division games and road stops has brought noticeable quirks to the schedule. It took three months for the Phillies to make their first visit to Miami yet they will return for their second and final road division set against the Marlins on Aug. 2.