MIAMI (AP) — Miami pitcher Jesús Luzardo got a text from his former teammate Pablo López, who is now with Minnesota, the night before Wednesday’s game.
“Yesterday he told me, ‘Let’s make it a pitcher’s duel,’” Luzardo said.
And after the pitchers struck out a combined 18 batters in seven innings apiece Wednesday, Luzardo sent a text back to López: “We made it a pitchers duel,” he said.
Bryan De La Cruz hit a go-ahead single in the eighth, Jorge Soler homered twice and Luzardo fanned 10 to lift the Miami Marlins over the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Wednesday.
Jean Segura and Jon Berti hit back-to-back one-out singles against reliever Griffin Jax (0-1) in the eighth before De La Cruz’s RBI single against Caleb Thielbar scored Segura and broke a 1-1 tie.
“Whatever it takes to win that day, you try to do,” said Marlins manager Skip Schumaker. “Not everybody is easy to hit and run off of … Luckily we’ve got some guys in the lineup who can make you pay and do some damage, especially in the middle there.”
Soler followed De La Cruz’s hit with a three-run shot — his third homer of the season — to give Miami a four-run cushion.
“I feel great,” Soler said through a translator. “Thank goodness the results are starting to come through.”
Miami’s star center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. had a leadoff single but left in the first inning with a stinger in his right shoulder after he was caught stealing second.
Chisholm said he plans to play Thursday in Miami’s first road game against the New York Mets.
“I’m gonna be on that field until I cant,” he said.
The Twins made it 5-2 in the ninth when Kyle Farmer scored on a wild pitch by A.J. Puk, who had given up a single to Farmer and walked Ryan Jeffers with one out. Puk got Willi Castro to fly out and then struck out Trevor Larnach for the series win.
Larnach tied it 1-all in the seventh with an RBI single that scored Jeffers, who doubled earlier in the frame.
The Marlins had pitched 15 straight shutout innings before the seventh — including Sandy Alcantara’s complete-game shutout Tuesday.
Luzardo had his fifth career double-digit strikeout game; the 25-year-old left-hander struck out 12 against Atlanta on Oct. 25, 2022. On Wednesday, he allowed five hits and a run with one walk before Dylan Floro (1-0) replaced him in the seventh after 99 pitches.
“Filling up the zone and eliminating the walks — that’s something I focused on after the lasting outing, the four walks,” Luzardo said. “Just filling up the zone, getting ahead and throwing first-pitch strikes. I feel like that’s something I struggled with last game.”
Minnesota’s Willi Castro and Segura were also caught stealing second. Michael Taylor successfully stole second in the sixth inning.
Soler had a solo homer to right-center off López in the first to give Miami a 1-0 lead.
López struck out eight, walked one and limited the Marlins to three hits in seven innings.
Segura, who had two throwing errors, had Miami’s other hit against López.
Minnesota loaded the bases in the sixth when Taylor singled, Carlos Correa walked and Donovan Solano added a two-out single, but Luzardo retired Miranda on a flyout to escape the jam.
Berti was presented his award for leading the league in stolen bases (41) last season. The shortstop is the seventh Marlin to lead the MLB in stolen bases.
LÓPEZ’S WARM WELCOME
Wednesday was López’s first time facing his former team since he was dealt to Minnesota on Jan. 20 in a trade that brought Luis Arráez to Miami. López spent the first five seasons of his career in Miami.
He received a loud applause in the first game of the series when his face flashed on the jumbo screen, and greeted his former teammates, including Alcantara.
“He’s a good pitcher. He really is,” Schumaker said. “I wish he wasn’t such a nice person, too.”
Miami: De La Cruz replaced Chisholm in center field.
Minnesota: After an off day Thursday, RHP Sonny Gray (1-0) will start at home against Houston on Friday.
Miami: Open three-game series at the Mets on Friday.