PHILADELPHIA – Luis Arraez became the first Miami Marlins player to hit for the cycle, going 4-for-5 with a homer, two runs scored and two RBIs in an 8-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night.
Before Tuesday, the Marlins were the only active major league team to not have a cycle in their history. Miami entered the National League as the Florida Marlins back in 1992.
“I had a lot of people who helped me work hard every day,” Arraez said. “I want to give this to my family and my wife, who is expecting our baby.”
Arraez won the American League batting title with a .316 average as a member of the Minnesota Twins in 2022 before being traded to the Marlins in a four-player deal on Jan. 20. He’s 22 for 41 (.537) in 12 games to start the 2023 season. That is the highest batting average for any player through the first 12 games of a season since Frank Cattalanato hit .600 in 2000.
“I feel healthy and I’ve felt that if I was healthy this year, I could do a lot of things,” Arraez said.
After doubling in the first inning and connecting on a triple to the right field corner in the sixth, Arraez’s solo homer in the seventh inning helped provide the Marlins some cushion after a four-run lead was cut to one in the Phillies’ half of the sixth inning.
“It’s pretty special to be a part of it and to watch him go about his business,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “He’s using the whole field and grinding out at-bats. It’s been an incredible pickup.”
Arraez singled to left field in the eighth off Philadelphia reliever Andrew Bellatti, scoring Jazz Chisholm with the final run of the night.
“I knew that I only had to get the single,” Arraez said. “I just wanted to hit the ball to left field. And when he threw me a changeup middle and down, I knew that I could hit it there.”
Jon Berti homered in the third inning and added an RBI single in the seventh for the Marlins, who entered the game with the lowest run total in the National League at 30 through the first 11 games. The eight runs on Tuesday were a season high. Jesus Luzardo (2-0) went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits.
Chisholm, Yuli Gurriel and Jean Segura also had two hits for the Marlins, whose 14 hits were also a season high.
“We stayed in the strike zone and took what (Phillies starter Aaron) Nola gave us,” Schumaker said. “It was a good team effort and win.”
Nola (0-2) was shaky for most of the night for the Phillies, allowing four earned runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings while catching too much of the plate with his fastball. Nola’s ERA in his first three starts is 7.04.
“We thought his stuff was still good and we wanted to get him through the (sixth) inning,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “But then his pitch count got inflated and we had to go get him.”
Kyle Schwarber homered for Philadelphia, while Bryson Stott went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to extend his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games. Nick Castellanos and Josh Harrison also had multi-hit games.
Bryce Harper was once again in the batting cage for the Phillies on Tuesday afternoon, hitting balls into the second deck at Citizens Bank Park in early batting practice. Harper, the 2015 and 2021 National League MVP, also took ground balls to practice fielding at first base and did some modified sliding drills around the bag.
Sliding is the biggest concern among the Phillies about Harper’s reconstructed right elbow.
“Once he gets on base, we can put a brace on him,” Thomson said. “But if he hits a double, you can’t hand a brace off as he rounds first base.”
Harper is expected to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed his Tommy John surgery back in November, when the Phillies visit Los Angeles in early May. ElAttrache will be the one who gives the full clearance for Harper to ramp up baseball activities with a potential goal of a return to the lineup by the end of May.
Phillies: LHP Cristopher Sanchez (left triceps tendonitis) made his first rehab appearance on Tuesday, throwing four hitless innings while striking out six for Triple A Lehigh Valley. It is possible that Sanchez, who was placed on the injured list on March 27, could fit into Philadelphia’s back of the starting rotation. “He will continue to lengthen him out unless we change it,” Thomson said.
Marlins: DH Garrett Cooper was removed from the game in the eighth inning with upper leg tightness.
The teams wrap up their three-game set with a late afternoon game on Wednesday. Zach Wheeler (0-1, 5.59 ERA) will start for Philadelphia against Miami RHP Edward Cabrera (0-1, 5.40 ERA).