11-run 2nd propels Marlins to win over Cubs

August 14th, 2021

MIAMI -- The Marlins matched a franchise record with 11 runs in the second inning of Friday night's 14-10 victory over the Cubs at loanDepot park. The series opener was the longest nine-inning game in club history at 254 minutes. 

Miami quickly erased a 4-1 deficit by sending 15 batters to the plate against three Chicago pitchers. Miami then tied its season-high run total on Jesús Aguilar’s homer in the third to extend the lead to 14-4, and held on as the Cubs scored six unanswered runs.

Here is a breakdown of the 48-minute inning:

5 singles
1 double
1 stolen base
1 fielder’s choice
2 outs by the pitcher
2 hit-by-pitches
2 walks
2 homers

Newcomers Bryan De La Cruz hit a grand slam, while Alex Jackson knocked a three-run homer. Acquired at the Trade Deadline for veterans with expiring contracts, both have been receiving substantial playing time.

One pitch prior to going deep for the second time in as many games, De La Cruz sent an Adbert Alzolay cutter just foul. He didn’t miss on a slider, blasting it a projected 407 feet. De La Cruz has started all but one game since joining the club on July 30. Part of the Yimi García trade with the Astros, he is batting .300 with three runs, two doubles, two homers and seven RBIs.

The 24-year-old De La Cruz also has been impressive in right field, adding a pair of defensive gems in the series opener. He said he takes pride in impacting the game in multiple ways, calling himself a five-tool player. 

“I feel very comfortable, I feel I've made the adjustment,” said De La Cruz, who went 3-for-5 on Friday. “When I started feeling it in San Diego, I said, ‘Let's keep moving forward. This is the type of player I am. I'm a big leaguer. Let's do it.’”

Dealt by the Braves for Adam Duvall, Jackson has taken over primary catching duties, starting eight of 11 games since making his club debut. Upon Jackson’s arrival, Miami shifted Jorge Alfaro, its main backstop since 2019, to left field to keep his bat in the lineup. 

Jackson, a former top 100 prospect, never got consistent playing time in Atlanta. Known for his pop, four of the 25-year-old’s six hits have gone for extra bases, including his third homer.

“Everybody gets to take a look for an extended period of time,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He gets to be comfortable with the staff as he catches more guys and is involved with more guys. So I think it's both sides of the coin on that, where everybody gets a better look, and then he gets more time to work with our guys.”

Meanwhile, Lewis Brinson picked up where he left off on the road, producing a two-run double in the 11-run inning. After being retired in his first two-bats in Colorado, Brinson has gone 12-for-22 with four doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs.

The only player unable to contribute in the big frame was Jesús Luzardo. According to Elias Sports Bureau, he became the first Marlins pitcher since Tom Koehler on May 5, 2017, to make two outs at the plate in the same inning. Luzardo, the hometown kid acquired from the A’s for Starling Marte, surrendered five runs across five innings in picking up his second win as a Marlin.

The last time the Marlins scored that many runs was the fifth inning of a 16-0 win over the Brewers on June 4, 2019, at then-Miller Park. Brian Anderson (walk, run-scoring error), Alfaro (two-run single, strikeout) and Miguel Rojas (RBI single) were part of both rallies.

“It was kind of weird at the beginning,” Luzardo said. “Obviously, going out for the third, I wanted to make it a quick inning. I wanted to fill [up the strike zone], be aggressive. As a pitcher ... at the moment, you want to get back out there, but at the same time, you love all the run support. So as long as we can keep the inning going, we're happy. It's kind of mixed feelings about that in the moment. But I was able to go get two at-bats and kind of stay loose and stay loose in the dugout as well, so I didn't mind all the runs at all.”