De La Cruz homers in 9th inning as Marlins beat Cubs 3-2 in doubleheader opener | News, sports, jobs

Bryan De La Cruz of the Miami Marlins celebrates his two-run home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Adbert Alzolay during the ninth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Chicago. The Marlins won 3-2. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

By SARAH TROTTO Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Bryan De La Cruz hit a two-run homer off Adbert Alzolay in the ninth inning, and the Miami Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Saturday in the opener of a split doubleheader.

Luis Arraez had three more hits for Miami, which had dropped four of five. Jesús Sánchez and Nick Gordon each scored two goals.

Arraez is hitting .347 (17 for 49) in his last 12 games. He singled with one out in the ninth, and De La Cruz followed with a drive to left-center for his fifth home run, having also gone deep in each of his previous two games.

Manager Skip Schumaker said the Marlins planned to make a run for De La Cruz if he got on base. De La Cruz didn’t like that idea and offered an alternative.

“I said to them, ‘What do you mean by a pinch runner?’ I’m going to hit a homer here. You don’t have to do that.” De La Cruz said through an interpreter.

It was the fourth save in seven chances for Alzolay (1-2).

‘We need Adbert to get out’ said manager Craig Counsell. “Wherever it is, we need Adbert to be an effective member of the bullpen. I strongly believe he will be. Obviously it stings when it gets there at the end of the game.”

Mike Tauchman and Nick Madrigal led off the bottom of the ninth with singles off Tanner Scott. The runners advanced on a sacrifice before Alexander Canario struckout and Nico Hoerner grounded out.

Calvin Faucher (1-0) struck out four in two scoreless innings, and Scott earned his third save.

Patrick Wisdom hit a two-run triple and Hoerner had two hits for the Cubs, who had won five of six.

The doubleheader was scheduled after rain postponed Thursday’s series opener.

Wisdom gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead with his hit off the right-center wall in the third against Jesús Luzardo. Wisdom was activated from the injured list on Thursday after missing the start of the season with a back injury.

De La Cruz hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth, chasing Javier Assad. Luke Little, who was added as the Cubs’ 27th man for the doubleheader, retired Jazz Chisholm Jr. with two strikes out to end the inning.

Alzolay walked Emmanuel Rivera in the eighth, but got Vidal Bruján to fly out to end the threat.

Assad allowed three hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Luzardo struck out six in six innings for Miami.

“A lot of first strokes, velo was up, slider was great, he was in control the whole match,” Schumaker said. “We know he’s a guy and he acts like that guy. That is more of the asset we are used to.”

Tim Anderson, a two-time All-Star during eight seasons with the White Sox, went 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter.


Marlins: LHP AJ Puk (left shoulder fatigue) was placed on the 15-day injured list and RHP Kyle Tyler transferred from Triple-A Jacksonville. LHP Josh Simpson was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

Cubs: OF Ian Happ (left hamstring tightness) was out of the lineup for both games. He left after six innings on Friday.


RHP Roddery Muñoz will make his big league debut for the Marlins in the second game of the doubleheader. LHP Shota Imanaga (2-0, 0.00) takes the mound for the Cubs.



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