Luis Arraez’s five-hit game paves way for another dominant Marlins win over Athletics

Friday was a special day personally for Luis Arraez. Before the Miami Marlins’ series-opener against the Oakland Athletics, the team held a gender reveal for their star second baseman. His daughters, Emma and Esther, ran out from center field holding pink balloons, symbolizing the impending arrival of a third daughter for Arraez and his wife Gladys, who is due in November.

Saturday was a special day professionally for Arraez. The 26-year-old sweet-swinging lefty set a career high with five hits, including three doubles (which tied a career high), and five RBI to lead an overall dominant performance by the Marlins’ offense in a 12-1 win over the Oakland Athletics to clinch a three-game series at loanDepot park.

“It’s emotional because I’m waiting for another baby,” Arraez said. “I just want to do a lot of good things.”

His performance on Saturday was the latest big outing for the Marlins, who acquired him in an offseason trade with the Minnesota Twins for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects.

Arraez is just the 18th player in Marlins history to have a five-hit game and the first since Starlin Castro on Aug. 19, 2018, at the Washington Nationals. He is only the second player in Marlins history to have a five-hit game at loanDepot park, joining Martin Prado (Sept. 4, 2015, against the New York Mets).

On the season, Arraez leads MLB with a .390 batting average and .441 on-base percentage while ranking ninth with a .926 on-base-plus-slugging mark. Arraez has nearly three times as many multi-hit games (23) than starts without a hit (eight) this season.

“It’s really impressive what he’s doing,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “I feel like I keep saying that but it’s freaking June already and he’s still doing it. I don’t know what else to say.”

Prior to Saturday, Arraez had never recorded more than four hits in a game, which he last did on April 11 when he hit for the first cycle in Marlins history against the Philadelphia Phillies.

(Coincidentally, Arraez’s wife told him two days before he hit for the cycle that they were expecting baby No. 3.)

He led off the first inning with a single, added an RBI single in the second as part of a four-run inning, hit a bases-clearing double in the third that put the Marlins (31-28) up 7-0, added a ground-rule RBI double to start a two-run fifth and hit another double in the seventh inning. The Marlins had Garrett Hampson pinch-hit for Arraez in the eighth inning.

This came after one of his rare starts when he went without a hit.

After that game, a 4-0 Marlins win to open the series against Oakland, Arraez told shortstop Joey Wendle and catcher Nick Fortes that he was going to return to form on Saturday.

Did he ever.

“I’ve never seen somebody just hit the ball on the barrel and hit as many line drives as he does consistently,” Wendle said.

Jun 3, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Eury Perez (39) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Arraez’s efforts — along with Wendle (season-high three hits and three runs), Fortes (three runs scored), Jonathan Davis (two-run double, two runs) and Bryan De La Cruz (two RBI) — backed up another strong effort from Eury Perez.

The 20-year-old righty and Marlins’ top prospect held Oakland (12-48) to just four hits and a walk over five shutout innings en route to picking up his third win of the season through five starts.

Perez became the youngest pitcher in MLB to record three or more wins in his first five starts since Rick Wise from June 21-Aug. 20, 1964, at 18 years and 342 days.

He is just the 11th pitcher in club history to accomplish the feat overall and the first since Sixto Sanchez in 2020.

Steven Okert pitched a scoreless sixth inning before George Soriano held Oakland to one run over the final three innings for his first career MLB save.