Two teams that had to fly across the country after tough losses Wednesday will meet Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series in San Diego.

Left-hander Jesus Luzardo (2-1, 3.10 ERA) will start for the Miami Marlins against Padres right-hander Nick Martinez (1-2, 4.12), who could be battling to save his spot in the team’s rotation.

The Marlins battled back from a 6-3 deficit Wednesday to take a 7-6 lead into the ninth, only to give up two runs to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks and lose 8-7.

Meanwhile, the Padres blew leads of 3-1 and 5-3 to lose the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland, 6-5 in 10 innings.

Neither manager was happy after Wednesday’s decisions while facing long flights to San Diego.

“Any time you lose a game late, it hurts you,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We had a lead early, fought back, and had a chance to put that game away.”

“We felt we had that game in hand,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s a tough way to end what was a good trip. We felt we had that one by a throat. We didn’t get it done. We needed to keep it under control, and we didn’t. If you go on trip and say we’re 6-2, you’re probably going to take it. But when you have chance to go 7-1, it’s about that game. There’s a lot to nit-pick on how that game went.”

So even though the Padres won Wednesday’s doubleheader opener against Cleveland, 5-4, two unhappy teams arrived in San Diego late Wednesday with a short night’s sleep to get ready for the four-game set.

Miami has lost four straight games. The Padres, meanwhile, missed out on posting just their second 7-1 record for an eight-game trip in franchise history.

Luzardo, 24, will make his fifth start of the season Thursday for the Marlins. He has allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 13 hits and nine walks with 28 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings, with a 1.082 WHIP and an average of 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He has allowed only one run in three of his four 2022 starts and struck out a career-high 12 in his season debut against the Angels.

Luzardo is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts on the road this season after entering this campaign with a 1-6 record with a 7.03 ERA in 17 career road outings (eight starts). He faced the Padres once in 2020 while pitching for Melvin with Oakland, allowing four runs on six hits with four strikeouts to take the loss. He was traded from Oakland to Miami last July for Starling Marte.

Martinez, 31, signed with the Padres as a free agent in March after spending the past four seasons in Japan. He is 1-2 in his first four starts, with a 1.678 WHIP — allowing nine runs on 21 hits and 12 walks with 18 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.

With Mike Clevinger returning from the injured list, Melvin has the Padres on a six-man rotation through at least one more turn. But he plans on going with five starters — and Martinez could be moved to bolster a struggling bullpen.

–Field Level Media