Fernandez has 13 Ks, pitches Miami by Pirates 3-2
MIAMI (AP) — With 13 strikeouts through eight innings, Jose Fernandez wanted to keep pitching.
The Miami Marlins rookie told manager Mike Redmond he was going back out for the ninth.
When Redmond said no and the game went to the bottom of the ninth, Fernandez started to sneak onto the field anyway before returning to the bench with a grin.
A few minutes later, Fernandez was leaping over the dugout railing and onto the field to celebrate a 3-2 victory Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I would love to pitch a complete game,” the 20-year-old All-Star said. “I know it will happen in my career. They have a plan and they know what they’re doing, so I’m pretty happy with the decisions they’re making.”
Fernandez (7-5) matched his career high with eight innings, broke the Marlins’ rookie record for strikeouts and won a pitching duel against fellow rookie Gerrit Cole.
Fernandez allowed five hits and two runs, walked none and threw 74 of his 97 pitches for strikes.
“This was kind of a statement game for him, where he knew he was going up against another solid pitcher, and he wanted to outdo him,” Redmond said.
Like Fernandez, Cole (5-4) was a first-round draft pick in 2011. He allowed three runs and struck out eight in seven innings.
“He’s a great pitcher,” Fernandez said. “His stuff is good. I saw it hitting, and I didn’t like it.”
Ditto regarding Fernandez, Cole said.
“When you go up against a guy like him, you feed off each other,” Cole said. “He goes out and strikes out the side, and I’m going to out there and try to do the same thing. You love that competition and you want the best out of the other person. He was better today.”
Giancarlo Stanton put the Marlins ahead to stay in the sixth inning with his 13th home run. Stanton also doubled, walked and scored twice for the Marlins, who had six hits.
Tino Martinez resigned as Miami’s hitting coach following the game, hours after complaints by players that he verbally abused them became public. The young Marlins rank last in the majors in runs, home runs, batting and slugging.
“I have made some comments to certain players at certain times that I thought was more constructive criticism,” Martinez said. “Obviously, they didn’t feel that way, and it kind of backfired on me.”
Miami mustered just enough offense for Fernandez. He retired the side in order in the eighth to protect a 3-2 lead, then had a brief exchange with Redmond regarding the ninth inning.
“I told him, ‘I’m going out.’ He said, ‘We’ll see,’” Fernandez said. “They decided not to let me.”
Fernandez started out onto the field for the ninth anyway.
“That was kind of like a joke,” he said. “Pretty funny.”
The Marlins are accustomed to such antics from the young right-hander.
“You love it,” catcher Jeff Mathis said. “You’d rather be pulling the reins on somebody than kicking them in the butt. He gets a little too excited sometimes, but it’s fun to watch.”
Redmond said the decision to lift Fernandez wasn’t easy.
“That was a second-guesser’s dream,” he said. “It took me awhile to decide.”
The move nearly backfired. Steve Cishek gave up a single and a walk in the ninth, but retired Garrett Jones on a grounder for the final out to earn his 22nd save in 24 chances.
Miami has the worst record in the NL but took two of three games from the Pirates, who began the day with the second-best record in the majors. Pittsburgh went 5-5 on a three-city trip and begins a potentially pivotal five-game series at home against NL Central leader St. Louis on Monday.
Notes: Pirates C Michael McKenry, who tweaked his left knee Saturday, was awaiting results of a doctor’s evaluation. C Russell Martin was back in the lineup after suffering a minor injury to his left knee Friday. ... Pittsburgh RF Jose Tabata started after being held out of the starting lineup for three games because of a sore right forearm. ... Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen was given a rest. He pinch-hit in the eighth and popped out. ... Before the game, RHP Steven Ames was recalled by the Marlins from Triple-A New Orleans. Ames was part of the July 6 trade that sent RHP Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers. ... Miami RHP Kevin Slowey, who went on the disabled list Saturday after complaining of forearm tightness, was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday. ... Fernandez broke the Marlins rookie record of 12 strikeouts set by Josh Beckett in 2002.