Phillies Rough Up Jose Fernandez, Beat Marlins 6-3
After one of his worst major league starts, Jose Fernandez was simply ready to move on.
Last season’s NL Rookie of the Year was tagged for eight hits and a career-worst six earned runs in four-plus innings Friday night during Miami’s 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
“There’s nothing I can do about it now, just get ready for my next start,” Fernandez said.
Marlon Byrd drove in two runs and the Phillies snapped a four-game skid while handing the Marlins their fifth straight defeat.
“I was trying to throw strikes and it didn’t happen,” Fernandez said. “It’s all part of the game. I had two good starts and then come here and get my (butt) kicked. I’m looking forward to my next bullpen, then go from there.”
Phillies starter A.J. Burnett left in the fourth inning because of a sore right groin, but Philadelphia chased Fernandez (2-1) with three runs in the fifth en route to its first home win of the season.
“He has that aggressive attitude and a lot of confidence on the mound, but you have to come out swinging,” Byrd said. “We got him today. It was huge. We had a good approach, took good swings, put the bats on the ball and got those timely hits.”
The 21-year-old Fernandez walked four, matching a career high, and struck out six. He gave up only one run over 18 innings in three appearances against Philadelphia last season.
“Just an off night for Jose,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “He had a tough time getting a feel for his off-speed pitches and couldn’t command his fastball. I’m not worried about him; he’ll be fine.”
Derek Dietrich homered for the Marlins, who have been outscored 32-13 during the slide.
“We had opportunities,” Redmond said. “We had guys on base but couldn’t get anything going.”
Byrd had two hits, including a double. Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins also had two hits for the Phillies, outscored 25-10 by Milwaukee this week in their first home series of the season. The Brewers won all three games for their first sweep in Philadelphia, but the Phillies rebounded against Fernandez.
“Offense was very good; they stepped up to the challenge,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “We wanted to be aggressive early on in the game with strikes in the zone. You don’t want to get in the hole too often with him. Guys swung the bats early and that set the tone.”
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save in three chances.
Philadelphia quickly jumped on Fernandez, scoring two runs in the first thanks to Byrd’s RBI double and Domonic Brown’s RBI single. Byrd has six hits and seven RBIs in his last four games.
After the Marlins tied it at 2 in the second on Dietrich’s drive to right-center, Philadelphia went ahead 3-2 in the third thanks to Fernandez’s wildness. The Phillies loaded the bases with a pair of walks and Utley’s single before Fernandez walked in the go-ahead run with a free pass to Ryan Howard.
Then the hard-throwing righty returned to form by striking out the next three batters, featuring a fastball that reached 98 mph. He whiffed all three in the fourth for six straight strikeouts – all swinging.
Fernandez, however, was shaky in the fifth when Philadelphia opened the inning with four straight hits, the last of which was Byrd’s RBI single that ended Fernandez’s night. Kevin Slowey limited the Phillies to just one more run, charged to Fernandez, but the damage had been done.
Redmond liked the way Fernandez competed.
“He was grinding until the last pitch,” Redmond said. “That’s what makes him so special.”
Burnett was removed with one out in the fourth after walking Casey McGehee to load the bases on four pitches that weren’t even close. Phillies trainer Scott Sheridan went to the mound with Sandberg to pull Burnett from the game. He had thrown 106 pitches.
The 37-year-old righty will be re-evaluated Saturday.
“I felt like everything was tight. I’m not too concerned, but you never know,” Burnett said. “I’m not a spring chicken anymore.”
Left-hander Jake Diekman (1-0) relieved Burnett and wiggled out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Dietrich.
Jeff Baker’s eighth-inning sacrifice fly pulled Miami to 6-3.
NOTES: The Marlins have lost 11 of their last 14 in Philadelphia. … Philadelphia CF Ben Revere (sore ribs) was replaced in the starting lineup by Tony Gwynn Jr. … RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 3.46 ERA) pitches Saturday night against Phillies RHP Jonathan Pettibone, who will be making his season debut.
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