MIAMI (AP) — Jose Fernandez bounced back from his worst outing of the season with a dominant effort against the Mets.
He pitched seven scoreless innings and had two hits with an RBI to help the Miami Marlins past the Mets 8-1 on Saturday. Fernandez (3-3) allowed just three hits and struck out eight to give the Marlins their fourth winning streak of the season. Miami has won two straight games three times and three in a row once.
Fernandez retired his final 11 hitters and struck out the side in the seventh. He also had an RBI single in in the second, and doubled and scored in the seventh. He did this all in front of his mom, who he flew in from their adopted hometown of Tampa on Saturday morning. She saw him win as a major leaguer for the first time.
“I woke up early, I went and picked her up and then we had lunch together,” he said. “She was here watching the game. Anytime I get to see my family that makes me very happy.”
With the Marlins trying to keep his pitch count low, the rookie said he was not thinking shutout despite being at 87 pitches through seven innings.
“Nope. I was thinking one pitch at a time,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about anything else. I was thinking about making pitches and keeping the ball low.”
Fernandez was coming off his shortest outing of the season. He surrendered seven runs — four earned — in 3 1-3 innings at Tampa Bay on May 27.
“I was a little upset like I should be after that game, but the next day was another day,” Fernandez said. “It was time to get work done and I’m pretty happy how I came back.”
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he was confident Fernandez would pitch well Saturday.
“He’s been able to bounce back after a tough start and be great and he was again today,” Redmond said.
It was Fernandez’s third start against the Mets, his first with a decision.
“I’m going to tell you something, if he throws like he did today, I don’t care if you see him 30 times, he’s going to get you out,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Chris Coghlan had three hits, including two run-scoring singles. Derek Dietrich had a two-run single in a four-run seventh that made it 8-0.
Collin McHugh (0-1) gave up four runs and six hits in four-plus innings. He walked three and struck out one in his first start of the season.
Omar Quintanilla had two of the Mets’ hits. Pinch hitter Justin Turner delivered a run-scoring double off Dan Jennings in the eighth.
Coghlan’s two-out single in the first scored Placido Polanco from second to give Miami a 1-0 lead. Polanco crossed the plate before Dietrich was thrown out at third by center fielder Rick Ankiel.
“If Polanco lets up there, we don’t get that run. That set the tone,” Redmond said.
Miami went ahead 2-0 in the second when Fernandez singled to score Jeff Mathis from first base. Mathis walked with two outs, and scored when Fernandez lined a single into deep left-center.
The Marlins scored twice in the fourth to go ahead 4-0. Coghlan and Greg Dobbs opened with singles. Adeiny Hechavarria delivered a sacrifice fly and Mathis tripled in Dobbs.
Miami had lost nine in a row and 16 of 18 before winning Friday night.
NOTES: It was Fernandez’s third start against the Mets and his first with a decision. … Marcell Ozuna’s 16-game hitting streak ended. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. … New York RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.85) opposes RHP Kevin Slowey (1-5, 3.59) in Sunday’s series finale. … Mets pinch-hitter Marlon Byrd singled in the eighth for his 1,100 career hit.