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Fernandez, Marlins shut down Braves again

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MIAMI -- Twice in eight days, the first-place Atlanta Braves have been shut down by right-hander Jose Fernandez and shut out by the last-place Miami Marlins.

That hasn't left the Braves in the best of moods, understandably.

"Same as last time -- he's good every time," Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said of Fernandez. "I don't know what else you want me to say."

Fernandez's performance said it all. He allowed just two hits and two walks in eight innings, leading Miami to a 9-0 win on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

But he did more than just improve his record to 4-1. He also hit a run-scoring single and threw out a runner at the plate.

As for the latter play, Atlanta's best scoring chance came in the top of the third, when second baseman Tyler Pastornicky walked, and right fielder Jason Heyward doubled to right, putting runners at second and third with two outs.

Third baseman Ramiro Pena then hit a dribbler down the third-base line that Fernandez pounced on, flipping the ball to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to get Pastornicky at the plate.

Before throwing home, Fernandez faked to first.

"If I throw to first, it was going to be a hit," Fernandez said. "So I just ate it, and I looked back, and (Pastornicky) was running right by me."

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said it was a "heads up" play by Fernandez.

"Maybe if we score first on that ball ... maybe it's a different story," Gonzalez said. "But Fernandez is a pretty savvy guy off the mound."

In support of Fernandez, the Marlins got a two-run homer from right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and a solo shot by Saltalamacchia.

Stanton has 29 RBIs this month, which leads the National League and is one short of the franchise record for April set by Moises Alou in 1997.

"The way Jose was pitching, obviously we only needed one run," Stanton said. "But we put up a few more and kept going."

Saltalamacchia has also been hot with three homers in his past four games.

Meanwhile, Fernandez now has a career record of 16-7 in his second MLB season, including 12-0 in 19 starts at home.

He is the second pitcher in the modern era to go undefeated in his first 19 home starts. The only other pitcher to accomplish the feat was David Palmer, who was unbeaten in 21 home starts from 1979 to 1984.

And in two games over the past eight days, Fernandez has held Atlanta scoreless for 16 innings, striking out 22.

With Tuesday's win, the Marlins (12-14) improved to 10-4 at home. In fact, they entered the game in a six-way tie for most home wins so far this season. However, the Marlins are 2-10 on the road.

Atlanta (17-8) had its four-game win streak snapped, losing for the first time since Fernandez beat them 1-0 last Tuesday.

Braves starter Alex Wood (2-4) was beaten by Fernandez and the Marlins for the second time in eight days, too. Last week, Wood struck out 11 and walked none while allowing just one run in eight innings.

On Tuesday, he allowed seven runs in five innings, striking out two and walking one.

Wood's ERA went from 1.54 to 2.93, and the Braves' pitching staff, which entered the game with an MLB-leading 2.04 ERA, was humbled, at least for one night.

"I didn't have good breaking-ball command," Wood said. "I left a lot pitches out over the plate. They made some adjustments from last week. Any time you make back-to-back starts against a team that swings the bats well, you can't make a whole lot of mistakes."

Miami opened the scoring with a three-run third inning. Left fielder Christian Yelich started the rally with a two-out triple off the base of the wall in center. He scored on a line single to left by second baseman Ed Lucas. The Marlins made it 3-0 when Stanton went with an outside pitch and hit a two-run homer to right.

"That was a hanging breaking ball," Wood said. "With a guy that strong, even if he hits it off the end of the bat, if he gets it up in the air, he's probably going to put it out of the ballpark."

Miami pushed its lead to 8-0 with a five-run sixth that included Fernandez's opposite-field, run-scoring single.

In an on-field interview after he was hit with a celebratory pie in the face by his teammates, Fernandez mocked his hitting.

"That was horrible," said Fernandez, who is hitting .167. "I'm horrible (at the plate) this year. I don't know what I'm doing."

He has no such issues on the mound.

NOTES: Braves LHP Mike Minor (shoulder tendinitis) will make his first start of the season Friday. RHP David Hale will move to the bullpen despite a 2.31 ERA in four starts. ... Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (shoulder strain) will come off the disabled list and start Saturday. RHP Kevin Slowey will move to the bullpen. ... Miami designated PH Greg Dobbs for assignment. They have 10 days to trade him, release him or send him to the minors. ... Miami activated INF Ed Lucas (broken left hand) for the first time this season and started him at second base. ... The Braves gave four right-handed-hitting starters the night off against Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez. Benched were 2B Dan Uggla for Tyler Pastornicky; 3B Chris Johnson for Ramiro Pena; CF B.J. Upton for Jordan Schafer; and LF Justin Upton for Ryan Doumit. Pena and Doumit are switch hitters, Schafer is lefty, and Pastornicky is a righty.

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