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Fernandez tosses another gem, Marlins blank Nationals

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- There is a different excitement at Marlins Park when Jose Fernandez takes the mound.

Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison each homered and combined for five RBIs and Fernandez pitched seven scoreless innings for the Miami Marlins in a 7-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday night in front of a crowd of 25,118.

"The crowd was into it a little bit probably because we jumped on them right away and Jose was pitching," Stanton said.

Stanton hit his 19th home run of the season in the eighth inning and had a two-run single in the first.

Morrison's two-run homer to right-center field in the third was estimated at 467 feet, which is the longest in Marlins Park history.

"It felt like I hit a rubber ball, nice and easy," Morrison said.

Fernandez (11-6) allowed one hit, a slow roller up the third base line in the sixth, and struck out nine. He walked two while improving to 8-0 at home.

"I think tonight was probably the best (start of the season)," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Watching the way he commands his pitches against a great lineup. He really was in complete control. It seemed like he could do whatever he wanted to up there with his pitches."

It was arguably the best performance by an opposing pitcher against the Nationals this year.

"I think it was," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He used all his pitches. He was really attacking the hitter, going after everybody, throwing strikes, and that's key. Good location, good fastball, good breaking stuff. He was aggressive, and had a good change-up to go with his fastball and breaking ball."

Fernandez is expected to make one more start on Wednesday before being shut down for the season. He is 4 1/3 innings from the club's 170-inning limit for him this year.

Fernandez retired the first 14 batters he faced before walking Adam LaRoche in the fifth. Zach Walters broke up his no-hit bid in the sixth with a one-out infield single that third baseman Placido Polanco did not even have a chance of throwing him out.

"It's a tough way to lose it, but it's fine," Fernandez said.

The Marlins added runs on Christian Yelich's grounder in the sixth and Stanton's home run in the eighth to make the score 7-0.

"The last (at-bats) are the ones that keep you going, keep you sane," Stanton said.

Dan Haren (8-13) allowed five runs in three innings and was shaky to start the game. He issued a leadoff double to Chris Coghlan and then walked Donovan Solano. Yelich singled to load the bases. Stanton hit a two-run single up the middle to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Polanco hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Yelich, for the 3-0 advantage.

"To put us in a 3-0 hole against a pitcher like that is a downer for the whole team," Haren said.

After retiring the Marlins in order in the second, Haren battled command issues again in the third, walking Stanton before issuing a two-run homer to Morrison. The deep blast was Morrison's sixth homer of the year and the second in as many games.

With a 5-0 lead, Fernandez continued to cruise. But he did receive a great defensive effort from shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who made a backhanded grab and threw out Ryan Zimmerman in the fourth.

Miami loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth against Fernando Abad, who was able to get out of the jam by striking out Stanton and Morrison.

NOTES: Washington CF Denard Span (groin) was a late scratch from the lineup and was replaced by Corey Brown. ... Nationals RHP Ross Detwiler (back) made the trip to Miami and is expected to have a bullpen session sometime this weekend. Manager Davey Johnson would like to get Detwiler back on the mound before the season ends. ... Haren is 1-5 with a 3.72 ERA in eight career starts against the Marlins. ... Coghlan has reached base safely in 11 consecutive home games. He is hitting .439 (18-for-41) with four doubles, two triples, and four RBIs during the streak.
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