That was Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez's strategy Saturday night, when he pitched seven innings and combined with two relievers to shut out the Colorado Rockies 3-0 at Marlins Park. Fernandez (10-5) allowed four hits, no walks and no runs in seven innings, striking out eight. Fernandez, whose 2.30 ERA ranks third in the majors, also beat the Rockies 4-2 on July 23 in Denver. "I don't think I've seen a 21-year-old as polished as him," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He threw some nasty curveballs and changeups as well." Fernandez threw three 1-2-3 innings, and when he got in trouble, he got out of jams with breaking balls. The Rockies had runners on first and second with no outs in the second before Fernandez got three straight outs on curves. He struck out Wilin Rosario, got Nolan Arenado on a fly ball and struck out DJ LeMahieu. Fernandez also gave up a one-out double to Michael Cuddyer in the fourth before getting two straight outs on curves -- Todd Helton on a groundout and Rosario striking out. "He's a horse," Rosario said of Fernandez, whose fastball reached 98 mph. "He throws hard. He has a good breaking ball. He locates well, and he works fast. "With a good pitcher like him, you have to look for one pitch. Tonight, I was looking more for his fastball." As usual, Fernandez had fun pitching. That was evident in the first inning when he caught Troy Tulowitzki's hard line drive. Fernandez giggled and seemed to share a light-hearted "look what I found" moment with the Rockies' shortstop. "I'm not going to say 'Oh, I caught it' -- it caught me," Fernandez said. "(Tulowitzki) was like, 'You just caught that ball?' I just laughed. It was kind of funny." Fernandez also laughed when he struck out Rockies starter Jeff Manship on a nasty curveball. And Fernandez went into some high-gear theatrics when he nearly beat out a bunt but was thrown out on a close play.
As he crossed the bag, he waved his arms to indicate he thought he was safe. When he was called out, he jumped and did a 360 before flashing into his trademark smile. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he was fine with Fernandez's demeanor. "I don't think he meant any disrespect to us or to the game," Weiss said. "That's just who he is -- he plays with confidence and energy." A.J. Ramos pitched a perfect eighth inning, and closer Steve Cishek did the same in the ninth for his 28th save. The Marlins broke a four-game losing streak and tied the three-game series 1-1. Colorado, which has not won a road series since July 10 at San Diego, has lost six of its past eight games. The Rockies are 24-44 on the road. No team in the majors has more road losses. The loss went to Manship (0-4), who allowed four hits, two walks and three runs in six innings. His ERA, which had ballooned to 7.80 after three starts, actually improved to 6.86. Helton singled twice and is now just four hits away from 2,500 for his career. The Marlins scored first, tallying three runs in the fourth inning. Giancarlo Stanton led off with a hard line-drive double that left fielder Corey Dickerson nearly caught by his shoelaces. Stanton advanced to third on Logan Morrison's groundout to first base. Colorado then brought the infield in, and Ed Lucas beat the maneuver with a ground-ball single just inside the third-base bag, scoring Stanton. Adeiny Hechavarria then lofted an RBI triple to deep left-center and scored on Jake Marisnick's sacrifice fly. NOTES: This three-game series ends Sunday. Colorado LHP Jorge De La Rosa matches up with Miami RHP Jacob Turner in a day game. De La Rosa figures to have the advantage since he is 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in day games this season. ... Marlins 3B Placido Polanco took infield practice Saturday for the first time since being hit by a pitch and suffering a concussion Aug. 16. ... Rockies 1B Ryan Wheeler had no RBI in his first 13 at-bats this season before delivering the game-winning double in the eighth inning Friday. ... RHPs Tyler Chatwood (elbow) and Roy Oswalt (hamstring) threw bullpen sessions for the Rockies Saturday. Chatwood is closer to returning and will pitch a rehab game in the minors next week. ... Rockies LF Carlos Gonzalez (strained middle finger on his right hand) took some dry swings but has not yet faced live pitching. ... Pro wrestler Goldberg threw out Saturday's first pitch. The Legends of Wrestling show was held in a makeshift ring just outside Marlins Park.
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