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Rookie Fernandez wins for Mom, Marlins

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez picked up his mother at the airport on Saturday morning at 10:30 after she flew in from Tampa.

By early Saturday night, she had seen her son win a big-league game in person.

Fernandez (3-3) hit a run-scoring single, added the first double of his career and threw seven shutout innings to lead the Miami Marlins past the New York Mets 8-1 at Marlins Park.

"It was fun," Fernandez said. "I got my first win at home.

"(Before that), I got up early, picked up my mom at the airport, and we had lunch. Anytime I get to see my family, it makes me really happy. Hopefully, I can have my grandmother here soon."

The Marlins' second straight victory clinched the three-game series. Miami will go for its first sweep of the season on Sunday.

Miami (15-41), which still has the worst record in the majors, has won only two series all season and both came at home against the Mets (22-31).

Playing before an announced crowd of 16,283, Fernandez allowed only three singles and one walk while striking out eight. He lowered his ERA from 3.78 to 3.34.

"He was keeping his heater down in the zone, throwing to both sides of the plate," Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis said. "He finally found his curveball about the fourth or fifth inning."

Center fielder Chris Coghlan, who went 3 for 4 with two RBI, was the Marlins' hitting star. But Fernandez, who went 2 for 3 and had one of the Marlins' two extra-base hits, wasn't bad, either.

Before the game, Fernandez took batting practice with teammate Giancarlo Stanton, who is attempting to come back from a hamstring injury.

"(Stanton') impressive," said Fernandez, who has a respectable .250 batting average. "I've never seen anything like him. He made me look like a 10-year-old hitting next to him."

The only negative for the Marlins was that rookie right fielder Marcell Ozuna had his hitting streak snapped at 16 games. He went 0 for 3 and drew a five-pitch walk from reliever Greg Burke in his final opportunity in the seventh inning.

The loss went to Colin McHugh (0-1), a soft-tossing control pitcher who gave up six hits, three walks and four runs in four innings.

"He got here because he is a strike-thrower," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The two bases on balls early were very uncharacteristic for Colin. A guy like that has to work the corners and throw strikes. If he works the middle of the plate, he is going to get hit."

Marlins pitchers have held the Mets to two runs in the past two games, and New York has not resembled the team that came to Miami after a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees.

"We've been struggling offensively for a while," Collins said. "In the Yankees series, Daniel (Murphy) and David (Wright) were red hot. You looked up and they were always on base. That made it easier.

"But they are not doing that right now, and we're looking to get other people going. It just seems like when we get someone on, we don't capitalize."

NOTES: Mets ace Matt Harvey, who starts Sunday, used an intermediary to pick up Yankees souvenirs during their Subway Series earlier this week. Among the items scored by Harvey were a baseball autographed by closer Mariano Rivera, a Rivera jersey and a bat signed by shortstop Derek Jeter. ... Harvey is off to a Cy Young-type start. He leads the National League in walks and hits-to-innings pitched (0.82 WHIP). He also ranks second in ERA (1.85) and strikeouts (84). But he has picked up six no-decisions in his past seven starts, mostly a victim of poor run support. He allowed two runs or fewer in four of his no-decisions. "If we'd scored some runs for him, he'd be 9-0," Collins said. ... Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of Johan Santana's no-hitter, the only no-no in Mets history. Santana has pitched little since the no-hitter because of injuries and is considered out for the season. ... The Mets were five games above .500 on June 1, 2012. Exactly one year later, they were eight below. ... Ten-year minor-league veteran Ed Lucas, who got his first major-league hit on Friday, told The Miami Herald that he went to Dartmouth as a quarterback but played only one year of college football. He was the third-string quarterback when he decided to focus on baseball. ... Marlins 1B Casey Kotchman (hamstring injury) could be activated from the disabled list on Monday at Philadelphia. ... Mathis was in the starting lineup for the second straight day on Saturday. Redmond said Rob Brantly is still the starter, but he wants the veteran Mathis catching his youngest pitchers, Jacob Turner and Jose Fernandez.
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