Turner pitches Marlins over Padres, 7-1

Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


MIAMI -- Jacob Turner is not the cocky sort, but after pitching the Miami Marlins' first complete game of the season and the first of his young career, you can understand his momentary bravado.
Seconds after beating the San Diego Padres 7-1 Saturday night at Marlins Park, Turner had a brief message for his manager, Mike Redmond.
"He told me, ‘That's how you do it, Red," Redmond said, recalling the conversation. "I laughed and said, ‘All right.' I wasn't expecting that (bravado) out of him, but I loved it."
Turner said his outburst was easily explained.
"I was just excited," he said. "It's exciting."
Turner, 22, started the season in the minors after a brutal spring training in which he endured an 0-3 record and a 9.69 ERA in 13 innings.
Command was the issue.
"I've always been able to pound the strike zone, and it was unfortunate I wasn't able to do that in spring training," Turner said. "But I think it made me a better pitcher to go down to Triple-A and get all those things worked out."
He rejoined the team on May 31 and beat the Mets 5-1. After that, he pitched well but got four straight no-decisions when the Marlins gave him a combined total of 10 runs in support.
That was not a problem Saturday as the Marlins scored three runs in the first inning and three in the fourth and added a solo homer by Giancarlo Stanton in the seventh.
Turner, who allowed seven hits and one walk, struck out seven. He finished with 111 pitches and had thrown 91 entering the ninth.
He admitted to a little extra adrenaline as he attempted to close out the game, which may have caused him to walk Carlos Quentin to lead off the ninth after he had him in an 0-2 hole.
Turner recovered by getting the next three batters: Chase Headley on a fly-out to left, Kyle Blanks on a strikeout and Will Venable on a grounder to first.
"He had a good sinker," Venable said of Turner. "It seemed like he was sinking it, cutting it. He didn't throw a lot of pitches over the plate. Give him credit."
Redmond certainly credited Turner, especially for finishing what he started.
"So many young pitchers get conditioned to just go six or seven innings," Redmond said. "It just doesn't happen very often when a pitcher has enough to finish the game. But he's a different guy from spring training."
Redmond said Venable was going to be Turner's last hitter no matter what happened.
"It worked out perfect," said Redmond, whose team improved to 14-10 in June and 28-51 overall.
In fact, the Marlins have as many wins this month as they had the first two combined.
The Padres (40-41), meanwhile, continue to hover around .500, winning five of their past 11 games.
A couple of fielding errors by Padres outfielders -- Alexi Amarista in the first inning and Carlos Quentin in the fourth -- contributed to the Marlins' big innings.
But Padres manager Bud Black said he believes that is an aberration.
"I think in (Amarista's) haste to get the ball out of his glove, he made a physical error," Black said. "That happens. But we're a good defensive team."
Padres starter Eric Stults, who started Saturday with the 11th-best ERA (2.34) in the majors since May 2, lasted just 3 2/3 innings. He gave up six runs (five earned) on seven hits and two walks.
"I felt a little bit out of whack as far as my delivery," Stults said. "I had a good stretch of starts where I felt pretty good. Tonight, I was just off."
The Padres scored their only run in the fifth when Headley tripled over the head of Marcell Ozuna in deep center field and came home on a double down the third-base line by Blanks.
On the next pitch, Blanks killed a potential big inning when he got thrown out at third on an odd play. Turner's pitch got past catcher Jeff Mathis. But it bounced back quickly off the back wall, giving Mathis time to make a strong throw.
NOTES: Marlins 3B Placido Polanco scored career run No. 1,000 on Saturday. ... At Double-A Jacksonville on Friday night, Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez pitched 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball in his final rehab start. Alvarez will now join the Marlins' rotation, possibly on Wednesday in Atlanta if veteran Ricky Nolasco is traded by then. Alvarez, 23, went 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA last season for Toronto. ... Padres first-round pick Hunter Renfroe, an outfielder from Mississippi State, is the only unsigned pick among San Diego's first 19 selections. ... Marlins LF Justin Ruggiano, who has been in and out of the lineup since straining his left shoulder while making a diving catch in San Francisco last week, started Saturday and went 2-for-4. Meanwhile, Marlins OF Chris Coghlan, who is on the disabled list with a "right calf nerve irritation," has not yet been cleared to resume baseball activities. ... Padres SS Everth Cabrera, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, is expected to return next week for a series against the Red Sox. ... Padres 2B Jedd Gyorko, who is on the disabled list due to a groin injury, felt tightness in his leg earlier this week and will be delayed in his return.