Jose Fernandez pitched seven spotless innings and out-dueled Pirates’ ace Gerrit Cole in a 3-1 win for the Marlins.
Fernandez (8-2) brought his best stuff Tuesday night, winning his seventh start in a row while striking out six with no walks and only three hits. Josh Harrison was the only Pirate to get past first base on Fernandez, but was stranded at second in the third inning after a lead off single. As the game went on, Fernandez continued his domination. He threw a combined 16 pitches in the sixth and seventh innings, and was still hitting 97 mph with his fastball in his final inning.
For his part, Cole (5-4) kept the Fish off the board for most of the night, before a three run sixth cost him his first loss since May 2.
The Marlins had trouble capitalizing on their opportunities early on. In the bottom of the third, an Ichiro single and J.T. Realmuto double put runners at second and third for the heart of the line-up. But Cole struck out Christian Yelichand Justin Bour and got Marcell Ozuna to ground out to get out of the inning with no harm.
The team hit a collective 1-9 with no RBIs with runners in scoring position before they were able to crack Cole in the sixth. Yelich drove in Ichiro with a single after he and Realmuto lead off the inning with singles of their own. Realmuto would later score on a wild pitch, while Yelich crossed the plate on a Justin Bour ground out before the inning came to a close.
Going into the eighth, Don Mattingly made the controversial move to pull Fernandez after only 88 pitches. The decision ultimately paid off; David Phelps shut down the eighth inning, while AJ Ramos escaped with only one run of damage on a sac-fly to earn his 16th save of the season after loading the bases with nobody out in the ninth.
Derek Dietrich went 1-4 in his return to the line-up after missing last night’s game due to a foul ball scare. Giancarlo Stanton missed his seventh straight game, but according to the Fox broadcast the Marlins’ home run leader was available to pinch hit if necessary.
Ichiro collected hits number 2,962 and 2,963 as he broke out of a 1-21 slump with two singles on the night.
Hero of the Game: Jose Fernandez (duh) (.431 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Gregor Polanco (-.246)
Play of the Game: Yelich's seventh inning single, Ichiro scores to break the 0-0 tie. (.224)