Jose Fernandez appears poised to carry over the success he enjoyed during his first major league season.
The reigning NL Rookie of the Year looks to build on a solid season debut and remain perfect at Marlins Park on Saturday night when Miami tries for a fifth straight home win over the San Diego Padres.Fernandez (1-0, 1.50 ERA) allowed a home run, four other hits and struck out nine in six innings of a 10-1 win over Colorado on Monday. Fernandez, who turns 22 in July, improved to 10-0 with a 1.21 ERA in 16 starts at home."He's really good," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's hard to think of anybody better in this league."The right-hander picked up where he left off in 2013 when he went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA in 28 starts, including 7-1 with a 1.34 ERA in his last 11, for a team that lost 100 games. He expects the Marlins to be better this season."This team is special," Fernandez said. "I see that. We're going to lose a couple, but this team is going to fight. That's the only thing we want. We want to go out there and fight."San Diego (1-3) hasn't put up much of a fight while being outscored 25-5 during a losing streak at Miami that reached four games with Friday's 8-2 defeat.One of Fernandez's best starts last season came July 1 when he allowed two hits, fanned 10 and walked one in eight innings of a 4-0 home victory over the Padres.Adeiny Hechavarria had four hits, Jarrod Saltalamacchia added three with two RBIs and Giancarlo Stanton hit an estimated 484-foot home run as the Marlins (4-1) continued to produce in the first week of the season. Miami ranked last in the majors last season batting .231 and averaging 3.2 runs per game, but is hitting .315 while scoring 35 times in five contests."I think guys are feeling good, they're confident," manager Mike Redmond said. "We're having fun. We're just going out there and playing."Hechavarria is 11 for 19 this week while Stanton has nine RBIs.Stanton has five home runs and nine RBIs in his last nine games against the Padres.He's 0 for 4 with two walks and two strikeouts versus San Diego scheduled starter Andrew Cashner (0-0, 1.50 ERA), who went 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two starts against the Marlins last season. He's also 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA in his last three starts on the road overall.The right-hander yielded a run and four hits in six innings of a season-opening 3-1 home win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.Jedd Gyorko and Yasmani Grandal each had two hits Friday for the Padres, who have totaled eight runs and 24 hits while batting .192 in four games."That's something that can get a little bit overplayed," said Gyorko, who is 2 for 14 with six strikeouts this season. "We have 700 at-bats coming so you can't look too much into things at this point."San Diego third baseman Chase Headley went hitless in four trips Friday and is 1 for 16 with five strikeouts through four games.
Opposing hitters tallied a .197 batting average against Andrew Cashner's fastball after the All-Star break last year, the second-lowest mark against any qualified pitcher in that timeframe. The Marlins hit .250 in at-bats to end in a fastball last season, worst in the majors.
Jose Fernandez has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in 13 straight starts. That's tied with Babe Ruth for the 2nd-longest streak by a pitcher before their 22nd birthday over the last 100 years.