Miami, FL – Jose Fernandez struck out a career-high 10 batters and Giancarlo Stanton went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI as the Miami Marlins held on for a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game set.
Fernandez (4-3) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and became the youngest pitcher with 10 strikeouts under the age of 21 since Seattle's Felix Hernandez accomplished the feat in 2007. The right-hander also drove in a run, while remaining unbeaten at home this season, improving to 2-0 over six starts.
Greg Dobbs and Jeff Mathis each drove in one run apiece for the Marlins, who have won four of six.
"My location was off in the first inning," Fernandez said. "Their lineup is pretty tough. I got lucky with that base hit, just trying to hit something out there."
St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook, who returned to the Cardinals' rotation after spending a month on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, took the loss, allowing five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits over five frames.
Westbrook (2-2) had a 1.62 ERA through six starts prior to the injury, the best mark in the team's rotation and one of the best in the majors. Allen Craig, Jon Jay, Yadier Molina and David Freese drove in one run each in the setback, the second in three games for the Cards.
"I threw some good pitches and got some ground balls out there tonight," said Westbrook. "If I keep putting balls on the ground I'll be doing good more often than not and just let my guys play defense."
The Marlins broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth and fifth inning, thanks to two doubles off of Westbrook which eventually forced the righty out of the game.
In the fourth, Dobbs smacked a one-out RBI double to give the hosts a one-run advantage and in the fifth, Juan Pierre opened the action with a double. After Westbrook plunked Ed Lucas, Stanton scored both runners with a two-bagger to increase the lead to 5-2.
The Cardinals fought back in the late innings and cut the deficit to 5-4 on Jay's two-out, RBI double in the sixth and Freese's one-run double in the eighth. Miami, though, held off any attempts for a comeback as Steve Cishek retired the side in the ninth to secure his eighth save of the season.
St. Louis smacked around Fernandez in the first inning, plating two runs off of back-to-back RBI singles.
Matt Holliday reach first on Lucas' fielding error at third to put runners on first and second with one out. Craig scored Holliday with a hit to left, and Molina added the other run with a single to right to make it 2-0.
Miami struck for two runs in the second in similar fashion, as Derek Dietrich opened up the frame by reaching first on Carpenter's fielding error and Adeiny Hechavarria followed with a single. After Dobbs' groundout to the right side moved runners to second and third, Mathis smacked a chopper to second to make it 2-1. Fernandez helped his own cause with a single up the middle to tie the game.
Westbrook's last outing came on May 8 ... The Cardinals also optioned pitcher Michael Wacha to Triple-A Memphis ... The Cardinals fell to 24-12 on the road this season ... Pierre extended his season-best hitting streak to 10 games ... Fernandez tossed a career-high 107 pitches.