Two of Miami's young stars helped the Marlins to a win over the team with the best record in baseball. Tom Koehler hopes for similar support on Saturday afternoon when he takes aim at his first career victory in the second contest of a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Led by starter Jose Fernandez and slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins handed the Cardinals a 5-4 defeat in Friday's opener. Fernandez stuck out a career-high 10 batters over seven innings, yielding three runs -- two earned -- on six hits with two walks.
Fernandez's 107 pitchers were the most he has thrown in a major league game and he became the first player under the age of 21 to reach double-digits in strikeouts in a game since Felix Hernandez in 2007.
The righty also drove in a run to tie the game at 2-2 in the second inning.
"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."
Stanton, meanwhile, had three hits and his two-run double in the fifth inning stretched Miami's lead at the time to three runs. Greg Dobbs had put his club ahead by a run an inning earlier with a double that chased home Adeiny Hechavarria and the Marlins held on for their fourth victory in six games.
Miami also beat St. Louis for only the third time in the last 13 meetings, going 2-7 at home over that time.
St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook returned to the Cardinals' rotation after spending a month on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation and took the loss. He allowed five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits over five frames.
"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."
Allen Craig, Jon Jay, Yadier Molina and David Freese drove in one run each for the Cardinals, who had won five of seven coming in and still own the best record in baseball at 43-24.
Koehler will try to deal the Cards another loss, with the right-hander looking to secure the first MLB victory of his resume.
Koehler is 0-4 with a 4.14 earned run average in six starts this season while posting a 3.91 ERA in 12 total appearances in 2013. He is coming off a no- decision at the New York Mets on Sunday, giving up four runs over seven innings of his club's 8-4 victory in extra innings.
The 26-year-old is 0-5 with a 4.23 ERA in 20 career games and will face the Cardinals for the first time.
Lance Lynn takes another shot at his ninth victory of the season as he goes today for the Cardinals.
Lynn has won his last three decisions since picking up his most recent loss on May 7, but did not factor into an 11-4 extra-inning victory at Cincinnati on Sunday. The right-hander was charged with four runs on five hits and three walks over six innings after having allowed just three runs total over his previous three outings.
Lynn is 8-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 13 outings this season and will make his first ever start against the Marlins. The 26-year-old has faced them twice before in relief, picking up a save.