Rookie Jose Fernandez strikes out 14 as Marlins end Indians' 8-game streak with 10-0 win
MIAMI – Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona watched his team flail all night against Miami Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez and found a reason to be grateful.
"Thankfully he's in the National League," Francona said.
The Indians won't have to worry about Fernandez if they make the AL playoffs, but he ended their eight-game winning streak Friday, striking out 14 in eight innings to help the Marlins win 10-0.
Fernandez's strikeout total was the highest by an NL pitcher this season.
"Unfortunately for us, that's as good a start as I think we've seen all year," Francona said.
Miami's All-Star right-hander became the first major league pitcher to strike out at least 13 in consecutive games since Randy Johnson in 2004. He's the first rookie to do so since Kerry Wood in 1998.
Fernandez (8-5) set a Marlins record for the most strikeouts in consecutive starts. He had 13 Sunday in a win over Pittsburgh.
"Man, what a pitcher," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "He was on a mission. He went out against a great lineup and really just dominated."
Fernandez pitched for the first time since turning 21 Wednesday and showed he's not yet over the hill, allowing just three hits. He struck out at least one batter in every inning and was still throwing 97 mph in the eighth.
He also hit a sacrifice fly in the third for his fourth RBI this season.
Fernandez's strikeout total was the most by a rookie since Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals had 14 in 2010. He's the first NL rookie to strike out 10 in at least four games since Cole Hamels of the Phillies in 2006.
"I'm just trying to make good pitches," Fernandez said. "I'm not trying to strike out people. I'm not going out there saying, 'I've got to strike out 20.' I'm not thinking about that."
The Indians had outscored opponents 50-21 during the winning streak, so maybe they were due for a drubbing.
Logan Morrison provided all the support Fernandez needed with four hits and four RBIs. Adeiny Hechavarria and Jake Marisnick each had three of the Marlins' 16 hits, and a first-inning error by Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera led to three unearned runs.
"We lose the game in the first inning right there," Cabrera said. "That was a routine groundball. I just missed it."
Fernandez walked the pitcher — an especially egregious lapse against an AL team — but that was the only base on balls he allowed. When he headed for the dugout after the eighth inning, he waved his cap to acknowledge a standing ovation from the crowd of 17,731.
"I told him, 'You might have finished that game if you hadn't walked the pitcher,'" Redmond said with a grin.
Fernandez, who doesn't have a complete game yet, threw a career-high 108 pitches before departing reluctantly for a pinch-hitter. He put on batting helmet in the bottom of the eighth even though he knew he was being lifted.
"I was joking with Red," Fernandez said. "I said, 'Red, I'm going out there.' He said, 'No you're not!'"
Steve Ames had two strikeouts in the ninth to complete a three-hitter for the Marlins' second consecutive shutout, and their fifth this season.
Ubaldo Jimenez (8-6) needed 107 pitches to get through four innings. He allowed five runs, two earned, and that was no match for Fernandez, who lowered his ERA to 2.54.
In the third inning Fernandez walked Jimenez, who has only one at-bat all season, but the rookie pitched around the mistake and retired the next 12 batters before Cabrera doubled in the seventh.
Cleveland's other hit was a single by Ryan Raburn in the eighth. Fernandez became the first Marlins pitcher to strike out 10 or more in consecutive games since Ricky Nolasco in 2008.
"What he's doing and what he has done is special," Morrison said. "I told him in the dugout after he came out in the eighth that that was special. I hadn't seen anything like that."
In the first inning, Cabrera mishandled a potential double-play grounder with one out. Morrison followed with an RBI double, Donovan Solano's groundout scored another run and Hechavarria hit a two-out RBI single.
Christian Yelich hit his first major-league triple in the second inning and scored on Morrison's two-out single.
Notes: Cabrera committed two errors and has six this season. ... A scoring change in a game July 29 gave the Marlins' Juan Pierre his 20th stolen base. That gives him 13 consecutive seasons with 20 or more stolen bases. ... Marlins OF Chris Coghlan (back) said he might be a week away from beginning a rehabilitation assignment.