Fernandez strikes out 14 in Marlins 1-0 win
ATLANTA -- Once Miami manager Mike Redmond saw the kind of stuff that starting pitcher Jose Fernandez had, he knew it might be a good night for his team to change its luck away from home.
Fernandez pitched eight shutout innings to help Miami to a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night and give the Marlins their first road victory of the season.
Fernandez (3-1) allowed three hits and matched his career high with 14 strikeouts. He threw 109 pitches, the most in his career, including 77 strikes and worked past the seventh inning for the first time this season.
"I think it would be fair to say this was his best start in terms of stuff and command," Redmond said. "He was good ... really good."
Redmond said he did not consider sending Fernandez out for the ninth inning because of his high pitch count. He called on closer Steve Cishek, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save. Cishek has converted 33 consecutive save opportunities.
"Early on, you could kinda tell that Jose had it going on," Redmond said. "You could tell by their swings that he had it."
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said, "Both guys were really darn good. It was a good game, pitching-wise."
Miami lost its first seven road games this season, the longest in club history and the first to do so since Washington in 2009. The Marlins were the last team in the majors to win a road game this season.
Fernandez allowed a leadoff single to Atlanta right fielder Jason Heyward, who was immediately erased by a double play.
The Braves did not get another hit until third baseman Chris Johnson led off the eighth with a single. Tyler Pastornicky, who was pinch-running for Johnson, moved to second with two outs on an infield single by shortstop Andrelton Simmons. But Fernandez stopped the rally by retiring pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit on a comebacker that he handled himself.
"That's the third time we've seen him and we've seen all the film and he's good," Gonzalez said. "He got the capabilities of running those time of games out there every time out."
Fernandez mixed a mid-90s fastball and an effective breaking pitch in the mid-80s to keep Atlanta batters off stride. He had double-digit strikeouts for the second time this season and the sixth time in his career. Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, left fielder Justin Upton and catcher Evan Gattis struck out three times each.
"We talk to him about not throwing that breaking pitch too much early on," Redmond said. "Tonight, he was able to use the breaking ball on fastball counts and get some swings and misses."
Atlanta starter Alex Wood (2-3) was just about as good. He allowed four hits in eight innings and struck out a career-high 11. It was the second straight 1-0 decision that the hard-luck left-hander has endured. He lost 1-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies in his last start.
"Woody matched him pitch for pitch," Gonzalez said. "It's a shame for him to lose 1-0."
After allowing a leadoff single, Wood retired 10 consecutive batters before the Marlins got their first run. With one out in the fourth, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton lined a sharp double to left and scored when third baseman Casey McGehee beat the Atlanta defensive shift by slicing a single past Uggla at second.
Atlanta threatened in the bottom of the fourth when center fielder B.J. Upton reached on McGehee's fielding error with one out. Upton took second when Fernandez balked but could not advance when first baseman Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton struck out swinging.
NOTES: Miami LF Christian Yelich extended his career-long hitting streak to 16 games with a first-inning bunt single. ... Atlanta LHP Mike Minor (shoulder tendinitis) will throw a side session on Wednesday and make a final rehab start on Friday for Double-A Mississippi. His is 2-1 with a 3.54 in four minor-league rehab stars. ... The Braves traded minor league INF Tyler Greene to San Diego for a player to be named. Greene signed with Atlanta as a minor league free agent last August. He was hitting .200 (8-for-40) in 12 games for Triple-A Gwinnett and will be assigned to Triple-A El Paso. ... The three-game series concludes Wednesday with a 12:10 p.m. ET start. Atlanta will take Thursday off before opening a three-game series against Cincinnati at Turner Field on Friday. Miami is off Thursday and opens a three-game series against the New York Mets on Friday.