St. Louis 5, Miami 4
When: 7:10 PM ET, Thursday, July 28, 2016
Where: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
Victor Carapazza, 1B -
John Hirschbeck, 2B -
Bill Welke, 3B -
MIAMI -- Dee Gordon's return was a dud for the Miami Marlins, but perhaps that was to be expected after the second baseman was out for 80 games.
Jose Fernandez's poor performance, however, was stunning
Aledmys Diaz homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated Fernandez and the Marlins 5-4 Thursday night at Marlins Park.
St. Louis jumped out to a 5-0 lead through five innings, then held on for the win.
Diaz, who was Fernandez's neighbor when they were kids in Cuba, and Matt Holliday homered in the third inning. It marked the first time in Fernandez's brilliant career that he was taken deep twice in one inning.
"I got plenty of runs -- you hardly ever see that against that guy," Cardinals starter Michael Wacha said, referring to Fernandez. "He's a tough pitcher, tough competitor. Our guys were putting up great at-bats against him and going to work."
Miami's loss spoiled the return of two-time All-Star second baseman Gordon, who was back after serving his suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Gordon, who led the National League in batting average (.333) and steals (58) last season, went 0-for-4 with one strikeout.
"I thought Dee seemed a little quiet and probably a little nervous," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "As the game went on, he seemed more like himself."
One of the highlights for the Marlins came when pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki slapped a well-struck double to the right field corner in the seventh inning. He needs two more hits to reach 3,000.
Fernandez, a two-time All-Star at age 23, fell to 12-5 on the year and lost just the second time in his career at home. He is 26-2 with a 1.62 ERA at Marlins Park.
"I made some mistakes, and they took advantage," said Fernandez, who lasted just five innings and allowed six hits, two walks and five runs while striking out nine. "I'm not too happy about it."
Fernandez has never allowed more than six runs in a start, but he might have topped that mark Thursday had it not been for a controversial ruling in the second inning. He was originally called for a run-scoring balk, but it was then overturned after a conversation among the umpires. Balk calls are not reviewable.
After the game, crew chief John Hirschbeck said the umpires erred, and it should have been ruled a balk.
Wacha (6-7) pitched six innings, giving up four hits, no walks and three runs. He struck out two. He survived getting hit on the right leg by a second-inning comebacker. It was the third time this year Wacha was struck by a comebacker, twice by the Marlins.
Fernandez, who entered Thursday having allowed just two homers at home all season, matched that in the third. First came the shot by Diaz, who hit it out to left-center.
"That swing had bad intentions," Fernandez said. "This guy wants to hit it 10,000 feet.
"It was different facing him. I've known him since I started walking or talking. (He and his father) are the reason I play baseball. They were the people who talked to my mom to bring me to a baseball field."
Holliday then hit his homer down the right field line. Both home runs barely cleared the wall, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was especially impressed with the ball hit by Holliday since he hit out to the opposite field.
"That's power on power," Matheny said. "Matt is so strong, and when you have a high-velocity fastball and get the good part of the bat on it, it's going to carry."
St. Louis made it 5-0 in the fifth. Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a leadoff triple and scored on a Diaz double. A two-out single by Matt Adams scored Diaz.
Miami cut its deficit to 5-3 in the fifth. Adeiny Hechavaria singled and scored on Chris Johnson's double. Martin Prado's two-run homer capped the inning.
The Marlins scored once more in the seventh. J.T. Realmuto singled, advanced to third on Suzuki's double and scored on a one-out grounder by Hechavarria.
Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh threw a scoreless ninth inning for his seventh save.
NOTES: To make room on the active roster for 2B Dee Gordon, Miami designated INF Don Kelly for assignment. Kelly was hitting just .045 before Wednesday, when he had three hits, including two triples, but that was not enough to save his job. ... Marlins 1B Justin Bour (ankle) will begin a rehab assignment Friday at Triple-A New Orleans and is about a week away from rejoining the team. ... Cardinals RHP Mike Leake will face Marlins RHP Jose Urena on Friday. Leake has gone a career-high 25 consecutive innings without allowing a walk. He is also 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA against the Marlins. ... St. Louis will start LHP Jaime Garcia on three days' rest Saturday. Garcia threw 77 pitches on Tuesday.
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