For an opening-day starter, Cole Hamels hasn't come close to meeting expectations.
Jose Fernandez certainly did in his big-league debut.
Hamels takes the mound opposite Fernandez as the visiting Philadelphia Phillies continue a three-game set against the woeful Miami Marlins , who again will be without Giancarlo Stanton on Saturday night.
After allowing five runs in as many innings during his first opening-day start in a 7-5 loss at Atlanta, Hamels (0-2, 10.97 ERA) surrendered a career-high eight earned runs, nine hits and four walks over 5 2-3 frames Sunday in a 9-8 loss to Kansas City.
"It's giving up runs. Not giving the team the opportunity to win," Hamels told MLB's official website when asked what has frustrated him the most.
"First and foremost, win the ballgame no matter who you're playing and who's pitching. We want to win. I wasn't able to do that for two straight games."
Opponents are batting .348 against the three-time All-Star, 110 points higher than his career mark. Hamels had never previously lost his first two starts.
"I feel good," he said. "I definitely have good feel with all of my pitches. Unfortunately, it's not showing."
The left-hander is 6-3 with a 2.43 ERA over his past 11 outings versus the Marlins, allowing one run in 16 innings to win the last two, and he won't have to face Stanton this time. The slugging right fielder will sit out again after missing Friday's series opener due to a sore left shoulder as Miami lost 3-1 in 10 innings.
Stanton, though, is batting .167 with no RBIs for Miami (1-9), off to the worst start by any team since Baltimore and Houston dropped nine of their first 10 in 2010. The Marlins' start is their worst since opening 1-11 in 1998.
"We have to keep grinding, get on the other side of this thing and get that confidence back," manager Mike Redmond said.
Miami now turns to Fernandez (0-0, 1.80), who showed off his impressive stuff Sunday in a 4-3 walkoff loss to the New York Mets . The 20-year-old right-hander allowed three hits and struck out eight over five innings of one-run ball, becoming the first starter under age 21 to fan at least eight in his MLB debut since David Clyde in 1973.
"I'm disappointed that the team didn't win. I don't really care about me," he said. "Every time I go out there, my job is to give the team a chance to win. We didn't win this time. Next time, we will."
Fernandez has zero experience pitching above Class A, but went 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA over 25 minor league starts last year.
"We talked about what he can do," Redmond said. "He's got a great fastball. For a 20-year-old kid, he's got some great secondary pitches. He showed a good changeup, curveball, slider. And he competes. I think that was obviously a huge test for him and a great first outing."
Fernandez will try to slow down the Phillies (5-5), who have won three in a row. Chase Utley came through with the go-ahead triple in the 10th inning Friday.
"We're starting to play better baseball," said Utley, batting .316 with a team-leading 10 RBIs. "Swinging the bats better. The weather is warming up. I think it's going to be a fun summer."
Philadelphia has taken three straight and eight of 10 from Miami.
|March 22, 2013||Delmon Young||15-Day DL||Recovery from right ankle surgery|
|April 12, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Left shoulder soreness|
|April 04, 2013||Casey Kotchman||Day-to-Day||Strained left hamstring|
|April 04, 2013||Casey Kotchman||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|March 31, 2013||Alfredo Silverio||60-Day DL||Sprained right elbow|
|March 31, 2013||Logan Morrison||60-Day DL||Recovery from right knee surgery|
|March 31, 2013||Jose Ceda||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
MIAMI (AP) -- In a season that's had far more downs than ups, Chris Coghlan helped deliver a boost for the Miami Marlins .
Coghlan hit a game-ending single against a draw-in infield with one out in the ninth inning Saturday night, giving the Marlins a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies for just their second win.
"It's huge for the morale," Coghlan said. "We've lost a lot of tight games and our record obviously shows that."
Marlins 20-year old phenom Jose Fernandez pitched six scoreless innings to outduel Cole Hamels . Miami (2-9), playing without slugger Giancarlo Stanton for the second straight day because of a bruised left shoulder, became the last team in the major leagues to win two games this year.
"It wasn't perfect, but it's nice to get a win," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "(Coghlan) was a late addition to the lineup and we talk about opportunities."
Fernandez gave Miami the lead in the fifth with an RBI single.
Placido Polanco led off the ninth with a walk against reliever Phillippe Aumont (1-1). Greg Dobbs followed with a hard-hit grounder to first baseman Kevin Frandsen , who could not make the play. The ball rolled into right field for a hit, and Polanco advanced to third.
After Austin Kearns struck out, Coghlan hit a hard grounder to second baseman Chase Utley , playing on the infield grass. Utley bobbled the grounder and his throw was late to the plate as Polanco slid headfirst for the winning run.
"I tried to pick it clean on the in-between hop and I wasn't able to pick it clean," Utley said.
Steve Cishek (1-1) pitched the ninth.
Fernandez allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out five.
"Every time I go out there I try to enjoy it and have fun," Fernandez said. "It's fun to pitch here in Miami in front of the crowd. It was a really good feeling and I'm going to continue to enjoy it."
Hamels yielded one run and three hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three.
"Still really trying to get ahead of hitters early," Hamels said. "I was able to make an improvement there, but I still wasn't where I know I'm able to just get that first-pitch strike."
Hamels, who entered with a 10.97 ERA in his first two starts, held the Marlins without a hit until the fifth inning when Adeiny Hechavarria tripled to right-center field with two outs. Hechavarria's two-out triple was the Marlins' first three-base hit this season and 16th extra-base hit. Miami is batting .206 and has a paltry .266 slugging percentage.
Fernandez then got his first big league hit to knock in the first run.
"I just threw probably the worst pitch I could throw," said Hamels on the hit by Fernandez.
Fernandez was pulled after six innings in favor of A.J. Ramos, who promptly allowed a base hit to Domonic Brown , the Phillies' first hit since Freddy Galvis ' two-out single in the second.
Second baseman Donovan Solano tried turning the double play, but his throw ended up in the stands for an error that allowed Brown to score and make it 1-all.
The Phillies had an opportunity to score in the second. Laynce Nix and Galvis both singled with two outs, but Fernandez calmly retired Erik Kratz to get out of the inning.
"We didn't hit the kid," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Actually he took them to a good place in the game really. We didn't hit him. That was the bottom line. He held us and pitched good."
NOTES: Fernandez has a 0.82 ERA in his first two starts and has struck out 13 in 11 innings. ... Phillies RF Laynce Nix made a diving catch in the first inning to take a hit away from Polanco. ... Marlins OF Justin Ruggiano (groin) was a late scratch to the lineup and was replaced by Coghlan. Ruggiano is considered day to day. ... Philadelphia will send RHP Roy Halladay (0-2, 14.73 ERA) to the mound Sunday for the series finale and the Marlins will counter with RHP Kevin Slowey (0-2, 2.19 ERA).