The Los Angeles Dodgers couldn't extend their impressive win streak last time out.
In a matchup of star rookies, Hyun-Jin Ryu takes the mound opposite Fernandez as the visiting Dodgers open a four-game set against the NL-worst Miami Marlins on Monday night.
Los Angeles (72-51) had won a season-high 10 straight and an incredible 42 of 50 before suffering a 3-2 walkoff loss at Philadelphia on Sunday. Hanley Ramirez committed two costly errors in the ninth inning as the Dodgers dropped to 19-2 in their last 21 road games.
"It's tough to explain," said Ramirez, who spent six-plus seasons with the Marlins before getting traded to Los Angeles last July. "We don't think about negative stuff. We just move on. It's definitely tough, but games like this will happen."
While the Dodgers haven't lost back-to-back games since June 20 and 21, they could be in for a stiff test against Fernandez (8-5, 2.45 ERA), who ranks among the major league leaders in ERA, opponent batting average (.190) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.6). The All-Star right-hander has been especially dominant since mid-July, going 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his last six starts.
"He's going out there with the confidence of wanting to be the best pitcher in the league," manager Mike Redmond told MLB's official website. "You know what? He's making a case."
Fernandez threw seven innings of three-hit ball in Tuesday's 1-0, 10-inning victory at Kansas City.
"The kid's good, he's got three well-above average pitches, he commands them all, throws 'em all for strikes, knows what he's doing and has a good game plan up there," Royals' first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "He's a good pitcher, he's going to be sticking around for a long time."
Fernandez earned the win in his only matchup versus Los Angeles, yielding three runs and eight hits in six innings in a 5-4 road victory May 10.
Leading all rookies in wins, Ryu (12-3, 2.91) has also impressed in his first season in the majors. The left-hander is 6-0 in his last nine outings - all Dodgers victories.
The South Korea native surrendered one run and five hits in seven innings to win his fifth consecutive start Tuesday, outdueling New York Mets All-Star Matt Harvey in a 4-2 victory.
"Ryu is the game plan when you got a guy like Harvey out there," Mattingly said. "Hyun-Jin was obviously up to the challenge. I was looking to see how he was going to respond to this little matchup. In the games they've made a big deal of he's responded really well."
Ryu allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings to beat Miami 7-1 on May 11 in his lone matchup in the series.
The Marlins (47-75) suffered back-to-back losses to San Francisco before bouncing back Sunday with a 6-5 win. After going deep in the third inning, Jeff Mathis delivered a tiebreaking double in the eighth that deflected off Giants outfielder Andres Torres .
Los Angeles has hit .320 in taking nine of 13 from the Marlins.
Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson ( Tommy John surgery) could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Monday. The three-time All-Star, who made four scoreless appearances during a minor league rehab assignment, hasn't pitched in the majors since April 2012, while with San Francisco.
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|August 04, 2013||Hanley Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Jammed right shoulder|
|August 03, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
|July 30, 2013||Brian Wilson||15-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|July 23, 2013||Jose Dominguez||15-Day DL||Left quad strain|
|July 22, 2013||Matt Kemp||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|July 13, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left hip|
|July 26, 2013||Kevin Slowey||15-Day DL||Right forearm discomfort|
|July 23, 2013||Marcell Ozuna||15-Day DL||Torn left thumb ligament|
|June 25, 2013||Justin Ruggiano||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|June 09, 2013||Chris Coghlan||15-Day DL||Right calf irritation|
|June 09, 2013||Casey Kotchman||60-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 27, 2013||Alex Sanabia||60-Day DL||Right groin discomfort|
MIAMI (AP) -- The two NL Rookie of the Year contenders chatted on the field during batting practice, discussing how they escaped Cuba before becoming major-league stars this season.
Then they went head to head, and Jose Fernandez bested Yasiel Puig to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers .
Fernandez allowed only one earned run in six innings to help Marlins win 6-2 Monday night, giving the Dodgers consecutive defeats for the first time since June 20-21.
Puig went 0 for 3 against the All-Star right-hander in their first matchup.
"It's not a big deal," Fernandez said. "It's one game. I don't think at all that I'm better than him. His talent is no doubt."
They met for the first time less than two hours before the game and talked at length, a rarity for a hitter and the pitcher he's about to face.
"We were talking forever," Fernandez said. "I know we're going to be incredible friends, because we actually were talking about what we went through to get here. We used to live 45 minutes away from each other. Pretty amazing."
That adjective is used a lot lately to describe Fernandez (9-5), who beat the Dodgers for the second time in two starts. He has an ERA of 1.64 since June 1, and at home this year he's 6-0 in 12 starts with an ERA of 1.40.
The animated 21-year-old was especially pumped up to face the NL West leaders.
"He told me he was fired up and woke up at 6:30 in the morning ready to go," manager Mike Redmond said. "I was a little nervous, just because with young kids you're not sure."
Fernandez lacked his usual command, walking two in the first inning, and threw 109 pitches. But he struck out eight, and the Dodgers went 0 for 7 against him with runners in scoring position.
"He's a tremendous pitcher," Puig said through a translator. "He knew how to mix his pitches and was able to dominate."
Fernandez also had the Marlins' first hit and scored the game's first run from first base on a two-out double by Christian Yelich .
"We just beat the best team in baseball," Fernandez said. "That's the most important part. I could have pitched a lot better, but we got the win."
Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-4), another standout rookie, allowed three runs in 7 1-3 innings and lost for the first time in his past eight starts.
Logan Morrison doubled home a run in the seventh to put Miami ahead to stay. Giancarlo Stanton added his 15th homer in the eighth, when Miami scored three times against a bullpen that has been the best in the majors over the past month.
Three Marlins relievers completed the six-hitter, delighting a crowd of 27,127, the third-largest this season in Miami.
The Dodgers fell to 25-5 since the All-Star break and lost for only the third time in their past 22 road games. They had a 10-game winning streak snapped Sunday at Philadelphia.
"We didn't play bad tonight," manager Don Mattingly said. "We didn't make any errors. We didn't get a whole lot of hits. We just got beat. At some point you have to say you got beat."
Juan Uribe went 3 for 3 against Fernandez, scored once and doubled home a run. But Puig went 0 for 5, dropping his average to .351.
Hanley Ramirez , traded by the Marlins during their miserable 2012 season, drew boos each time he batted. He went 0 for 4 and struck out twice.
Los Angeles loaded the bases in the fifth on a ground single, an infield single and an error by third baseman Ed Lucas . Carl Crawford drove in a run with a groundout, but Fernandez then squelched the threat. He struck out Puig on three consecutive 97-mph fastballs, and struck out Adrian Gonzalez on a breaking pitch.
"He has always taken those situations and really dominated them," Redmond said.
Stanton homered off the home-run sculpture at Marlins Park against Chris Withrow .
"A 2-iron," Redmond said. "That was a bullet."
The homer ended a streak of 12 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings by the Los Angeles bullpen.
NOTES: LF Crawford and 2B Mark Ellis robbed the Marlins of hits. ... Fernandez might make only one more home start. The Marlins plan to limit him to no more than 170 innings this year. ... Miami's Donovan Solano had an RBI single and is batting .400 with runners in scoring position. ... LHP Chris Capuano , scheduled to start Tuesday, celebrated his 35th birthday Monday.