NL rookie of the year candidate Jose Fernandez hasn't disappointed the home fans when he's pitched at Marlins Park.
The league-worst Marlins (48-79), who rank last in the majors in runs and batting average, could get little done at the plate in Friday's 3-2 series-opening loss. Ryan Wheeler hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning as the Rockies (60-70) won for the second time in seven games.
While the Marlins have totaled seven runs and gone 2 for 26 with runners in scoring position during their losing streak, they likely won't need much offense to end it with Fernandez (9-5, 2.41 ERA) on the mound.
The All-Star right-hander has gone 7-2 with 105 strikeouts over 93 1-3 innings since June 1. His 1.64 ERA over that 14-start stretch is second in the majors to Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw (1.62).
Fernandez looks to win his fifth straight decision after fanning eight and allowing one earned run over six innings in a 6-2 victory over the NL West-leading Dodgers on Monday.
"Fernandez set the tone," manager Mike Redmond told the team's official website. "He had to grind a little bit, but he's had to do that his last couple of (starts)."
Fernandez leads all rookies with at least 15 starts in ERA, opponents' batting average (.189) and strikeouts (157). He's been particularly tough at Marlins Park, where he's 6-0 with a 1.40 ERA in 12 starts.
Because Miami plans to limit Fernandez to around 170 innings, this might be one of his last home starts. He's currently at 145 2-3 innings after throwing a season-high 109 pitches against the Dodgers.
"We set that deadline for a reason," Redmond said. "It's to take care of him and protect him. We realize this is a special kid who we want to keep healthy and have pitch for a long time."
Fernandez hasn't allowed a home run since Todd Helton took him deep in a 4-2 road win over the Rockies on July 23. He pitched seven innings in that game, giving up two runs and five hits with eight strikeouts.
DJ LeMahieu went 2 for 3 with a triple against Fernandez and he's 7 for 19 during a six-game hitting streak overall.
The Rockies will attempt to win consecutive road games for the first time since June 22-23 by giving the ball to Jeff Manship (0-3, 7.80), who seeks his first victory since Sept. 6, 2010, with Minnesota.
After allowing two runs over five innings in a 2-1 loss at Citi Field on Aug. 8, Manship has given up 11 runs and 14 hits - four home runs - over 10 innings in his last two starts.
The right-hander yielded four runs in the fourth inning and ended up allowing five over five frames in a 5-4 loss at Philadelphia on Monday.
|August 23, 2013||Rafael Betancourt||15-Day DL||Right elbow sprain|
|August 19, 2013||Yorvit Torrealba||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 08, 2013||Christian Friedrich||60-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
|August 05, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Sprained right middle finger|
|August 01, 2013||Tyler Chatwood||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|August 01, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained right middle finger|
|August 19, 2013||Placido Polanco||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 26, 2013||Kevin Slowey||15-Day DL||Right forearm discomfort|
|July 23, 2013||Marcell Ozuna||60-Day DL||Torn left thumb ligament|
|June 25, 2013||Justin Ruggiano||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|June 09, 2013||Casey Kotchman||60-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|June 09, 2013||Chris Coghlan||15-Day DL||Right calf irritation|
MIAMI (AP) -- During a pregame talk, Colorado manager Walt Weiss compared Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez to Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood .
Fernandez then showed why he's deserving of the praise.
Fernandez struck out eight in seven innings, leading the Miami Marlins to a 3-0 win over the Rockies on Saturday night.
"I just tried to go out there and get outs, get back in the dugout and let my team try to get some runs, and that's what we did," Fernandez said. "It feels pretty good to win."
Fernandez (10-5) allowed four hits and did not walk a batter as he lowered his ERA to 2.30. The 21-year-old All-Star has been one of the best pitchers in the Majors since June 1, compiling a 1.52 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 15 starts.
"I don't know if I've seen another 21-year old as good as him, as polished as him at that age," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He threw some nasty curveballs today and changeups as well. He just continues to have an answer for them if they take a good swing. ... He is impressive with the way he commands all of his pitches."
A.J. Ramos pitched the eighth and Steve Cishek earned his 28th save in 30 chances.
Todd Helton had two hits for the Rockies to move into 96th place on the career hits list with 2,496 in 17 seasons, all with Colorado.
The Marlins scored three runs in the fourth off Jeff Manship (0-4), who allowed three runs in six innings.
"I just need to stop the bleeding and have a little bit of luck go my way - don't let the hits compound," Manship said.
Fernandez showed off his youthful exuberance on several plays. First, when he snagged Troy Tulowitzki 's line drive to end the first inning, Fernandez glared at the Rockies All-Star shortstop, who asked Fernandez how he caught it. Fernandez flashed a big smile on his way back to the Marlins dugout.
"I saw it coming off the bat and I just threw my glove to it," Fernandez said. "I'm not going to say I caught it, it caught me. Then (Troy) said, `You just did that.' And I was like, `Yes I did.' It was kind of funny, but we talk and we're good friends so it's all good."
Then in the fifth, Fernandez tried to bunt for a base hit, but third baseman Nolan Arenado barehanded the ball and threw him out at first base. Fernandez thought he was safe and jumped up in a sign of frustration, yelled, and then gave another big smile.
"I love it, I love the energy," Redmond said. "For us that are around him every day and get to see him compete, it's infectious. We all love to watch it and build off of it. But at the same time, too, he's a young kid and we make sure we temper that on the field."
Fernandez grinned broadly after Helton singled in the seventh to move ahead of Mickey Vernon on the hits list. The ball was thrown into the Rockies dugout as a keepsake and Fernandez tipped his cap to Helton although he was unaware of the milestone.
"He's an incredible hitter and I have to do it," Fernandez said. "He's 3 for 6 against me. I tried to make good pitches. He's an incredible hitter so I have to tip my cap to guys like that who can hit so well and can do a lot of incredible stuff with the bat."
When Fernandez was made aware of Helton's achievement, he was happy for him.
"I helped him? Good, I'm glad that he got it and he got it against me," Fernandez said. "That's good, I'm pretty happy for him."
It could be Fernandez's last start at home where he is 7-0 with a 1.29 ERA as the Marlins plan on shutting him down in early September. His next two starts are currently scheduled to be on the road although his second start could be pushed back for another home game.
"I think the fans are big-time," Fernandez said. "It's a big help and I'm really loving it and enjoying pitching at home."
Giancarlo Stanton led off the fourth with a double and scored on an RBI single by Ed Lucas . Adeiny Hechavarria followed with an RBI triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Marisnick for the 3-0 lead.
"It gives you a certain amount of comfort knowing that we've put some runs on the board finally and that we know Jose is going to compete," Lucas said. "Lately he hasn't really given up anything so all it really takes is a couple."
Tulowitzki's season-high 10-game hitting streak ended going 0 for 4.
NOTES: Cishek has converted 23 consecutive saves, the third-longest streak in the Majors. ... Miami 3B Placido Polanco was expected to field groundballs before the game and could return to the team on Tuesday. ... Rockies RHP Roy Oswalt threw a bullpen session before the game. "He had a good day," Weiss said. "The bullpen went well." ... Colorado LHP Jorge De La Rosa (13-6, 3.21 ERA) will face Miami RHP Jacob Turner (3-4, 3.02 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday.