Marlins’ Fernandez goes out in blaze of glory against Braves

  • Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:01 a.m.
Home plate umpire Sam Holbrook (34) separates Atlanta catcher Brian McCann (left) and Miami starting pitcher Jose Fernandez after Fernandez slowly circled the bases after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning Wednesday night in Miami. The Marlins won 5-2.

MARLINS 5, BRAVES 2

By STEVEN WINE

Associated Press

MIAMI — In his season finale, Miami Marlins rookie sensation Jose Fernandez pitched seven innings, hit his first major-league homer and engaged in a standoff with the annoyed Atlanta Braves that cleared both benches and bullpens.

When he had completed his eventful evening, Fernandez slowly walked off the mound one last time, removing his cap as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Two relievers pitched the final two innings, and the woeful Marlins beat the playoff-bound Braves 5-2.

The game was the last of the season for the demonstrative 21-year-old Fernandez because he passed his 170-inning limit set by the Marlins. A top candidate for NL Rookie of the Year, he finished 12-6 with an ERA of 2.19, second-lowest in the majors behind only the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.

Fernandez homered in the sixth inning, and after slowly circling the bases he engaged in a heated exchange with catcher Brian McCann, which prompted the other players to join them. Shoves were swapped but no punches were evident, and no one was ejected.

Bad blood became evident in the top of the sixth, when Fernandez stared at the Braves bench muttering as he walked off the mound to end the inning, then waved his arms in agitation in the dugout. It was unclear what he was upset about, and the Marlins led 4-1 at the time.

When Fernandez homered a short time later, he admired the hit before slowly starting into his trot. He spat as he rounded third base, and third baseman Chris Johnson said something to him.

McCann and Fernandez then traded words at the plate, and after umpire Sam Holbrook stepped between them, other players quickly joined the dispute. Fernandez laughed as he was pulled away by teammates, and the crowd of 25,111 roared.

Fernandez returned to the mound to pitch a hitless seventh and complete his season. He allowed five hits and one run, walked three and struck out five, and finished 9-0 in 15 home starts.

The Braves’ only run off Fernandez came when Evan Gattis homered on the first pitch of the sixth. Atlanta went 0 for 7 against the right-hander with runners in scoring position.

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