Freeman, Braves rough up Marlins ace Fernandez in 9-1 win

ATLANTA -- One day after he was the game-winning hero as a pinch-hitter, Jose Fernandez was humbled by one of the worst starts of his career.

Fernandez gave up two homers and a career-high nine runs and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 9-1 on Saturday.

Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Jace Peterson hit a three-run homer in Atlanta's seven-run sixth that knocked Fernandez out of the game.

Six of Atlanta's nine runs off Fernandez were earned, matching the right-hander's career high. He allowed eight hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings.

The six earned runs allowed equaled the six he allowed in five starts in June, when he had a 1.67 ERA.

"Rough day, man," Fernandez said. "I just have to put it behind me."

Asked about allowing nine runs, Fernandez said, "I know it's not going to be the last time, I'm sure."

Fernandez (10-4) drove in the decisive runs as a pinch-hitter in Miami's 7-5 12-inning win over Atlanta on Friday night. Manager Don Mattingly thought about sending Fernandez home early during the extra-inning game -- a common practice in the majors for pitchers before scheduled starts -- but kept him around for his bat.

The lopsided loss put a quick end to the feel-good victory from the night before.

"This game always finds a way to remind you how tough it is," Fernandez said.

Mattingly said he thought Fernandez "got a little bit winded" in the Braves' seven-run sixth.

"It wasn't typical Jose, but I thought he threw the ball good enough," Mattingly said.

Lucas Harrell (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game, allowed only one run on three hits in six innings as he made his first start in the majors in two years.

The Marlins, who began the day third in the NL wild-card standings, fell to 3-8 against the last-place Braves.

The four-game series will conclude on Sunday at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in a salute-the-troops game at the military installation.

Peterson doubled to left field in the first, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Freeman's 14th homer, a high shot caught by a fan on the front row of the center-field seats.

Harrell, 31, made his first start since April 15, 2014 with Houston against Kansas City. He made his major league debut with the White Sox in 2010 -- when current Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski was behind the plate.

Having Pierzynski added to Harrell's sense of comfort.

"It has been a long road to get back here," Harrell said. "I felt like I've worked real hard. I've been up and had a little success before. It was just nice because A.J. was with me in Chicago and he knew my stuff and we were on the same page all game."

Braves rookie left-hander Dario Alvarez gave up singles to Chris Johnson and Jeff Mathis in the ninth before hitting Dietrich with a pitch to load the bases. Alvarez struck out pinch-hitter Giancarlo Stanton and Ichiro Suzuki to end the game.

11 TO GO

Suzuki's triple to center field in the third inning drove in Derek Dietrich, who had a leadoff single, for Miami's only run. Suzuki has 2,989 hits in the majors -- 11 from reaching 3,000.


Peterson's first-inning double gave him a career-best 13-game hitting streak. He is the only Braves player to have a streak as long as 10 games this season.


Marlins: 1B Justin Bour left the game in the sixth inning with a right ankle sprain. He was limping slightly after fielding Chase d'Arnaud's grounder and barely beating d'Arnaud to the bag -- a call that stood following a review. He remained in the game for two batters before walking slowly off the field. Johnson took over at first base. Bour said his status is day to day.

Braves: OF Ender Inciarte was held out with what he says is a minor right groin strain. He left Friday night's game in the sixth inning with the injury. He said Saturday he hopes to play on Sunday.


Marlins: LHP Adam Conley (4-5, 3.90 ERA) will look for his second win of the season against the Braves on Sunday at Fort Bragg. He threw eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 win on June 22 in Miami.

Braves: RHP Matt Wisler (3-7, 4.14) has a 7.11 ERA in two career games, including one start, against the Marlins.