The Miami Marlins got their 2014 season underway in a big way on Monday with a decisive 10-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Jose Fernandez made the start and looked every bit the same as the pitcher who won the Rookie of the Year award last season. The electric right-hander went six innings in which he struck out nine and walked none. In all, Fernandez threw 94 pitches and 73 of them went for strikes showing exceptional control. At one point the 21-year old not only struck out the side, but also punched out five out of six batters he opposed. The Rockies did manage to tag a run to Fernandez’s line in his final inning of work when Carlos Gonzalez hit a home run to center-field.
After Fernandez was lifted due to his pitch count, A.J. Ramos took over and turned in a shutout inning of relief. Ramos who will likely see regular appearances in closer late game situations walked one and didn’t allow a hit. Brad Hand was next out of the pen and worked two scoreless innings to end the game, and save the rest of the arms in the pen for the remainder of the four game series.
The Marlins’ offense broke out of the gate with a lot of noise in this one, as it put up fourteen hits to go along with ten runs. Marcell Ozuna got the scoring started with a home run to left-field in the third inning. Ozuna who struggled all spring collected three hits including a double, and the slugger also scored three runs. Casey McGehee made the most of his debut for the Marlins when he knocked a bases clearing double into left field in the fifth inning. That was the first of two run-scoring doubles from the Marlins’ third baseman on Monday.
Adeiny Hechavarria had a big night collecting three hits including one in a lead padding eighth inning for Miami. In that frame, the Marlins tacked on three more runs which featured RBI doubles from McGehee, Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton. For Yelich, it was a night of ups and downs as the young left-fielder also struck out three times. Stanton ended the night 2-5 with a pair of runs scored and sent a ball to the right-field warning track as well.
The Marlins will try to make it two wins in a row to start the year, when they send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound on Tuesday.