From the start of the game it was clear that Jose Fernandez did not have his best stuff on Tuesday, but the Miami Marlins still beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5.
Fernandez who will start on Opening Night next Monday ends the spring with a 3.54 E.R.A after a tough start in this one. The ace allowed five runs on nine hits in only 4.2 innings per the official box score. The team likely wanted to see Fernandez get to at least the sixth inning in his final spring.start. The right-hander also struck out three and walked two to end the spring with 19 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched. Kevin Slowey possibly preparing for a bullpen role with the team turned in two thirds of an inning of perfect relief. The win was credited to Steve Cishek who is now 2-0 in the spring while the save went to A.J. Ramos.
For most of the game, which included a 46-minute rain delay, the Marlins trailed but a three run seventh inning changed that. The big blow in the frame came from Juan Diaz who powered a two-run home run out of Roger Dean Stadium. Diaz is a non-roster invitee who is destined for a minor-league assignment in the coming days. It's a name that Marlins fans may want to keep in mind however as he could see big league time later in the season. Diaz, a shortstop has hit consistently well this spring and even flashed some gold glove style defense in Tuesday's game with a nifty double-play.
Also in the game, third baseman Casey McGehee hit his second home run of the spring while Marcell Ozuna notched his fifth double. That two-bagger came during the seventh and plated the eventual winning run. Ozuna struck out twice in his other at-bats to give him 16 strikeouts in 48 at-bats. Ultimately that number could be the reason that Ozuna starts the year in the minor leagues. The Marlins need to see better plate discipline and pitch selection from the promising young outfielder.
On Wednesday, the Marlins will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound against the Atlanta Braves.