Fernandez hands Braves, Wood hard-luck loss
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
April 23, 2014 04:00 AM | 862 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Miami’s Jose Fernandez pitched eight shutout innings and stuck out 14 to lead the Marlins to a 1-0 win over Atlanta on Tuesday.
Miami’s Jose Fernandez pitched eight shutout innings and stuck out 14 to lead the Marlins to a 1-0 win over Atlanta on Tuesday.
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ATLANTA — Another strong eight innings, another loss for Alex Wood.

The young Braves’ left-hander is hoping that streak ends at two games.

Wood set a career high with 11 strikeouts and allowed only one run in eight strong innings as the Braves were shut out by Jose Fernandez and the Miami Marlins 1-0 on Tuesday night.

Wood (2-3) also lasted eight innings in a 1-0 loss at Philadelphia on Thursday.

“I hope it’s the only time in my career I lose back-to-back 1-0 games,” Wood said.

Wood, 23, allowed only four hits with no walks. He said he didn’t like losing but enjoyed the pitching duel.

“From a pitching standpoint, it doesn’t get any more fun than that,” Wood said.

“It was a lot of fun out there, competing against a guy like Fernandez. He’s got electric stuff, as we saw tonight.”

Wood lowered his ERA from 1.67 to 1.54 in the loss.

Fernandez (3-1) matched his career high with 14 strikeouts in eight innings and combined with closer Steve Cishek on a three-hitter.

“He pitched amazing,” said Atlanta’s Chris Johnson of Fernandez. “We went up against a buzz-saw today.”

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said his hitters “were coming back shaking their heads.”

Gonzalez said Fernandez, 21, and Wood could have a long rivalry in the NL East.

“Both of those guys are young guys, and I’m sure you’re going to see them hook up like that for a very long time,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said Fernandez has more dominant games in his future.

“He’s got the capability of running those type games out every time he goes out,” Gonzalez said.

When told he was receiving postgame compliments in the Braves’ clubhouse, Fernandez shrugged and said “That was a lucky game today, I think.”

The Marlins gave Fernandez the only run he would need in the fourth. Giancarlo Stanton hit a one-out double to left field and scored on Casey McGehee’s single up the middle.

Jason Heyward led off the first with a single to left field, and the Braves didn’t have another hit until Johnson’s leadoff single in the eighth. Fernandez then struck out Dan Uggla and Evan Gattis before Andrelton Simmons’ infield single moved pinch-runner Tyler Pastornicky to second.

Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit grounded out to Fernandez to end the eighth.

The eight innings matched Fernandez’s career high. He was at 109 pitches after the eighth, so Redmond said it was an easier call to bring in Cishek for the ninth.

“I think he did his job,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of Fernandez. “The agonizing would have been had he been around 100 pitches. After the runners got on in the eighth, I knew that was going to be an easier decision.”

Cishek pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

Atlanta’s only other baserunner before the eighth came when B.J. Upton reached on McGehee’s fielding error at third base in the fourth. Fernandez then struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

It was the second straight start Fernandez did not allow an earned run. He allowed three unearned runs and received no decision in the Marlins’ 6-3 loss to Washington on April 16.

Fernandez set his career high with 14 strikeouts against Cleveland on Aug. 2, 2013. Wood’s previous high was nine strikeouts against Washington on Aug. 16, 2013.

The game lasted only 2 hours, 8 minutes.

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