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Fernandez dominates, Marlins blow out Rockies

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Coming in from the bullpen to make his first Opening Day start, Jose Fernandez blew a kiss to his family in the stands. Nine innings later, he was hugging all of his teammates.

The Miami Marlins' opener became a lovefest Monday night, when Fernandez looked just as good as he did last year, and the batting order looked much improved.

Fernandez struck out nine and allowed one run in six innings, and Marlins newcomer Casey McGehee drove in four runs with two doubles to help beat the Colorado Rockies 10-1.

The sellout crowd of 37,116 was the largest for the attendance-challenged Marlins since their new ballpark opened two years ago. Will many of the fans be back to see a team that lost 100 games last year?

"I hope so, because this team is special," Fernandez said. "I see that. Not because we scored 10 runs, but because this team is going to fight."

The 21-year-old Fernandez earned the victory while becoming the youngest NL Opening Day starter since Dwight Gooden in 1986, according to STATS. And he picked up where he left off last season, when he went 12-6 and was voted NL Rookie of the Year.

"I didn't know how I was going to react to Opening Day," he said. "But it came out great."

The right-hander's strikeout total matched Josh Beckett's team record for an opener. Fernandez threw 73 strikes and only 21 balls to 23 batters.

The crowd included Fernandez's grandmother Olga, who lives in Cuba. She saw him pitch for the first time since he left that country at age 15.

Her grandson improved to 10-0 in 16 career starts at Marlins Park with an ERA of 1.21.

"She told me, 'Good pitching. You've got to throw a lot more strikes, though,' " Fernandez said.

He threw plenty, given his improved run support. The Marlins, who finished last in the majors in most offensive categories last year, totaled 14 hits while scoring in double figures, something they did only four times in 2013.

Marcell Ozuna had a home run, double, single and scored twice. Giancarlo Stanton had an RBI infield single and a run-scoring double. Adeiny Hechavarria singled three times and drove in a run.

The Rockies, who began their first season since 1996 without retired first baseman Todd Helton, could have used his pop. His replacement, Justin Morneau, went 1 for 4. Michael Cuddyer, who won the NL batting title in 2013, went 2 for 4.

Carlos Gonzalez hit a home run for the Rockies in the sixth, but by then they trailed 6-0. Even he tipped his cap to Fernandez.

"When a guy like that is pitching, you expect that kind of game," Gonzalez said. "He's one of the best."

Jorge De La Rosa (0-1) allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings in his first Opening Day start.

The ballpark sound system malfunctioned during the national anthem, and Dan Marino's ceremonial first pitch was wide of the plate. But thereafter the boisterous crowd -- a rarity at Marlins Park since it opened -- had plenty to cheer about.

"The fans were into it," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Last year this didn't happen a whole lot, but in the ninth I actually got to look around and take a breather from the game, and that was fun. The energy was off the charts."

The hit parade was a big change from a team that totaled one run in its first three games a year ago. The victory put Miami above .500 for the first time since June 2012.

Notes

Marlins INF Rafael Furcal, who began the season on the DL with a strained left hamstring, said he expects to play five or six games on a rehabilitation assignment. He hopes to be activated around April 14. ... Rockies manager Walt Weiss had two hits and two RBIs when he started at SS in the Marlins' first game 21 years ago. ... The Marlins' bid for back to back no-hitters ended with the second batter, when Cuddyer singled. Henderson Alvarez pitched a no-hitter for Miami on the final day of last season. ... Miami's Nathan Eovaldi is scheduled to start against Brett Anderson on Tuesday.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Colorado

C. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Miami

M. Ozuna
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Charlie Blackmon, CF4000010 .000
Michael Cuddyer, RF4020010 .500
Carlos Gonzalez, LF4121011 .500
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4000022 .000
Justin Morneau, 1B4010012 .250
Wilin Rosario, C3010110 .333
Nolan Arenado, 3B3000003 .000
DJ LeMahieu, 2B3000010 .000
Jorge De La Rosa, P2000020 .000
   Wilton Lopez, P0000000 .000
   a-Brandon Barnes, PH1000000 .000
   Chad Bettis, P0000000 .000
Totals32161110  
a-fouled out for Lopez in the 8th
Batting
HR - Carlos Gonzalez (1, Fernandez)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (1)
Team LOB - 5
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jorge De La Rosa (L,0-1) 4.1455261 10.38
Wilton Lopez 2.2622040 6.75
Chad Bettis 1433010 27.00
HBP - Baker (by Jorge De La Rosa)
Pitches-Strikes - Jorge De La Rosa 87-56, Wilton Lopez 45-29, Chad Bettis 24-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge De La Rosa 6-1, Wilton Lopez 3-1, Chad Bettis 1-1
Batters Faced - Jorge De La Rosa 20, Wilton Lopez 14, Chad Bettis 7
Miami Marlins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Christian Yelich, LF5221033 .400
Jeff Baker, 2B3101001 .000
Giancarlo Stanton, RF5222012 .400
Casey McGehee, 3B4024110 .500
Garrett Jones, 1B4000132 .000
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4010023 .250
Marcell Ozuna, CF4331011 .750
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS4231000 .750
Jose Fernandez, P1000000 .000
   a-Greg Dobbs, PH10100001.000
   A.J. Ramos, P0000000 .000
   Brad Hand, P0000000 .000
Totals35101410211  
a-singled for Fernandez in the 6th
Batting
2B - Christian Yelich (1, Bettis), Giancarlo Stanton (1, Bettis), Casey McGehee 2 (2, Lopez), Marcell Ozuna (1, De La Rosa)
HR - Marcell Ozuna (1, De La Rosa)
SF - Jeff Baker (1)
SH - Jose Fernandez (1), Brad Hand (1)
RBI - Christian Yelich (1), Jeff Baker (1), Giancarlo Stanton 2 (2), Casey McGehee 4 (4), Marcell Ozuna (1), Adeiny Hechavarria (1)
2-OUT RBI - Giancarlo Stanton (1), Casey McGehee (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - McGehee-Baker-G. Jones
Miami Marlins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jose Fernandez (W,1-0) 6511091 1.50
A.J. Ramos 1000100 0.00
Brad Hand 2100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Fernandez 94-73, A.J. Ramos 17-10, Brad Hand 17-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Fernandez 3-6, A.J. Ramos 1-1, Brad Hand 4-1
Batters Faced - Jose Fernandez 23, A.J. Ramos 3, Brad Hand 7
Game Information
Attendance - 37116
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Mike DiMuro, Third Base - Mike Estabrook