It wasn’t a signature outing by Jose Fernandez. But it was good enough.
The Marlins edged the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-3, behind a workmanlike performance by Fernandez, a booming home run by Giancarlo Stanton, and solid relief help.
The Marlins (14-12) have now won nine of their past 10 games.
“We’ve been having a good time,” Stanton said.
Stanton crushed a Rubby De La Rosa pitch off the facing of the upper deck in center and also threw out a runner at second for his first outfield assist.
“He’s a well-rounded player, not just a home run hitter,” manager Don Mattingly said of Stanton. “Everybody wants to all about the home runs because it’s fun to see balls go that far. But from a manager’s standpoint, you like the fact he plays both sides.”
It was far from a brilliant outing by Fernandez.
Fernandez has shown glimpses — but only glimpses thus far — of his former dominance. Due to a rising pitch count, he lasted only five innings on Wednesday and allowed a 4-0 lead dwindle to 4-3 after David Peralta took him deep for a two-run shot in the fifth.
“I’m not executing my pitches. It’s that simple,” Fernandez said. “When you don’t execute, you get hit. There’s a lot of things involved. We’re working on it.”
Fernandez dealt with base runners in all five innings, scrambling to get out of tough spots. The Diamondbacks had runners at second and third with one out in the third. But Fernandez struck out both Paul Goldschmidt and Peralta to emerge unscathed.
He wasn’t as fortunate in the fourth when the Diamondbacks put up their first run on a two-out double by Nick Ahmed and the sixth when Peralta took him deep.
But Mattingly said he isn’t concerned.
“I don’t think he’s as sharp as he’s going to be, or can be,” Mattingly said. “I love him because he competes so hard. And I do think it will smooth out over time and he’ll get better and better as the season goes.”
Still, he was able to pick up the win, improving his record at Marlins Park to 19-1, as the bullpen came to his rescue.
After Jose Urena took over for him in the sixth, Yasmany Tomas ripped a ball off the wall in right. But Stanton raced over to pick it up and threw to second in time to take away a double.
“Throwing him out at second was a race between me and him pretty much,” Stanton said. “Usually when you hit a ball off the wall, you’re not going to run as hard as you can out of the box, so that’s my advantage in that situation.”
Urena got the next two outs, and his mates in the bullpen followed suit.
The Marlins went into the game with the fifth-lowest bullpen ERA (3.59) in the National League, and they lowered the figure Wednesday when four of their relievers — Urena, Bryan Morris, Kyle Barraclough and A.J. Ramos — held the Diamondbacks scoreless the rest of the way.
Ramos recorded his ninth save and his converted his past 18 save opportunities dating to last season.
“I think everybody knows their roles,” Ramos said of the bullpen’s success. “That helps for you to prepare for the innings. Now we’re settling into roles, and hopefully we’ll continue this.”
The bullpen was a major question mark when the Marlins lost both Carter Capps (Tommy John surgery) and Mike Dunn (forearm strain) before the season even started.
“People were a little bit nervous about that,” Ramos acknowledged. “But people step up. We’re all fighting.”
Ramos struck out both Rickie Weeks Jr. and Phil Gosselin to start the inning before retiring Jake Lamb on a tapper back to the mound to the game.
“Today was one of those days where all four of my pitches were working, and it’s a tough day for the hitters whenever that’s happening,” Ramos said. “Today was one of those good days.”