The two NL Rookie of the Year contenders chatted on the field during batting practice, discussing how they escaped Cuba before becoming major-league stars this season.
Then they went head to head, and Jose Fernandez bested Yasiel Puig to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Fernandez allowed only one earned run in six innings to help the Marlins win 6-2 Monday night, giving the Dodgers consecutive defeats for the first time since June 20-21.
Puig went 0-for-3 against the All-Star right-hander in their first matchup.
“It's not a big deal,” Fernandez said. “It's one game. I don't think at all that I'm better than him. His talent is no doubt.”
They met for the first time less than two hours before the game and talked at length, a rarity for a hitter and the pitcher he's about to face.
“We were talking forever,” Fernandez said. “I know we're going to be incredible friends, because we actually were talking about what we went through to get here. We used to live 45 minutes away from each other. Pretty amazing.”
Fernandez (9-5) lacked his usual command, walking two in the first inning, and threw 109 pitches. But he struck out eight, and the Dodgers went 0-for-7 against him with runners in scoring position.
“He's a tremendous pitcher,” Puig said through a translator. “He knew how to mix his pitches and was able to dominate.”
Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-4), another standout rookie, allowed three runs in 7 1-3 innings and lost for the first time in his past eight starts.
Three Marlins relievers completed the six-hitter, delighting a crowd of 27,127, the third-largest this season in Miami.
The Dodgers fell to 25-5 since the All-Star break and lost for only the third time in their past 22 road games.
Los Angeles had its 10-game winning streak snapped Sunday at Philadelphia.
CARDINALS 8, BREWERS 5: Matt Carpenter hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning, putting St. Louis ahead during a four-run rally against Milwaukee. The Cardinals got seven of their 16 hits in the big inning, capped by pinch-hitter David Freese’s two-run double. The Cardinals won for the ninth time in their past 11 games. Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay homered for St. Louis and Yadier Molina had four hits.
REDS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 3: Ryan Ludwick drove in his first run of the season with a double, and Cincinnati kept up its August surge, beating Arizona for its seventh win in nine games. Arizona trails Cincinnati by six games for the final NL wild-card spot. Bronson Arroyo (12-9) won his third straight start. J.J. Hoover retired the side in the eighth, his 23rd straight scoreless appearance — the longest active streak in majors.
PHILLIES 5, ROCKIES 4: John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz each homered to lead Philadelphia past Colorado, giving the Phillies and interim manager Ryne Sandberg two straight wins for the first time since the All-Star break. Ethan Martin (2-2) tossed two-hit ball and struck out six over 6 1-3 innings for the win. Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless ninth for his first 21st save, and first since July 11. Troy Tulowitzki hit a solo shot for the Rockies.
CUBS 11, NATIONALS 1: Nate Schierholtz homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs, powering Jeff Samardzija and Chicago past Washington. Schierholtz connected for a three-run shot in the first and a two-run drive in the seventh in his fourth career multi-homer game. He also had an RBI double in the third in Chicago’s highest-scoring game since a 14-6 victory over Houston on June 23. Donnie Murphy added a pair of solo homers and Dioner Navarro had a three-run shot for the Cubs. Samardzija (7-11) pitched a six-hitter for his second complete game of the season. He struck out five and walked none in his first victory in a month.
RAYS 4, ORIOLES 3: Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce homered, David Price grinded through five challenging innings to win his fourth straight decision and Tampa Bay beat Baltimore in a duel between AL contenders. Joyce hit a two-run drive in the fourth to break a tie and push the Rays toward their fifth win in six games. Price (7-5) gave up 10 hits and two walks but was effective when it counted. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner allowed only two runs, as Baltimore went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 against the left-hander.
RANGERS 16, ASTROS 5: Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus each scored three runs for Texas, including twice each in an 11-run inning that was the biggest in the majors this season, and Houston beat Texas. All nine Rangers scored in the third, when they sent 15 batters to the plate and had seven hits — six singles and a double — along with three walks, two Houston errors and a sacrifice bunt. Only five of the 11 runs were earned. Matt Garza (3-1) struck out eight in 6 2-3 innings for the win.
ATHLETICS 2, MARINERS 1: Brandon Moss hit a solo home run over the center-field fence with one out in the ninth inning, lifting the Athletics over the Mariners. Jarrod Parker (9-6) pitched his first career complete game, allowing eight hits. He struck out eight, did not walk a batter and threw 100 pitches. Josh Donaldson drove in a run for the A’s, who have won four of five. Kendrys Morales drove in a run for the Mariners, who have lost four of six.
INDIANS 5, ANGELS 2: Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run homer during Cleveland’s four-run fourth, and Zach McAllister pitched into the seventh inning of the Indians’ victory over Jered Weaver and the slumping Angels. Nick Swisher homered and threw out a runner at the plate for the Indians, who won for just the fifth time in 14 games to regain ground in the AL Central. McAllister (6-7) gave up five hits while striking out five, earning his second straight victory after a six-start winless stretch. Mark Trumbo homered and drove in both runs for the Angels, who have lost 11 of 15.
RED SOX 7, GIANTS 0: Jon Lester pitched into the ninth for his first victory in four tries this month, and AL East-leading Boston beat San Francisco after flying cross-country earlier in the day. The Red Sox chose to travel first thing Monday from Boston rather than late Sunday night after a 9-6 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park. Lester (11-7) allowed six hits, struck out three and walked two in Boston’s seventh shutout. He outpitched Tim Lincecum (6-13) to snap a three-start winless stretch.
METS 6, TWINS 1: Dillon Gee pitched into the eighth inning for New York in a victory over Minnesota in a makeup game from April 14. Gee (9-8) turned in yet another quality start, and the offense for the Mets was about as balanced as could be with RBI singles by Eric Young, Daniel Murphy, Andrew Brown, Wilmer Flores and Omar Quintanilla. All five of them had two hits, as did Marlon Byrd, who hit his 20th home run.