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WSH@MIA: Fernandez fans 10 over seven innings

Marlins starter Jose Fernandez ended his rookie season with a bang against the Braves.

He gave up an Evan Gattis homer and little else in seven strong innings, but the story of the night on Sept. 11, 2013, was Fernandez's two-run home run off Mike Minor in the sixth. After standing at the plate to admire his shot, the benches cleared.

"This is a professional game, and we should be professional players," Fernandez said following the game. "I think that never should happen. I'm embarrassed, and hopefully that will never happen again."

Aside from stellar numbers that made him an All-Star and the clear-cut National League Rookie of the Year, Fernandez made his mark last season as a player who wears his heart on his sleeve.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is well aware of that emotion.

"I've seen the tapes. That's the way he is and that's the way he pitches," Gonzalez said. "I don't expect him to change. That is what makes him good."

In his short time working with Fernandez, Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has quickly taken a liking to Fernandez's style.

"He likes to have fun out there," Saltalamacchia said. "He never takes it too seriously, but at the same time, he understands that this is not easy. He goes out there and battles everyday. He's prepared. He works hard."

Braves starter Alex Wood is also a fan of Fernandez, and he is excited for the opportunity to try to match the Marlins ace's energy on the mound.

"I'm very excited to match up with a guy like Fernandez," Wood said. "He's somebody I love watching. His stuff is electric. It will be a fun matchup. It's one of those things where more times than not, I tend to rise to the occasion."

Wood likened the excitement of facing Fernandez to when he first squared off against Pirates starter Gerrit Cole. As a freshman at the University of Georgia, Wood started against Cole and UCLA on March 11, 2011, in Los Angeles.

Wood outdueled Cole, giving up one run and striking out 11 batters in seven innings. Cole took the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) and fanning 12 in seven frames.

"I always like a challenge," Wood said. "That's what you're here for. If you want to be the best, you've got to go out there and pitch against the best. [Fernandez is] definitely one of them. So, I'm excited to go out there and match up against him."

Marlins: Clubs pitching around Stanton
Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton leads the Majors with six home runs and 26 RBIs this season, which has led clubs to simply pitch around the slugger.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Stanton joined Carlos Delgado as the second Marlin to draw an intentional walk in every game of a three-game series when the Mariners put him on base intentionally on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Stanton's five intentional walks this April match his season total from last year and rank second in the Majors behind Rangers slugger Prince Fielder's eight.

Braves: Kimbrel stumbles again
Closer Craig Kimbrel has struggled in the two appearances he has made since resting his sore right shoulder for a week. He surrendered two runs before being removed from Saturday's game against the Mets with two outs, and then blew a one-run, ninth-inning lead in Monday night's series opener against the Marlins.

After suffering his first blown save courtesy of Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich's double, Kimbrel came back to strike out the next three batters he faced in Monday's ninth inning.

"Those last two or three hitters, he's the old Craig Kimbrel," Gonzalez said. "He's fine."

Kimbrel has felt fine during these past two outings. At the same time, he has not been willing to blame his rare struggles on the rust that developed as he rested last week.

"[Rust] is no excuse for going out there and giving up runs," Kimbrel said. "I've still got to do my job and I didn't do it [Monday night]."

Worth noting

• Christian Yelich extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games when he reached base on a first-inning infield single against Braves starter Julio Teheran on Monday night at Turner Field. He finished 2-for-5 in the game.

• Former Brave Reed Johnson pinch-ran for fellow former Brave Saltalamacchia in the ninth inning on Monday night. The game marked both players' first appearance at Turner Field since leaving the Braves.

• The Marlins have lost seven straight road games to begin the 2014 season, a new franchise record. Comments