Jose Fernandez pitches Miami past Brewers 4-1
MIAMI (AP) J.T. Realmuto managed a smile when informed he had joined Lou Gehrig on the list of players to have a home run negated by a baserunning blunder.
The gaffe cost Realmuto and the Miami Marlins a run, but not the game.
Jose Fernandez pitched well enough to overcome the mistake, throwing seven shutout innings to help Miami beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-1 Monday night.
With the game scoreless in the second inning, Realmuto's homer was negated when he passed teammate Marcell Ozuna after rounding first base.
Realmuto's hit struck the home run sculpture in center field. Ozuna, who was on first base, misjudged the fly and retreated to first, and Realmuto trotted past him.
In the postgame clubhouse, Ozuna wore a T-shirt the Marlins hand out in such situations. It read, ''I stink at baserunning.''
''My mistake,'' Ozuna said. ''I feel bad. I apologized.''
First base umpire Mike DiMuro didn't see what happened, but the Brewers did. After Ozuna and Realmuto crossed the plate, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell challenged the two-run homer, and the play was overturned.
According to Retrosheet, the last major league player to lose a home run because of such a gaffe was Baltimore's Javy Lopez in 2006. It happened to the Yankees' Gehrig in 1931, and he finished the season tied with teammate Babe Ruth for the major league home run title.
''I don't think it's going to cost me the home run title,'' Realmuto said.
Realmuto was credited with a single and an RBI and ruled out at second base. Ozuna was credited with a run, giving Miami a 1-0 lead.
''It's inconvenient it happened,'' Realmuto said. ''But Marcell has apologized to me four or five times already. I love that guy. There are no hard feelings. We won. That's really all that matters.''
The Brewers missed a similar blunder by an opponent earlier this season. The Cardinals' Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer and passed teammate Brandon Moss rounding first base, but the Brewers didn't challenge and the umpires also failed to see the mistake.
Ozuna also dropped a deep fly by Ryan Braun that went for a double. Fernandez retired the next batter to end the threat.
Fernandez (4-2) allowed four hits and pitched around four walks in his longest start this season. He improved to 20-1 at Marlins Park.
''I was making good pitches at good times,'' Fernandez said.
Milwaukee mounted a comeback bid in the ninth, when Miami closer A.J. Ramos walked the bases loaded, and Bryan Morris forced in a run by walking pinch-hitter Domingo Santana. Morris then struck out Jonathan Villar for his first big league save.
''We had the winning run up,'' Counsell said. ''We had some patient at-bats and took what they were giving us. But it was a little bit too big of a hole.''
Miami walked eight, but allowed only five hits in a game filled with such oddities.
''You walk out of here feeling good,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ''It doesn't matter. You take a win any way you can get it.''
With the Miami Heat playing Toronto nearby, the announced crowd was only 16,769. As usual, the Marlins rank last in the NL in home attendance at 20,371 per game.
Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy and third baseman Aaron Hill were rested and held out of the starting lineup. Hill's replacement, Colin Walsh, struck out four times.
Brewers: 2B Scooter Gennett (tight oblique tightness) is set to start a rehab assignment with Class A Brevard County on Tuesday, and is expected to rejoin the Brewers on Thursday. ... Domingo Santana (shoulder tightness) was examined by a doctor in Milwaukee and remains day to day to rejoin the starting lineup.
Marlins: LHP Mike Dunn (strained forearm) is expected to throw a bullpen session Tuesday.
Marlins LHP Adam Conley (2-1, 3.06), who allowed no hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings at Milwaukee on April 29, faces them again Tuesday. RHP Zach Davies (0-3, 6.98) is scheduled to start for the Brewers.