Miami Marlins' Justin Bour watches after hitting a two-run home run hitting in Marcell Ozuna during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, May 21, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee
May 21, 2016

MIAMI (AP) Jose Fernandez pitched six strong innings and then led the dugout celebrations as Miami made him a winner again at Marlins Park.

Justin Bour hit a tiebreaking two-run homer and A.J. Ramos escaped a ninth-inning jam to help the Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 Saturday night.

Fernandez (6-2) allowed one run, struck out nine and improved to 21-1 in 31 starts at home.

When Bour put Miami ahead to stay in the sixth, Fernandez leaped onto the dugout ledge, pounded the railing and hopping happily as he screamed.

Fernandez said he called the shot, including the direction and distance. The homer caromed off the Mike Lowell bobblehead sign in the upper deck.

''When the ball went all the way up there, I went crazy,'' he said. ''This team has a big heart, and I love the passion we play with.''

The always-animated Fernandez then turned the game over to the bullpen. Ramos, the last of three relievers, gave up a run in the ninth but escaped a bases-loaded, none-out situation without further damage for his 13th save in as many chances.

''I do believe we have been getting lucky a lot,'' Fernandez said with a grin.

Ichiro Suzuki hiked his average to .373 with three singles and a double - the first four-hit game for the 42-year-old outfielder since last August. Marcell Ozuna contributed a single, double and triple for Miami.

But slumping Giancarlo Stanton struck out in all three at-bats, and is 0 for 17 with 15 strikeouts in the past five games.

Joe Ross (3-4), pitching on his 23rd birthday, lost to Fernandez for the second start in a row. Ross allowed three runs, including Bour's homer, in 5 2/3 innings.

The Nationals struck out 13 times. Regulars Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos were out of the starting lineup, although all came off the bench.

Washington's first four batters reached in the ninth, but Werth grounded into a third-to-home double play with the bases loaded, and Jose Lobaton bounced out.

''There's nothing to talk about,'' Werth said.

''We just came up short,'' manager Dusty Baker said.

Marlins chief cheerleader Fernandez watched as Ramos held off the Nationals.

''They put good at-bats together,'' Fernandez said. ''All props to them. We know what they can do. But we're not backing down.''

Fernandez improved to 6-0 lifetime versus Washington, including three wins in three starts this season against the NL East leaders.

MLB batting leader Daniel Murphy's description of one at-bat against Fernandez that ended in a strikeout: ''He chewed me up and spit me out.''

Ozuna tripled to start the sixth, and Bour followed with his eighth homer to make the score 3-1.

Suzuki tied the game in the fifth. He singled for the third time and took third on an errant pickoff throw by Ross. Martin Prado then hit an RBI single past the drawn-in infield.

Suzuki has 2,954 career hits in the majors. He was a late replacement for left field Christian Yelich, who was scratched due to back spasms.

''To me, Ichiro is a god,'' Fernandez said. ''What he brings to this team is from another world.''


The Marlins' $325 million cleanup hitter went without the protective mask he has worn against right-handed pitchers since a fastball to the face ended his 2014 season. Manager Don Mattingly said he saw progress, even though Stanton failed to put a ball in play.

''To me he was better,'' Mattingly said. ''There was a difference in some of those at-bats. This is obviously a little bit extended, but you don't run from your guys. He's going to come out of it.''

A 4-for-48 slump with 26 strikeouts has dropped Stanton's average to .210.


Marlins: Mattingly said he hopes Yelich will be sidelined for only a day or two. ... LHP Mike Dunn (forearm) threw 27 pitches in a simulated game. He's scheduled to go on a rehabilitation assignment Monday and hopes to be activated by the Marlins around June 1.

Nationals: RHP Matt Belisle (calf strain) is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment Monday.


RHP Max Scherzer (4-3, 4.01) is scheduled to start the series finale Sunday for Washington against LHP Adam Conley (3-2, 3.40).

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