MIAMI (AP) — In his season finale, Miami Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez pitched seven innings, hit his first major league homer and engaged in a standoff with the annoyed Atlanta Braves that cleared both benches and bullpens.
When he had completed his eventful evening, Fernandez slowly walked off the mound one last time, removing his cap as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Two relievers pitched the final two innings, and the woeful Marlins beat the playoff-bound Braves 5-2.
The game was the last of the season for the demonstrative 21-year-old Fernandez because he passed his 170-inning limit set by the Marlins. A top candidate for NL Rookie of the Year, he finished 12-6 with an ERA of 2.19, second-lowest in the majors behind only the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw.
Fernandez homered in the sixth inning, and after slowly circling the bases he engaged in a heated exchange with catcher Brian McCann, which prompted the other players to join them. Shoves were swapped but no punches were evident, and no one was ejected.
Mike Minor (13-7) allowed five runs, four earned, and 11 hits in six innings for Atlanta.
NATIONALS 3, METS 0
NEW YORK (AP) — Dan Haren pitched one-hit ball for six innings, Ryan Zimmerman homered and Washington earned its fifth consecutive win.
The Nationals improved to 22-9 in their late charge toward a playoff spot. They remained six games behind Cincinnati for the final NL wild-card spot with only 17 to play.
Haren (9-13) and the Washington bullpen held an overmatched New York lineup to three singles. Rafael Soriano got three outs for his 41st save.
The night was full of 9/11 tributes. Mets manager Terry Collins wore an NYPD hat during batting practice, and there were several remembrances on the field, on the scoreboard and over the public-address system of those affected by the terror attacks 12 years ago.