MIAMI (AP) – When Jacob Turner had wrapped up the first complete game of his career, he accepted a pat on the stomach from his first baseman, gave his catcher a slap on the shoulder and then greeted manager Mike Redmond with uncharacteristic bravado.
“That’s how you do it, Red,” Turner said.READ MORE: Broward Health Ending COVID-19 Vaccinations
The 22-year-old right-hander’s swagger was justified. He pitched a seven-hitter and had a career-high seven strikeouts Saturday to help the Miami Marlins beat the San Diego Padres 7-1.
The complete game was the first this year for the Marlins, who have the worst record in the major leagues but are 14-10 in June.
Turner (2-0) has contributed to the turnaround. Following a dismal spring, he began the season in Triple-A, and since rejoining the Marlins he has an ERA of 1.76 in six starts.
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“This is a totally different guy than we saw in spring training,” Redmond said. “He went down to the minor leagues and worked on things he needed to work on and, wow, this guy has come back to the big leagues and has been outstanding.”
Turner’s latest start, the 19th of his career, was the best yet. He allowed only one walk – to start the ninth – and threw 111 pitches, 77 for strikes.
“He did a good job of moving the fastball on both sides of the plate,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “He had some great movement on the fastball and threw some good breaking balls. He’s a fine young pitcher.”
Turner benefited from rare run support. The Marlins rank last in the majors in runs, but by the fourth inning they led 6-0.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his eighth home run, Jeff Mathis had two RBIs and Placido Polanco became the 22nd active player to score 1,000 runs. The outburst came after the Marlins were outscored 20-3 while losing their first four games to San Diego this season.
Eric Stults (6-6) gave up a season-high six runs, five earned, in 3 2-3 innings. The stint was his briefest as a starter since 2009.READ MORE: Pivoting In Pandemic: Miami Maintenance Co. Credits FIU's Small Business Development Center For Helping Them Survive
“I struggled with command of a lot of my pitches,” Stults said. “The good pitches I made, they were able to put the barrel on the ball and find some holes.”
By the ninth, the only drama was whether Turner would get the complete game. He was still throwing in the low 90s, but he walked the leadoff batter and figured another baserunner would end his night.
“You try not to think about it, but it’s going to be there,” said Turner, who acknowledged butterflies at the end. “I definitely wanted to finish the game.”
First baseman Ed Lucas made a backhanded stab of Will Venable’s two-hopper and tossed to Turner covering first for the final out. The victory came in a snappy 2 hours, 24 minutes.
When Turner was asked about his postgame comment to Redmond, he shrugged sheepishly. Redmond chuckled when he recalled the remark.
“I wasn’t expecting that out of him,” the manager said, “but I loved it.”
The Marlins took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. After Justin Ruggiano and Lucas singled, Marcell Ozuna hit an RBI single, and when the ball skipped past center fielder Alexi Amarista for an error, Lucas also came home.
Ozuna then scored on Polanco’s sacrifice fly.
Miami added three runs in the fourth, when the first four batters reached. Adeiny Hechavarria hit an RBI single, and Mathis singled past a drawn-in infield to score two more runs.
Venable tripled in the fifth and scored on Nick Hundley’s double.MORE NEWS: Earth Day: Recycling Right Is Key For The Future Of Our Environment
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