MIAMI (AP) — Jose Fernandez became the first pitcher in the modern era to win his first 17 career home decisions, overcoming a rough start Friday to help the Miami Marlins beat the Atlanta Braves 12-11.
Fernandez gave up a homer to Nick Markakis to start the game and allowed four runs in a 35-pitch first inning. He tied a career high by allowing six earned runs in five innings.
But the Marlins rallied with four runs in the first, led 11-4 by the fourth inning and totaled 20 hits in the matchup of the majors’ two lowest-scoring teams.
Rookie Justin Bour hit his 20th homer, and Dee Gordon’s three hits hiked his average to .332. Christian Yelich came within a homer of hitting for the cycle, and backup catcher Jeff Mathis had four RBIs to increase his season total to 11.
Fernandez (6-0) needed the support. He also needed 96 pitches to make it through five innings and qualify for the victory, which made him 17-0 in 26 home starts over his three-year career.
The previous record since 1900 was held by Johnny Allen (1932-33) and LaMarr Hoyt (1980-82), who won their first 16 home decisions.
Kyle Barraclough preserved the one-run lead by coming on to retire two batters with the bases loaded in the eighth. A.J. Ramos pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth for his 30th save.
Fernandez hit 98 mph several times on the radar gun and walked only one. But there were few swings and misses from the Braves, and they reached the right-hander for six runs and nine hits — his highest totals in 10 starts since returning from Tommy John surgery.
His ERA rose from 2.18 to 2.91.
Ryan Weber (0-2) allowed seven runs in two-plus innings for the Braves, who fell to 6-1 this year at Marlins Park. They’re 56-91 everywhere else.
The Marlins improved to 15-8 since Aug. 31.
Atlanta led after only three pitches from Fernandez when Markakis hit his third homer in 583 at-bats. The next four batters singled, and soon the Braves led 4-0.
Miami quickly answered. The first five batters reached on hits, including Bour, who hit a three-run homer. The Marlins took the lead for good in the third when Mathis greeted reliever Ryan Kelly with a three-run triple.
Freddie Freeman, playing despite a sore right wrist, hit his 18th homer and singled twice for Atlanta.
Marlins: RHP Carter Capps is being shut down for the season and has given up trying to come back from the right elbow strain that has sidelined him since Aug. 2. He felt discomfort in his most recent bullpen session but is expected to be fine for spring training. … RF Giancarlo Stanton will make a decision in the next couple of days regarding whether to try to play in the final week. He has been sidelined since June 26 with a broken left wrist. … 3B Martin Prado (left wrist) was back in the lineup after missing six starts.
Braves RHP Julio Teheran (10-7, 4.20) is scheduled to start Saturday against rookie LHP Justin Nicolino (3-4, 4.50).
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)