MIAMI (AP) — Dan Straily’s quality start was not good enough to beat Jose Fernandez and the Miami Marlins.
Straily allowed three runs in six innings for the Cincinnati Reds in a 3-1 loss to the Marlins on Friday night to begin the final series before the All-Star break.
“On another day that could have been a game we won if we could have got anything going offensively,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Straily (4-6) allowed six hits and two walks. He struck out two.
“I thought I pitched well but not good enough,” Straily said. “Certain nights you have to go out there and win a ballgame 1-0. I wasn’t able to get that done tonight.”
Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips left after being hit by a pitch on the left hand in the seventh inning. X-rays revealed a hairline fracture.
“It wasn’t good enough to stay in the game,” Price said. “It was real sore. We’ll have to see where he is tomorrow with a lot of ice and time to sleep and get the swelling down.”
Fernandez (11-4) bounced back from allowing a career-high nine runs, six earned, in a loss at Atlanta to allow one unearned run in seven innings for the Marlins.
“Obviously there was a lot of things to work on from last start and a lot of adjustments to be made,” Fernandez said. “I think we made a couple, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
Fernandez struck out eight and did not walk a batter while allowing six hits to lower his first-half ERA to 2.52. The Reds scored the unearned run with two errors committed by Marlins’ outfielders.
“It’s a different element when you can strike people out,” Price said. “When he needed a strikeout he was able to go get it. He has a different gear when he needs an out. That’s what makes great pitchers special.”
Christian Yelich homered and drove in two runs and Derek Dietrich also knocked in a run for the Marlins, who returned home after a 3-6 road trip.
Miami’s All-Star relievers both pitched one inning, Fernando Rodney in the eighth and A.J.Ramos in the ninth for his 26th save in 27 chances.
The game took only 2 hours and 16 minutes.
“That’s pretty good,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “That will help our pace of play report when it comes out.”
The win assured the Marlins (45-41) of a winning record in the first half for the first time since 2009 when they went 46-44 before the break.
“I know everybody is excited, but we’re four games over and four games over is not going to get it done,” Mattingly said. “We’ve got a ways to go. We’re getting better. We’re capable of more. We’ve got a lot of talent here and this second half should be fun. If we play the type of baseball we’re capable of, we’ve got a chance to do something special.”
Yelich’s RBI double in the first gave the Marlins the lead.
Adam Duvall’s single tied the game in the top of the fourth before Dietrich’s base hit put the Marlins ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the inning.
Yelich hit a solo homer in the sixth for a 3-1 lead. It was his seventh of the season after hitting seven in 126 games last season.
Reds: CF Billy Hamilton (right knee) made a leaping catch up against the center-field wall in the fifth inning, but stayed in the game and had ice on his knee after the game. “It’s fine and everything should be good,” Hamilton said. … RHP Homer Bailey (right elbow) made his third rehab start on Thursday and will make at least two more before returning to the big league club. “It sounds like he felt pretty good, threw the ball over the plate, gave up a few hits and a couple of runs, but that’s a distant second to how he felt,” Price said. “It sounds like things are getting better.”
Reds: LHP John Lamb (1-5, 5.43 ERA) will start Saturday’s game against the Marlins after allowing eight runs over 4 1-3 innings in his last start at Washington.
Marlins: LHP Adam Conley (5-5, 3.65) will take the mound looking to continue his positive stretch, which includes a 2-1 mark and 2.25 ERA over his past four starts.