MIAMI — The two NL Rookie of the Year contenders chatted on the field during batting practice, discussing how they escaped Cuba before becoming major-league stars this season.
Then they went head to head, and Jose Fernandez bested Yasiel Puig to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Fernandez allowed only one earned run in six innings to help Marlins win 6-2 Monday night, giving the Dodgers consecutive defeats for the first time since June 20-21.
Puig went 0 for 3 against the All-Star right-hander in their first matchup.
“It’s not a big deal,” Fernandez said. “It’s one game. I don’t think at all that I’m better than him. His talent is no doubt.”
They met for the first time less than two hours before the game and talked at length, a rarity for a hitter and the pitcher he’s about to face.
“We were talking forever,” Fernandez said. “I know we’re going to be incredible friends, because we actually were talking about what we went through to get here. We used to live 45 minutes away from each other. Pretty amazing.”
That adjective is used a lot lately to describe Fernandez (9-5), who beat the Dodgers for the second time in two starts. He has an ERA of 1.64 since June 1, and at home this year he’s 6-0 in 12 starts with an ERA of 1.40.
The animated 21-year-old was especially pumped up to face the NL West leaders.
“He told me he was fired up and woke up at 6:30 in the morning ready to go,” manager Mike Redmond said. “I was a little nervous, just because with young kids you’re not sure.”
Fernandez lacked his usual command, walking two in the first inning, and threw 109 pitches. But he struck out eight, and the Dodgers went 0 for 7 against him with runners in scoring position.
“He’s a tremendous pitcher,” Puig said through a translator. “He knew how to mix his pitches and was able to dominate.”
Fernandez also had the Marlins’ first hit and scored the game’s first run from first base on a two-out double by Christian Yelich.
“We just beat the best team in baseball,” Fernandez said. “That’s the most important part. I could have pitched a lot better, but we got the win.”
Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-4), another standout rookie, allowed three runs in 7 1-3 innings and lost for the first time in his past eight starts.
Logan Morrison doubled home a run in the seventh to put Miami ahead to stay. Giancarlo Stanton added his 15th homer in the eighth, when Miami scored three times against a bullpen that has been the best in the majors over the past month.
Three Marlins relievers completed the six-hitter, delighting a crowd of 27,127, the third-largest this season in Miami.
The Dodgers fell to 25-5 since the All-Star break and lost for only the third time in their past 22 road games. They had a 10-game winning streak snapped Sunday at Philadelphia.
“We didn’t play bad tonight,” manager Don Mattingly said. “We didn’t make any errors. We didn’t get a whole lot of hits. We just got beat. At some point you have to say you got beat.”
Juan Uribe went 3 for 3 against Fernandez, scored once and doubled home a run. But Puig went 0 for 5, dropping his average to .351.
Hanley Ramirez, traded by the Marlins during their miserable 2012 season, drew boos each time he batted. He went 0 for 4 and struck out twice.
Los Angeles loaded the bases in the fifth on a ground single, an infield single and an error by third baseman Ed Lucas. Carl Crawford drove in a run with a groundout, but Fernandez then squelched the threat. He struck out Puig on three consecutive 97-mph fastballs, and struck out Adrian Gonzalez on a breaking pitch.
“He has always taken those situations and really dominated them,” Redmond said.
Stanton homered off the home-run sculpture at Marlins Park against Chris Withrow.
“A 2-iron,” Redmond said. “That was a bullet.”
The homer ended a streak of 12 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings by the Los Angeles bullpen.
CARDINALS 8, BREWERS 5
MILWAUKEE — Matt Carpenter hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning, putting the St. Louis Cardinals ahead during a four-run rally against Milwaukee.
The Cardinals got seven of their 16 hits in the big inning, capped by pinch-hitter David Freese’s two-run double. St. Louis won for the ninth time in 11 games.
Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay homered for St. Louis and Yadier Molina had four hits.
Michael Wacha (2-0) got the win. Edward Mujica, unavailable during the weekend because of a tired arm, pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 34 chances.
Brandon Kintzler (3-1) gave up four runs and six hits while getting just two outs.
REDS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 3
CINCINNATI — Ryan Ludwick drove in his first run of the season with a double, and the Cincinnati Reds kept up their August surge, beating Arizona for their seventh win in nine games.
Arizona now trails Cincinnati by six games for the final NL wild-card spot.
Bronson Arroyo (12-9) won his third straight start. J.J. Hoover retired the side in the eighth, his 23rd straight scoreless appearance — the longest active streak in majors.
Aroldis Chapman gave up a pair of singles in the ninth while getting his 31st save in 36 chances.
Ludwick got his long-awaited RBI during a three-run fourth inning against Randall Delgado (4-4). Ludwick tore cartilage in his right shoulder while sliding headfirst on opening day.
PHILLIES 5, ROCKIES 4
PHILADELPHIA — John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz each homered to lead Philadelphia past Colorado, giving the Phillies and interim manager Ryne Sandberg two straight wins for the first time since the All-Star break.
Ethan Martin (2-2) tossed two-hit ball and struck out six over 6 1-3 innings for the win. Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless ninth for his first 21st save, and first since July 11.
Troy Tulowitzki hit a solo shot for the Rockies. Jeff Manship (0-3) allowed five runs in five innings.
CUBS 11, NATIONALS 1
CHICAGO — Nate Schierholtz homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs, powering Jeff Samardzija and the Chicago Cubs past Washington.
Schierholtz connected for a three-run shot in the first and a two-run drive in the seventh in his fourth career multihomer game. He also had an RBI double in the third in Chicago’s highest-scoring game since a 14-6 victory over Houston on June 23.
Donnie Murphy added a pair of solo homers and Dioner Navarro had a three-run shot for the Cubs, who managed just 12 runs total in their previous eight home games.
Samardzija (7-11) pitched a six-hitter for his second complete game of the season. He struck out five and walked none in his first victory in a month.
Jordan Zimmermann (14-7) allowed a season-high eight runs in five innings.
PIRATES 3, PADRES 1
SAN DIEGO— Francisco Liriano struck out a season-high 13 and Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 31st home run to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates past San Diego.
The Pirates, who had lost seven of nine coming in, maintained a one-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis.
The Padres struck out 17 times overall.
Liriano (14-5) tied his career high for wins. Coming off a four-hit victory at St. Louis in his last start, Liriano held the Padres to four hits in seven innings while walking two.
Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances. He allowed Nick Hundley’s RBI double with two outs.
Andrew Cashner (8-8) lost his third straight start.
RED SOX 7, GIANTS 0
SAN FRANCISCO — Jon Lester pitched into the ninth for his first victory in four tries this month, and the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox beat San Francisco after flying cross-country earlier in the day.
The Red Sox chose to travel first thing Monday from Boston rather than late Sunday night after a 9-6 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park.
Lester (11-7) allowed six hits, struck out three and walked two in Boston’s seventh shutout. He outpitched two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (6-13) to snap a three-start winless stretch.
RAYS 4, ORIOLES 3
BALTIMORE — Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce homered, David Price grinded through five challenging innings to win his fourth straight decision and the Rays won a duel between AL contenders.
Joyce hit a two-run drive in the fourth to break a tie and push the Rays toward their fifth win in six games. Tampa Bay moved within a half-game of the first-place Red Sox in the AL East, pending Boston’s late game in San Francisco.
Price (7-5) gave up 10 hits and two walks but was effective when it counted. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner allowed only two runs, as Baltimore went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 against the left-hander.
Fernando Rodney, the fourth Tampa Bay reliever, worked the ninth for his 28th save.
Baltimore starter Chris Tillman (14-4) gave up four runs and five hits in six innings.
RANGERS 16, ASTROS 5
ARLINGTON, Texas — Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus each scored three runs for Texas, including twice each in an 11-run inning that was the biggest in the majors this season, and the Rangers beat the Astros.
All nine Rangers scored in the third, when they sent 15 batters to the plate and had seven hits — six singles and a double — along with three walks, two Houston errors and a sacrifice bunt. Only five of the 11 runs were earned.
Matt Garza (3-1) struck out eight in 6 2-3 innings. But the right-hander allowed five runs, becoming the first Texas starter in 22 games to allow more than four.
Lucas Harrell (6-14), getting another start after four consecutive relief appearances, allowed nine runs (seven earned) in 2 1-3 innings. He was initially sent to the bullpen after also giving up nine runs in 3 2-3 innings at Texas in a 10-5 loss July 5.
ATHLETICS 2, MARINERS 1
OAKLAND, Calif. — Brandon Moss hit a solo home run over the center-field fence with one out in the ninth inning, lifting the Athletics over the Mariners.
Jarrod Parker (9-6) pitched his first career complete game, allowing eight hits. He struck out eight, did not walk a batter and threw 100 pitches.
Josh Donaldson drove in a run for the A’s, who have won four of five.
Kendrys Morales drove in a run for the Mariners, who have lost four of six.
Carter Capps (2-3) struck out Yoenis Cespedes to open the ninth before Moss drove a 2-1 pitch to the deepest part of the park.
INDIANS 5, ANGELS 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run homer during Cleveland’s four-run fourth, and Zach McAllister pitched into the seventh inning of the Indians’ victory over Jered Weaver and the slumping Angels.
Nick Swisher homered and threw out a runner at the plate for the Indians, who won for just the fifth time in 14 games to regain ground in the AL Central.
Cleveland trails first-place Detroit by 6½ games and sits 4½ games out of the second wild-card spot.
McAllister (6-7) gave up five hits while striking out five, earning his second straight victory after a six-start winless stretch.
Mark Trumbo homered and drove in both runs for the Angels, who have lost 11 of 15.
Mike Trout sat out to rest his right hamstring.
METS 6, TWINS 1
MINNEAPOLIS — Dillon Gee pitched into the eighth inning for the Mets in a victory over the Twins in a makeup game from April 14.
Gee (9-8) turned in yet another quality start, and the offense for the Mets was about as balanced as could be with RBI singles by Eric Young, Daniel Murphy, Andrew Brown, Wilmer Flores and Omar Quintanilla. All five of them had two hits, as did Marlon Byrd, who hit his 20th home run.
Rookie Kyle Gibson (2-4) struggled again, failing to finish the fourth. He recorded 11 outs and surrendered 10 hits.
The Mets won the first two games of the series here by a total score of 20-7, but the finale was postponed due to cold and rain.