Jose Fernandez dazzles as Marlins top Pirates

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Marlins starter Jose Fernandez, 21 years old on July 31, continued to make his case both for NL Rookie of the Year and for NL Cy Young with a stunning eight-inning performance against the Pirates this afternoon. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits, walking none and striking out a whopping 13 batters. He lowered his ERA to 2.71 in the process, now the sixth-best mark in the NL.

The Marlins won 3-2 with the deciding run coming in the sixth inning on a Giancarlo Stanton solo home run to center field. Despite snapping a streak of 37 consecutive scoreless innings earlier in the week, the Marlins have been playing markedly better baseball over the last two months as compared to the first two months. Fernandez is a big part of that.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

New Era
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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: