Jose Fernandez had himself a ballgame


Marlins starter Jose Fernandez was staked to a 5-0 lead after three innings, but in reality, all he needed was one run given how dominant he looked against the Indians tonight. The 20-year-old Cuban struck out 14 batters over eight innings, allowing just three hits and one walk. In his previous start against the Pirates, he struck out 13 and walked none in eight innings. He now has a 2.54 ERA and continues to pad his case for the NL Rookie of the Year and NL Cy Young awards.

The bulk of the Marlin offense tonight came from first baseman Logan Morrison, who went 4-for-5 with four runs batted in. Christian Yelich, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Jake Marisnick also contributed three hits apiece. The Fish scored five against Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who lasted four innings. They then added a five-spot in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Matt Albers.

The 14-strikeout performance is Fernandez’s first of the season and the seventh overall in baseball this year. Yu Darvish has accomplished the feat four times, including last night, while Chris Sale and Anibal Sanchez have done it once each.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.