The Pittsburgh Pirates managed only one win against the team with the NL’s worst record.
They hope to fare better versus the team they’re chasing in the division.
Gerrit Cole was outpitched Sunday in an all-rookie duel against Jose Fernandez, and Pittsburgh lost to the Miami Marlins, 3-2.
The Pirates went 1-2 in the series and 5-5 on a three-city trip, and they now head home for a five-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals, who lead the NL Central with the best record in the majors.
“I think the Cardinal series has been on a lot of the fans’ dockets for some time now,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “I anticipate seeing a very faithful Pirate crowd there Monday.”
The Pirates have the second-best record in the NL, but they’ve lost 12 of their past 22 games, and Fernandez (7-5) wasn’t inclined to help them get going again.
The 20-year-old All-Star had a team rookie record 13 strikeouts, and allowed five hits and two runs in eight innings. He walked none and threw 97 pitches, 74 for strikes.
Cole (5-4) was nearly as good. He allowed three runs and struck out eight in seven innings, but Giancarlo Stanton put the Marlins ahead to stay in the sixth with his 13th home run.
“The home run was a bad pitch, and he deposited it like he should,” Cole said. “That pitch was really inexcusable there in a tie ballgame.”
Stanton also doubled, walked and scored twice for the Marlins, who had six hits.
Steve Cishek gave up a single and a walk in the ninth, but retired Garrett Jones on a grounder for the final out to earn his 22nd save in 24 chances.
Fernandez’s strikeout total broke the Marlins’ rookie record of 12 held by Josh Beckett. He struck out every player in the starting lineup, and he fanned the side in the third and fifth innings.