ATLANTA -- Sometimes, facing the best brings out the best in other teams. Jose Fernandez was on the receiving end of that on Saturday as the Braves struck for seven runs in the sixth inning and rolled to a 9-1 win over the Marlins at Turner Field.
"That's really what happens with guys like Jose," Miami manager Don Mattingly said. "They're going to get ready to play you. They know that he's one of the top guys in the league, so he's going to always rise. And if he has a down day, they're going to enjoy putting it on him."
The nine runs and seven in the sixth inning are both career highs for Fernandez in a game and inning, respectively.
On Friday night, Fernandez was all smiles when he was the unlikely offensive hero, pinch-hitting for the first time in his career and delivering the game-winning, two-run double in the 12th inning of a 7-5 Miami victory.
"I don't think last night has to do with anything with the results today," Fernandez said. "I felt I was throwing the ball well. They played better. That simple."
In 5 2/3 innings, Fernandez struck out eight. The right-hander became the first Major League pitcher since Josh Beckett (May 7, 2010) to strike out at least eight and allow at least nine runs in a game. With the Red Sox, Beckett did it against the Yankees. The last National League pitcher to do so was Ryan Dempster, with the Reds, on May 22, 2003, also against the Braves.
Fernandez's previous high in runs allowed in an inning came in the second on May 27, 2013, at Tampa Bay, when he gave up six.
Mattingly didn't rule out that the thrill of coming through with his bat on Friday may have impacted Fernandez in some way.
"I'm sure that is emotional to do something like that," Mattingly said. "I know he's an emotional kid and probably had a little trouble sleeping. Getting to sleep after something like that, it's a big hit for us. It could have had something to do with it."
Fernandez (10-4, 2.69 ERA) had been 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in his previous six starts against Atlanta.
"Rough day, man," Fernandez said. "It's so funny because baseball is so fantastic. It gets you back on your toes and get ready for your next start. It's that simple."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.