No beard, no problem: Cashner solid in debut

No beard, no problem: Cashner solid in debut

MIAMI -- Andrew Cashner said hello to a new club and goodbye to his beard on Sunday.

The tradeoff was worth it for the 29-year-old right-hander who gave up two runs -- one earned -- over six innings in the Marlins' 5-4 walk-off win over the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

"It's a sad day I had to bury the beard, but, if that's what it is, I'm all for winning," Cashner said.

The Marlins had plenty to celebrate after Derek Dietrich's two-out RBI triple in the ninth inning gave them a four-game split. They are a game ahead of St. Louis for the second National League Wild Card spot.

Dietrich's first career walk-off

Miami acquired the hard-throwing righty on Friday from the Padres as part of a seven-player deal. In the trade, right-hander Colin Rea and pitching prospect Tayron Guerrero headed to South Florida for right-handers Carter Capps and Jarred Cosart, plus prospects Josh Naylor and Luis Castillo.

One of the first things Cashner learned about his new club was that it has a facial hair policy, so his full beard had to go.

"It's been a while," Cashner said. "It started bleeding a little bit. It wasn't fun. It was a while since my face has seen sun. They told me that was the rule. I'm fine with that. If that's the way they're doing things, I'm right on board."

The Marlins targeted Cashner for his arm, and he came as advertised, providing a quality start by scattering four hits with two strikeouts and a walk. The big blow he allowed was a home run to Greg Garcia to lead off the third inning.

Although he wasn't involved in the decision, Cashner posted his fourth straight strong start. Since July 15, his ERA is 2.28 with 25 strikeouts to four walks in 23 2/3 innings.

One of the reasons for Cashner's success has been getting ahead of batters. Of his 83 pitches, 56 were strikes.

"I thought he attacked," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Those last couple of innings, they started to square him up pretty good. It was one of the things I wanted to watch him today."

Mattingly has familiarity with Cashner from their days facing each other in the NL West. Mattingly previously managed the Dodgers, and he has long considered Cashner the ace of the Padres.

Making the transition from West Coast to East Coast was something the club also took into consideration on Sunday.

"A 1 o'clock game for him is a 10 o'clock game in California," Mattingly said. "You want to be real mindful of his first outing and make sure we take care of him."

Cashner noted getting to Miami was a challenge. He had a flight canceled to go along with scrambling to join his new club.

"It was a long couple of days," Cashner said. "Whenever they talked with me, they asked me if I could go Sunday. I think it was more getting here, which was the hard part, going from the West Coast to the East Coast. But I'm excited to be here. Great, young team. I'm just here to do my part."

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.