Penned in: Relief corps spoils Fernandez's start

Penned in: Relief corps spoils Fernandez's start

MIAMI -- It was an up and down night for the Marlins' bullpen during an 8-7 loss in 14 innings to the Giants on Monday at Marlins Park.

After squandering a 5-1 lead in the seventh and then a 7-6 lead in the eighth, the bullpen kept the game tied until Brandon Crawford delivered a two-out RBI single, his seventh hit of the game. The hit came off Marlins starter Andrew Cashner, who was pressed into duty after all of the club's eligible relievers had been used. Cashner was the Marlins' eighth pitcher out of the bullpen.

"I was trying to throw a slider down and in for a ball, and it just didn't get there," said Cashner, who faced only one batter since Crawford was thrown out trying to take second after the go-ahead run had scored. "I've faced him a lot. I know that lineup well over there."

Crawford's seventh hit

Cashner, who tossed 80 pitches over five innings in Saturday's 12-6 loss to the Rockies, was told around the ninth inning that he could have to make a relief appearance.

"I came up as a reliever and I've relieved a lot in my career, so I know how to do both," said Cashner. "My role is to pitch. It doesn't matter if you start or relieve. It's just a matter of being ready when your number's called. I've just got to make a better pitch."

Cashner came on for Dustin McGowan, who was effective in 3 2/3 innings of relief. Though he was tagged with the loss, McGowan allowed just three hits.

"Mac was outstanding," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "A lot of good things happened tonight. It's one of those games you end up losing but your team shows up, they fight 'till the last second. A lot of good things happened, some bad things happened."

With every available reliever used in the first game of this series, which includes an afternoon game on Wednesday, Mattingly must go back to the drawing board to figure out what to do over the final two games in regards to his bullpen.

"We're going to talk about it," Mattingly said. "We're going to have to do some things. This kind of game there is some collateral damage. So you have to do some things that you were trying to hold off on or not really wanting to do."

One of those was using Cashner out of the bullpen, but Mattingly said that Cashner would still get his regular start on Friday.

Fernandez's strong performance

Starter Jose Fernandez did his job, pitching six innings while scattering six hits and one run. He struck out six to tie Washington's Max Scherzer for the Major League lead (198). Fernandez has allowed one-or-fewer runs in 12 outings this season.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.