MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez did not place any additional weight or pressure on his outing Sunday against the Pirates and Gerrit Cole.
"For me, it's a normal start," Fernandez said Saturday.
Fernandez's ensuing outing was anything but normal.
The Miami Marlins starter pitched eight dominant innings in the Pirates' 3-2 loss at Marlins Park. With the loss, the Pirates (61-42) lost the series to the Marlins (40-63) and went 5-5 on their road trip.
"We battled 10 games, every game, on this trip," manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's what we got. We'll go home, put a foot down there. Our plan is to establish some momentum back at home. It was a challenging trip out. We wanted more, we weren't able to get it. We'll take our .500 and move on."
Fernandez (7-5) allowed two runs on five hits and struck out a career-high 13, breaking Josh Beckett's team record for rookies, without walking a batter.
"He was on today for sure," said Clint Barmes, who went 1 for 3 with an RBI single. "He worked very fast and just pounded the zone."
The main weapons in Fernandez's arsenal were a fastball he ramped up to 99 mph and a devastating breaking ball with a ton of movement. Add a high-80s changeup Fernandez threw against lefties, and the Pirates had trouble putting the ball in play.
"It was like whenever he wanted to throw it," Hurdle said of Fernandez's breaking ball. "And it's got late, hard tilt."
Fernandez, 20, faced another young star in the making in Cole, 22. Cole (5-4) allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings, striking out a career-high eight.
"It wasn't good enough," he said. "That's really the bottom line."
The two had similar outings through the first five innings, each allowing two runs in one inning and limiting their opponents after that.
The difference came in the sixth. Cole threw a first-pitch fastball to Giancarlo Stanton, who smashed it into the home run celebration structure in left-center field for his 13th of the season to give the Marlins a 3-2 lead. Stanton went 7 for 9 in the series with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 4 walks.
"The home run was a bad pitch," Cole said. "He deposited it like he should have.
"That's inexcusable there in a tie ballgame."
Fernandez allowed two runs in the second, which Pedro Alvarez started with a single. Russell Martin doubled to the wall in left-center, scoring Alvarez.
In a sign that Martin's left knee felt better, he took advantage of the Marlins' shift to the right against Garrett Jones. Martin took off for third, beating Ed Lucas to the bag, and was safe. He scored on Barmes' single and the Pirates led, 2-0.
Fernandez recovered after that, striking out the side in the third. He allowed one hit in the fourth but struck out the side in the fifth and had 10 strikeouts through five.
After the second, Fernandez allowed only two more baserunners. Jones singled in the fourth and Martin singled in the seventh.
"You can get a guy like that that's on, he's locating well, he's coming right at guys -- you don't square him, you don't get on base early in the count, you kind of start trying to battle hitting his pitches," Barmes said. "He's got some really, really good pitches with a lot of movement."
Fernandez left after the eighth. Steve Cishek allowed a single and a walk in the ninth but recorded his 22nd save.
Cole allowed only a double to Stanton through the first three innings, facing one batter more than the minimum.
In the fourth, Stanton walked with one out. Logan Morrison and Lucas hit consecutive singles, scoring Stanton. Donovan Solano's sacrifice fly tied the score, 2-2.
"When you face guys like that, you feed off it," Cole said of Fernandez. "You like it. He's going to go strike out the side and I'm going to go out and try to do the same thing to him. You love that competition. You want the best out of the other person. He was better today. Next time, we'll see."
Bill Brink: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published July 28, 2013 7:30 PM