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MIA@ATL: Fernandez strikes out 14, allows three hits

The last time Jose Fernandez and Alex Wood squared off, on April 22 at Turner Field, they took part in a pitchers' duel for the ages. Fernandez tied a career high with 14 strikeouts, and Wood set a career high with 11 in a 1-0 Marlins victory.

Add in the efforts of relievers David Carpenter and Steve Cishek, and Atlanta and Miami combined to strike out 28 batters, the most by two teams in a game without a walk since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"I'm definitely excited to have a Round 2," Wood said.

Fernandez, known for his enthusiasm, plans to bring his trademark energy to the mound when the Braves and Marlins begin a series on Tuesday at Marlins Park.

"Normally, every game gets me going. I'm kind of out there with the crazy people, I think," Fernandez said. "I try to go out there and do what I love to do, and have fun. That's the main goal, and hopefully give my team a chance to win. For sure, it gets you going.

"[The Braves are] a team you've got to beat. They're in your division. They've got a good team. They play the game the right way. We're going to try to do our best."

With each team having off-days on April 24 and again on Monday, Fernandez and Wood will each take the hill after enjoying a week of rest. After an outing like the one the young duo shared, Wood was happy to have more time to recuperate.

"Any time you get in those kinds of games, mentally, it's definitely exhausting. Being a starting pitcher at this level is already mentally exhausting enough," Wood said, "especially when you match up with a guy like Fernandez. You have to be mentally prepared and all there, 100 percent, from all your preparation you do beforehand leading all the way up until you get taken out of the game, but that's what's fun about it."

Fernandez and Wood have been among the best starting pitchers in the National League this season. Wood entered Sunday ranked seventh, with a 1.54 ERA, and Fernandez was 11th, at 1.99.

But Fernandez is not concerned with his previous performance or how Wood pitches. His goal is simple.

"Just go out there and try to give my team a chance to win, that's No. 1," Fernandez said. "No. 2, pitching at home, once again, I think it's going to be amazing. I love pitching at home. Hopefully, there will be a lot of fans out there, and it is a good game."

Braves: Justin Upton hopes to take show on road
Justin Upton entered Sunday ranked second in the NL with a .486 batting average at home. All he did was pad those stats with a 2-for-4 effort in a 1-0 win over the Reds.

As the Braves head to Miami for the three-game series against the Marlins, he hopes to improve his .191 road batting average. He batted .333 with two homers and seven RBIs in 10 games at Marlins Park in 2013.

Upton has hit only one home run in 54 plate appearances on the road in 2014, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio on the road is 3.8-to-1, compared with 1.8-to-1 at home.

Marlins: Dunn getting back on track.
Miami's bullpen woes have been well documented. Mike Dunn, the club's primary late-inning lefty, has had his struggles as well. But in his most recent appearance, on Saturday against the Mets, he threw two shutout innings and collected the win.

Dunn, acquired from the Braves as part of the Dan Uggla trade, felt that he'd thrown the ball well against the Braves on April 23, but he was charged with the loss.

He is looking to build on how he's thrown the past two appearances.

The Marlins feel they have the right group of relievers to handle the late innings, it's a matter of them gaining consistency.

"We all believe in each other, and we're all pulling for each other, and it's going to take all of us to win games," Dunn said.

Worth noting
• Upton is 0-for-7 against Fernandez, with four strikeouts. Freddie Freeman is 3-for-9 off the right-hander, also with four strikeouts.

• Christian Yelich is 4-for-9 against Wood, though he is 0-for-11 since his career-best hitting streak was halted at 17 games. Comments