Slowey has another standout performance

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — No surprise, Jose Fernandez did his usual thing on Wednesday afternoon. The Marlins’ ace threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in a 5-2 win over the Mets in 10 innings at Tradition Field.

A less celebrated, but certainly meaningful effort was turned in by Kevin Slowey, who threw 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief.

Slowey entered in the fourth inning, inheriting a Fernandez base runner with one out. And he got out of a potential problem by inducing a double play ground ball.

Fernandez’s spot in the rotation is secured. The 21-year-old has been tabbed the Opening Day starter.

Slowey, meanwhile, is in camp with no guarantees. The right-hander is a non-roster invitee, and his situation is pretty simple. He has to earn his spot on the team. Thus far, he is showing his value.

“Both did exactly what we wanted them to do,” manager Mike Redmond said. “They got their pitch counts up, and they pounded the strike zone.”

If Slowey makes the team, it will be as an emergency starter, or long reliever. He was in the similar situation a year ago, and he made the club. Because of injuries, Slowey ended up being Miami’s No. 2 starter when the 2013 season opened.

Last season, he was sidelined due to a tight right forearm. So far in camp, he’s been healthy and showing his value as a veteran among young pitchers.

“We’ve talked about his versatility,” Redmond said. “That’s his value, we saw it last year.”

Health is key. And from what Redmond has seen, Slowey looks fine.

“He looks as good as I’ve seen him,” Redmond said. “Last year, he had a nice spring too. He’s kind of picked up where he left off. He looks great. He looks healthy. The ball is coming out of his hand as well as I’ve seen it. His control has been pinpoint.”

Worth noting:

Rafael Furcal got his first hit of the spring, slapping a single to left field. It came in his third at-bat, after twice he hit the ball hard only right at someone. When he lined out to right field in his second at-bat, Furcal threw up his hands in frustration. But after his hit, he was able to a congratulatory knuckle-rap from first base coach Perry Hill.

Jeff Mathis went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

Austin Nola had a hit and scored a run in his lone at-bat. Prior to facing the Mets, Nola was in the B Game against the Cardinals in Jupiter at 10 a.m. ET.

Casey McGehee enjoyed a two-hit game, and Reed Johnson had an RBI double.

Joe Frisaro

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