Cabrera, ‘lucky charm’ power Reds to 5-4 win over Marlins


Cincinnati Reds' Brandon Phillips (4) points to catcher Ramon Cabrera, front left, as they celebrate the team's 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. Cabrera hit a three-run home run in the game. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Dan Straily throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)


CINCINNATI (AP) — Pat Hoberg is Ramon Cabrera’s lucky charm.

Hoberg was umpiring behind the plate last season when the Reds catcher hit his first career home run. Hoberg made it 2 for 2 on Thursday night. He was behind the plate when Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the second inning to lead Cincinnati to a 5-4 victory over the Miami Marlins.

“It was special for me,” Cabrera said. “I talked to the umpire. He said, ‘Do you remember who the umpire was when you hit your first home run off (John) Lackey? It was me.’”

Dan Straily continued his second-half surge as Cincinnati made it eight wins in 10 series since the All-Star break.

Billy Hamilton used aggressive baserunning to produce another run and Eugenio Suarez added an RBI double to give Cincinnati three straight wins over Miami after losing the opener of the four-game series.

Straily (9-6) improved to 5-0 with a 2.68 ERA over his last six starts. He opened with five shutout innings before giving up Marcell Ozuna’s two-run homer in the sixth. Straily allowed six hits and struck out seven.

“It is a special year for Straily,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He is solidifying his career.”

Blake Wood turned in 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief before Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth for his second career save in two opportunities.

Marlins starter Jose Fernandez (12-7) allowed five runs in a season-low four innings — as many runs as he gave up in his four June starts — to see his ERA over his last four starts climb to 6.00. The Reds reached him for seven hits and a walk while sending him to a career-worst third consecutive loss. He previously had never lost more than two consecutive decisions.

“We took advantage of Fernandez’ strikes early in the count, but he throws it around 100,” Price said. “He looked like a million bucks, but we got the barrel on the ball.”

“Obviously, (the Reds) were squaring a lot of stuff up,” manager Don Mattingly said. “I’m not quite sure. I haven’t seen the replay of the pitches, but balls kind of at the belt line and in the center of the plate are going to get hit.”

Thursday’s numbers were remarkably similar to Fernandez’s last start in Cincinnati, on April 18, 2013, his rookie season, when he also allowed five runs in four innings.

“From there, things got better,” he said. “I hope they better this time, too.”

Fernandez finished with six strikeouts, pushing him over 200 for the first time in his career. With 204, he is the sixth Marlin to reach 200 in a season and first since Anibal Sanchez with 202 in 2011.

Martin Prado capitalized on an error by pitcher Jumbo Diaz with a two-run single in the seventh.

MOVING UP: Fernandez’s six strikeouts on Thursday leave him with 204 on the season, the third-highest season total in Marlins history. He trails Kevin Brown (205, 1997) and record-holder Ryan Dempster (209, 2000).

POWER SURGE: Ozuna’s home run was his 22nd of the season and third of the four-game series. He is one homer short of matching the career high he set in 2014.

ON THE VERGE: Joey Votto needs one double to reach 300 in his career and four RBIs to reach 700.

TRAINING ROOM

Marlins: RHP A.J. Ramos is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Friday. If he feels OK on Saturday, Mattingly expects to be able to activate him on Sunday. Ramos, 1-1 with a 3.05 ERA and 32 saves in 47 relief appearances this season, has been out since Aug. 6 with a fracture of the third finger of his right hand.

Reds: Problems with his patella and Achilles tendons related to last year’s knee surgery are plaguing SS Zack Cozart, who didn’t start on Thursday for the third time in the four-game series.

UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Tom Koehler (9-8) tries for his first win in five career starts against the Pirates when Miami opens a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Friday. He is 0-4 with a 5.73 ERA in his career against the Pirates.

Reds: RHP Tim Adleman (1-1) is scheduled to make his first start since May 19 when the Reds open a four-game wraparound series against Los Angeles in Cincinnati. Adleman has been sidelined with a strained left oblique.

Cincinnati Reds’ Brandon Phillips (4) points to catcher Ramon Cabrera, front left, as they celebrate the team’s 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. Cabrera hit a three-run home run in the game. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_111993035-bbcb7742839c43e9ad82d6a4e31fa908.jpgCincinnati Reds’ Brandon Phillips (4) points to catcher Ramon Cabrera, front left, as they celebrate the team’s 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. Cabrera hit a three-run home run in the game. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_111993035-0228a773f5eb463cb90f498ef8351cff.jpgMiami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Dan Straily throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_111993035-3ab28a9ced49459b82895d154402da7a.jpgCincinnati Reds starting pitcher Dan Straily throws against the Miami Marlins during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
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