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Marlins pay emotional tribute to Fernandez in win

Miami Marlins

David Phelps pays tribute to his fellow Marlins pitcher Fernandez

The Miami Marlins paid emotional tributes to pitcher Jose Fernandez in their first match since his death.

The 24-year-old died on Sunday in a boating crash off Miami Beach, Florida.

Wearing black shirts with Fernandez’s name and his number 16, the team beat the New York Mets 7-3 in front of a packed crowd at Marlins Park on Monday.

The players placed their caps on the pitcher’s mound at the conclusion of the Major League Baseball match – many of them visibly emotional.

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Players wore black shirts with Fernandez’s name and number on the back

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said: “I’m just proud of our guys, just the way they hung together.

“It was not scripted. No-one tells you how to handle it. There’s nothing that tells you how to handle it. They just stuck together and went out and played.”

Fernandez, a father-to-be, was heralded by baseball commissioner Rob Manfred as one of the game’s “great young stars”.

He was drafted by the Marlins in 2011 at the age of 20 and named National League Rookie of the Year in 2013.

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Dee Gordon, who scored an emotional home run to open the scoring, had paid his own personal tribute

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Miami residents and fans left messages and lay flowers outside the stadium

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Many players kneeled in prayer on the pitcher’s mound following the match

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They then left their caps on the mound in tribute to the 24-year-old Cuban-born pitcher

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/baseball/37483133