LOS ANGELES -- Big league players go through their share of ups and downs, but Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre says a constant is the unconditional love of your mother.
"It's just special, because we're all little kids at heart," Pierre said. "There is nobody like your mom. Dads can be a little rough on you, but moms, they see the good in you -- even if you strike out four times."
Major League Baseball continued its tradition Sunday of raising breast cancer awareness on Mother's Day.
Pierre used a pink bat in the series finale, a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Other Marlins had pink batting gloves, wrist bands and cleats.
Justin Ruggiano homered in the loss and noted it was special to get a big hit on a special day.
"Obviously, to hit a home run on a Sunday that is Mother's Day is a great feeling," Ruggiano said. "More importantly, we want to win. That didn't happen. But still, a big thank you to all the moms out there. What they do to each and everyone's lives is more important than a baseball game and a 'W' for us. The more important issue here is honoring them and what they do for everybody."
"It's always a good day," said Pierre, who didn't get a hit with his pink bat. "Every day, you should think about your mom, or grandma, or your aunts, your wife, anyone who is a mom. Major League Baseball has done a great job over the years, using the pink bats, batting gloves, and raising awareness."
A number of Marlins players are from the Los Angeles area, and they had their moms at the ballpark. The list includes Rob Brantly, Greg Dobbs, Chad Qualls, Ricky Nolasco and Kyle Skipworth.
Second baseman Derek Dietrich, promoted from Double-A Jacksonville on Wednesday, had his family on hand. Dietrich's parents -- Cathi and Rich -- along with his sister, Dawn, and other family members were at the game.
Cathi and Rich flew from their home in Cleveland to the West Coast on Wednesday after they learned their son was heading to the big leagues.
"I can honestly say, probably the best Mother's Day ever," Cathi said. "I have both of my children here in an MLB stadium. We're so happy at this time for Derek."
Dietrich is giving his mother the ball from his first big league hit, along with his cleats.
"I couldn't be any happier to have my mom and all my family here," Dietrich said. "My sister got in here yesterday. It's going to be a special day for my family. I'm just happy to be out there playing.
"It's a special day for all the moms out there, whether their son is a professional baseball player or is in the military or whatever. It's a good day to be a son or a daughter."
Redmond continues to handle Fernandez with care
LOS ANGELES -- The way Jose Fernandez is pitching, nearly everyone wants to see more. But game-by-game performance will determine that, according to Marlins manager Mike Redmond.
The organization is handling the 20-year-old sensation with care. He entered the season not having pitched above Class A, and the team set a season limit between 150-170 innings.
Fernandez certainly impressed Friday night in Los Angeles. He gave up a three-run homer in the first to Adrian Gonzalez, then locked down and didn't allow another run in six innings as Miami rallied to a 5-4 win.
Fernandez, who has made seven big league starts, threw a season-high 86 pitches, 66 for strikes.
When will his pitch count reach 100?
"It depends on the situation," Redmond said. "Maybe in his next start he is at 85 or 90, and we can leave him out there for another inning. I think he's been doing what he's doing. We're at a comfort level right now with his innings and his pitches."
Fernandez is making a name for himself, and courtesy of agent Scott Boras, he now has a nickname: "JoFz."
Fernandez has throw 37 innings and has 39 strikeouts.
Redmond said he talks frequently with pitching coach Chuck Hernandez about how to handle the righty.
"We talk about it all the time to make sure we're taking care of him," Redmond said. "A lot of it depends on how his start is going, the type of innings he has, if he has to really grind and has to throw a lot of pitches, what that takes out of him."
Cishek shows improvement in LA outing
LOS ANGELES -- It's been a return to form for Steve Cishek.
The 26-year-old right-hander is once again creating uncomfortable at-bats for opposing hitters. On Friday night, for instance, Cishek threw more like he did a year ago, when he took over the Marlins' closer role after the All-Star break.
With his rangy, unorthodox delivery, Cishek offers deception and gets his share of awkward swings.
That was the case in his perfect ninth inning Friday, when he struck out two in Miami's 5-4 win against the Dodgers.
The difference between Friday and earlier outings is that Cishek had success keeping the ball down. He's had his share of struggles, posting a 1-3 record with a 4.50 ERA entering Sunday's series finale in Los Angeles. He has given up 12 hits -- two homers -- in 14 innings, walking five and striking out 16.
He is five for six in save chances, after blowing his first opportunity.
"I've been leaving the ball up, and that's when I got in trouble back at home," he said. "I'm just trying to throw everything hard at the knees, and whatever happens, happens. I've really been focusing on that in my throwing program."
Because right-handed hitters are batting .143 against Cishek, he is seeing his share of lefty batters, who are hitting .281 off him.
"I think, early on, he had a few struggles with lefties," manager Mike Redmond said. "He also wasn't in a lot of save situations. We were pitching him in tie games and maybe a little out of his role. But at the same time, too, he's given up some hits and home runs.
"But he's been working hard. He's been aggressive with his fastball and locating his pitches better to lefties. He's done a nice job of making adjustments."
Miami moves Kearns to restricted list
LOS ANGELES -- For family reasons, Austin Kearns has been away from the Marlins for more than a week. Miami placed the veteran outfielder on Major League Baseball's restricted list Sunday, meaning he will not be paid for lost time.
Kearns was with the club when it began a three-city, 10-game road trip on May 2 at Philadelphia. He was excused from the team on May 4, returning to his home in Kentucky. The Marlins placed him on the bereavement list on May 5.
By rule, players on the bereavement list must be out for three to seven days. Kearns needs more time, so he was moved to the restricted list.
The veteran has primarily been used as a pinch-hitter, where he is 3-for-11.
The Marlins optioned Kyle Skipworth, on the roster to replace Kearns, to Triple-A New Orleans after Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Dodgers. They are expected to reinstate catcher Jeff Mathis from the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game against the Reds.
Mathis played in a rehab game for New Orleans on Sunday and is set to play there again on Monday.