This is the time of year that last-place teams tend to wilt against opponents with playoff ambitions.

The young improving Marlins haven’t received that memo.

Beginning the first of four series this month against teams either leading a division or holding a wild-card spot the Marlins showed playoff-caliber hunger in Friday’s 10-0 Interleague victory over Cleveland.

Particularly rookie Jose Fernandez who shut out the Indians for eight innings and set a Marlins record with 27 strikeouts over two consecutive starts (Ricky Nolasco 23 2009). Fernandez set down 14 Indians — all but one swinging — in topping the Marlins-record 13-strikeout performance in his previous outing.

“He was on a mission today” manager Mike Redmond said. “He went out there against a great lineup and really just dominated.”

Although buried in the standings by a horrific opening two months Miami improved to 29-24 while ending the Indians’ eight-game winning streak in their first visit to Marlins Park.

“The guys who were here in April and May it’s fun to go out there now and have a chance to win and know we can go out every night and compete against any team” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said before Fernandez (8-5) won for the third time in as many starts since his All-Star Game appearance.

Fernandez received ample support from a 16-hit attack led by Logan Morrison’s four hits and four RBI. Rookies Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick each had three-hit games.

“I think every team that isn’t in the same place in the standings is trying to do the same thing: win ballgames against good teams late in the season. That’s part of the fun” Redmond said.

More fun is watching Fernandez. In his first start since turning 21 the Cuba native shut down an Indians team that had outscored opponents 50-21 while hitting .307 during their winning streak.

He held them to three hits and struck out two in six different innings. He was hitting 97 mph in his final inning after touching 99 earlier. The right-hander exited to a standing ovation from the crowd of 17731 after throwing 75 of 108 pitches for strikes.