Gonzalez was dominant on the mound and took his no-hitter into the ninth inning before the Miami Marlins' Dee Gordon broke it up. The Washington Nationals pitcher grew up in Hialeah, a Miami-area city near Marlins Park.
Gordon's breakup was also significant. The Marlins second baseman was very close to Fernandez. He provided an emotional moment last season when he hit a leadoff home run in the team's first at-bat, the day after Fernandez's death. The Marlins were all wearing No. 16 jerseys that night to honor Fernandez. Gordon choked up as he rounded the bases before being embraced by teammates.
Before Monday's contest, Gonzalez visited Fernandez's infant daughter and family.
After the 1-0 win, he began to tear up while discussing his friend.
Gio Gonzalez talks about honoring José Fernández on what would have been his 25th birthday. pic.twitter.com/aUrgRUXL2N— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) August 1, 2017
"Hialeah, born and raised," Gonzalez told MASN. "I had my brother, he came out to the game, I had some family come out to the game, friends. Down the street, a kid from Hialeah would always be happy, would always be proud. And to have that kind of love and support out here, it was just something ... it brings tears to your eyes."
"Just, today was just an emotional day, it was just a very special day to see the family, to see Jose's little girl," Gonzalez said. "I was holding his baby a little bit. It was just real special, and I know it felt the same way for them. It was just one of those days where you just want to get it over with because you know it's such an emotional day, and I was just blessed to have the kind of support here."
Fernandez's family also visited the site of his fatal boating accident on Monday. The incident occurred in September, just off the coast of South Beach.
His former girlfriend, Maria Arias, brought their daughter Penelope into the Marlins locker room to meet with Fernandez's teammates. Fernandez's grandmother and mother were also at the game.
"I was hitting in the cage and Dee brought her in," Marlins infielder Miguel Rojas told the Miami Herald. "I wasn't expecting her at all. Right away, a lot of emotions. [Marcell] Ozuna was hitting in the other cage. We stopped what we were doing. It was really cool to see her and remember Jose."
"My beautiful boy, wherever you are today we are all going to remember and miss you so much," Fernandez's mother wrote on Facebook.
The Fernandez family also presented a $25,000 donation from the JDF16 Foundation Monday to the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana.