Miami Marlins

Justin Bour’s walk-off homer lifts Marlins past Giants

Justin Bour gets doused by his teammates after belting a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Marlins to their second victory in a row over the Giants.
Justin Bour gets doused by his teammates after belting a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Marlins to their second victory in a row over the Giants. El Nuevo Herald

Comebacks haven’t been in the Marlins’ DNA.

Victories are lacking for them these days, as well.

And back-to-back wins? Forget about it.

But in one of the most unfathomable games in Marlins history — on a night in which very little went right and almost everything went wrong — they pulled out a stunning 6-5 win over the Giants on Justin Bour’s three-run home run in the ninth.

“That’s one of those games you want to start at the back and work to the front,” said manager Dan Jennings, shaking his head at an outcome that made no sense and didn’t add up.

The Marlins bounced into five double plays, matching a team record.

They committed a season-high three errors.

For eight innings, they looked mostly awful.

In the end, though, Bour made all the bad disappear with one swing of the bat, belting Santiago Casilla’s 1-0 pitch into the seats for a shocking victory that have been few and far between this season for the Marlins.

“Felt good to get the win,” said Bour, who was doused in orange Gatorade — along with an assortment of other liquids — by his teammates. “My jersey’s soaked — might be ruined.”

The Marlins have their first two-game winning streak since June 16 and, with Jose Fernandez heading to the mound on Thursday, have a chance to sweep the defending World Series champions.

It was also the first time all season they won a game when trailing after the seventh. They had gone 0-38 in those games; 0-42 when trailing after eight.

“That three-run homer erases everything,” Jennings said.

One inning — the ninth — rendered moot the eight that preceded it.

Other than the ninth and a three-run third inning, the Marlins did next-to-nothing at the plate. For the most part, futility hardly describes what transpired, as Giants pitching induced one double-play grounder after another.

The five double plays matched a Marlins team record established only twice before in a nine-inning game: on April 12, 2002, and June 5, 1997.

“We just kept grounding into double plays,” Jennings said. “Five double plays, that’s tough. You feel like you get a little momentum, get something going, and to the Giants credit they made the plays and kept the big inning away from us.”

For Marlins starter Dan Haren, the lack of run support has become old hat. Heading into Wednesday, the Marlins had not scored a single run for Haren over his previous three starts, a stretch of 211/3 consecutive innings with nary a lick of run support.

They finally provided him with a bit of help against the Giants. Well, actually, he helped himself first, driving in the Marlins’ first run with a single in the third.

Dee Gordon followed with an RBI triple, unable to stretch it out another 90 feet and give himself an inside-the-park home run for the second night in a row.

The Marlins added another run in the third when Gordon scored from third on Adeiny Hechavarria’s double-play grounder.

With Chris Heston working on the mound for the Giants, the double play became a theme — or a thorn, viewing it from the Marlins’ perspective.

Three of them ended innings. Hechavarria grounded into two.

The Giants took a 5-3 lead into the ninth.

But with a chance to break their own record for double-play futility in the ninth after Christian Yelich singled to lead off the inning, the Marlins sprouted wings.

Hechavarria shot a single into short center, bringing up Bour, who had a rough June during which he hit .138.

“I wasn’t happy with myself earlier in the game with some of the at-bats I took,” Bour said.

“I had a choice to either let that bother me or just suck it up and finish the game as hard as I can. If I didn’t do that I don’t think I would have got the hit I did right there. It’s just important to play all nine innings.”

Bour said he drew from Yelich’s at-bat earlier in the inning and applied it to his own at-bat.

“I watched Yelich’s at bat,” Bour said. “He did a great job of setting the tone and make sure he got a pitch in the zone, and he hit the ball up the middle. So that was my approach, just get a pitch in the zone and try to hit the ball back up the middle.”

Bour belted the ball over the fence in right, setting off a wild celebration on a night that — until then for the Marlins — had been about as miserable as they come.

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