Miami Marlins

Marlins roll past Braves to continue hot streak in season’s final stretch

Miami Marlins first baseman Justin Bour hits a first inning home run against the Atlanta Braves during a baseball game in Miami, Saturday Sept. 26, 2015.
Miami Marlins first baseman Justin Bour hits a first inning home run against the Atlanta Braves during a baseball game in Miami, Saturday Sept. 26, 2015. AP

When they open the roof at Marlins Park, bad things generally occur.

They were blindsided by a pop-up shower on Opening Day this season, prompting an embarrassing rain delay. And the Marlins have not fared particularly well under the heavens, going 13-23 during their four seasons there when the roof is retracted.

But with a full moon shining through the open roof on Saturday, the Marlins continued to glow in September, defeating the Braves, 6-2.

Justin Bour cracked a two-run homer in the first off Julio Teheran, Justin Nicolino turned in a strong performance, and the Marlins broke it up open late as they continued their hot, end-of-season showing.

Since Aug. 31, they have gone 16-8, the best record in the majors during that time.

“Those players are playing with pride,” said manager Dan Jennings. “They’re hungry to make a statement. They realize that there’s no rainbow at the end in terms of the postseason. But there is the mindset of finishing this season strong and getting ready for 2016.”

In defeating the Braves for the second straight day, the Marlins have now won seven of their past eight series. If they pull off the sweep in the final game of the season at Marlins Park, they will finish with a winning home record (41-40).

Nicolino turned in a masterful performance, holding the Braves to only a run on two hits over seven innings. Nicolino, working corners and pitching to contact, did not record a strikeout.

But neither did he put himself into any trouble.

The Braves scored their only run in the third on Nick Markakis’ two- out, RBI single. But the Braves failed to put a runner in scoring position the rest of the time he was on the mound.

Though Nicolino had thrown just 80 pitches, Jennings decided to go to his bullpen, and that’s when Atlanta finally threatened.

The Braves managed to put two runners aboard against rookie Kyle Barraclough, who then turned the ball over to left-hander Mike Dunn to face Freddie Freeman. Dunn, who walked both batters he faced on Friday, promptly walked Freeman to load the bases.

But Bryan Morris struck out Adonis Garcia to end the inning.

The Marlins broke open a close game with four runs in the eighth.

Missing the cycle

The Marlins are the only team in the majors that have never had a player hit for the cycle: a single, double, triple and home run in the same game.

But two — Christian Yelich and Bour — were in position to end the drought Friday when both came up in the eighth inning with a chance to complete the cycle.

Yelich needed a home run; Bour a triple.

Were they making friendly bets inside the Marlins dugout on which player was most likely to accomplish the feat?

“Let me just tell you, there weren’t many votes for the triple,” Jennings said, laughing. “I mean, there’s some crevices there where the ball could actually stick in the wall, but it was a better bet on the home run for Yelich.”

The slow-running Bour has never recorded a triple in 499 big-league plate appearances and last did it the minors in 2011.

Alas, Yelich struck out swinging and Bour flied to center.

“I knew there was no shot,” Bour said. “There was not a single part of me that was saying, all right, let’s get a triple here.”

Bour’s home run was his 20th.

▪ All eight position players for the Marlins had at least two hits in Friday’s win. It was the only the third time in franchise history that has happened, with the last instance coming June 30, 2010, against the Mets.

Coming up

▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (10-14, 3.94) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Shelby Miller (5-16, 3.00), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

▪ Monday: Off day

Clark Spencer: 305-376-3483, @clarkspencer

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