Justin Bour erased the Marlins’ nightmarish start Friday with one powerful swing.
The Cubs had just tagged Tom Koehler for four runs in the top of the first inning.
Bour crushed a 436-foot, grand slam to center field to draw the Marlins even in the bottom half.
But from that point on the offense disappeared, the Cubs eventually retook the lead and hung on to beat the Marlins 5-4 Friday night at Marlins Park.
“To be able to come back and make it a 0-0 ball game again was big,” Bour said. “I knew Tom would go back out there and do a good job. It’s a tough one to lose, but you know how it is, short-term memory and get back out there.”
Koehler recovered following Bour’s blast, allowing only one more hit in five subsequent shutout innings.
Koehler finished with six strikeouts and two walks.
“It’s not very often you have an inning like that and you get a do-over,” Koehler said. “I looked at it like a 0-0 game from that point on and I just wanted to give my team as much as I could.”
The Marlins couldn’t keep the Cubs contained following his exit, however, as Mike Dunn gave up the go-ahead run in the seventh on a single by rookie Willson Contreras, who also homered in the first.
Dunn gave up a hit that led to the go-ahead run scoring for the second time in as many appearances. Dunn gave up a hit to Jace Peterson that allowed an inherited runner to score the winning run in a 3-2 loss to the Braves Tuesday.
Dunn had only allowed one hit and one walk in four prior appearances and seemed to be developing some consistency after a prolonged stint on the disabled list (forearm strain) to open the season.
“I can’t remember the last time I went out there and I couldn’t throw anything over the plate,” Dunn said. “I didn’t give the team a chance, walking guys and you can’t do that. I put that one on my shoulders. It’s on me.”
The Marlins managed only one more hit the rest of the game against Cubs pitching.
Adeiny Hechavarria led off the bottom of the seventh with a line-drive single off reliever Trevor Cahill that caromed off the glove of Contreras at first base.
Travis Wood replaced Cahill and worked his way out of trouble despite walking Martin Prado with two outs.
The Cubs put together six consecutive hits with one out off Koehler in the first inning doing the bulk of their damage on a solo home run by Kris Bryant and a two-run home run by Contreras.
Former Marlin Chris Coghlan also tripled in the inning and scored on a single by Javier Baez.
Koehler had allowed only one home run over his previous nine starts and had not allowed more than three runs during that span.
Over his three previous starts, Koehler went 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA, allowing only four combined runs and lasting six innings each time.
Koehler has lasted at least six innings in five consecutive starts.
“I just went back to pretending it didn’t happen and start fresh. The top of their order came up in the second so it was kind of like the first inning all over again.
“Whether it was five or six or even if I had a chance to go seven [innings], I just wanted to get as many zeroes as I could because as you saw if you give our team a chance with our offense we’re never out of it.”
The Marlins loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning, setting up Bour’s slam off Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks that landed in the shrubbery beyond the center field wall.
“[Bour’s home run] energized everyone,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “They kind of ambushed us quick with those six hits and we were able to keep it there before it turned [really] bad.”
Bour, a Rule 5 draft pick of the Marlins in 2013 while he was in the Cubs’ farm system, belted his second clutch grand slam in a two-week span. Bour’s previous bases-clearing blast came as a pinch-hitter June 10 in Arizona and helped the Marlins rally to win that game.
Friday’s homer was Bour’s 13th of the season and came with two outs.
All four runs were unearned, however, after Derek Dietrich reached base on an error by Addison Russell to lead off the inning. Three batters later, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton each drew two-out walks off Hendricks.
It was the second time this season the Marlins hit a grand slam in the first inning and scored four or more runs in the first.
“Those were huge at-bats right in front of me by [Stanton and Ozuna] and I was fortunate to put a good swing on it,” Bour said.