The Marlins expect to be without Justin Bour, one of their most productive hitters, at least until shortly after the All-Star break.
Bour was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with what manager Don Mattingly called a mild ankle sprain.
The move was retroactive to Sunday, a day after Bour sustained the injury while playing the Braves in Atlanta.
“We knew Justin wouldn’t play until the other side of St. Louis [series],” Mattingly said. “We didn’t think there was any reason to go short with four games when he still wasn’t going to be available.”
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Bour planted his foot awkwardly while stepping on the bag at first, came up limping and was unable to finish the game.
Bour returned to Miami on Tuesday to undergo an MRI after having missed the previous two games.
If Bour can avoid a prolonged absence it would help continue to fortify the middle of the Marlins’ lineup along with All-Star Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton’s reemergence of late.
Bour is hitting .268 this season with 15 home runs and 46 RBI.
With Bour out, the Marlins recalled 36-year-old veteran Don Kelly and designated left-handed pitcher Eric Jokisch for assignment.
Kelly started at first base Wednesday in his first major-league action since April 12, 2015. Kelly was hitting .223 with a home run and 12 RBI in 48 games at Triple A New Orleans.
Kelly played two games for the Marlins last season, going hitless in one at-bat before breaking his right ring finger. Kelly later underwent Tommy John surgery in July.
He went 0 for 3 on Wednesday.
Jose Fernandez got a kick out of watching one of his favorite players, Mariano Rivera, up close during his first trip to the All-Star Game as a rookie in 2013.
Fernandez and Ozuna are looking forward to similar thrills this season as they interact with soon-to-be-retiring, future-Hall-of-Famer David Ortiz.
“I got lucky enough to see Mariano Rivera his last year,” Fernandez said. “Having Big Papi there, I’d probably throw him a fastball right down the middle so he can hit it out, really far. That’s my plan.”
As a fellow Dominican and someone he always has admired, Ozuna said he’s looking forward to seeing Ortiz and Robinson Cano, whom Ozuna worked with in the offseason.
Ozuna, who is hitting .310 with 17 home runs, five triples and 47 RBI during a remarkable turnaround season, was one of four Marlins selected to the All-Star Game on Tuesday along with Fernandez, A.J. Ramos and Fernando Rodney.
“I’ve met up with [Ortiz] every time in the Dominican and we talk,” Ozuna said. “For him to be in the game, and to see [Cano] too, it’s going to be awesome.”
Fernandez and Ozuna each played together in 2012 for the Marlins’ Single A squad in Jupiter.
Being selected in the same year was special for both.
“For me, it means a lot,” Ozuna said. “I worked hard in the offseason to have a good season.”
As he stood next to Ozuna, Fernandez interjected: “He’s trying to say, he’s very happy to be part of such an amazing group. A bunch of superstars are going to be there. It’s an honor to be a part of that. I got lucky and I was there before. I think it’s going to be an amazing experience.”
Ramos, who has 25 saves in 26 chances as the Marlins’ closer and earlier this season tied the franchise record for consecutive saves converted, said it was a surreal moment when he found out from owner Jeffrey Loria.
“Usually when you get called in the principal’s office, it’s bad news,” Ramos said. “He said ‘I have some bad news, you guys won’t be able to get those days off because you’re going to San Diego.’ That was one of my goals this season. And my team was able to put me in position to get those saves.”
▪ Thursday: Off.
▪ Friday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (10-4, 2.69 ERA) vs. Reds RHP Dan Straily (4-5, 4.34 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.