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Bour homers twice, but bullpen loses late lead

April 10, 2018

MIAMI -- It took 11 games for Justin Bour to break out of his home run slump, and the left-handed-hitting first baseman snapped out of it in a big way on Tuesday night in the Marlins' 8-6 loss to the Mets at Marlins Park.Twice, Bour connected on two-run, two-out opposite-field

MIAMI -- It took 11 games for Justin Bour to break out of his home run slump, and the left-handed-hitting first baseman snapped out of it in a big way on Tuesday night in the Marlins' 8-6 loss to the Mets at Marlins Park.
Twice, Bour connected on two-run, two-out opposite-field drives. Both -- at the time -- gave the Marlins a lead that they couldn't hold.
"With J.B., that's obviously really good for us," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We've not really been putting the ball in the seats."
Bour's first homer of the season came on his 40th at-bat, and he followed that up with his second on his 41st. He also entered the game with just two RBIs and one extra-base hit. He knocked in four on the night.
"It doesn't take much," Mattingly said. "It just takes a little confidence. You hit the ball the other way, the next thing you know, you feel good up there. It's good to see that. I know he's battling to get it going, but we've seen it before. Once he gets rolling, and he gets that feel, we feel we've got a guy in the middle of the order you don't want to deal with."

With the score tied at 4 in the seventh inning, Bour went deep off Jacob Rhame, putting Miami in front, 6-4. Statcast™ projected the drive at 364 feet, with an exit velocity of 100 mph.
"I think it's just a matter of having a lot more conviction and going out there with a distinct plan, and staying with it," Bour said.
In a four-run fifth inning, Bour connected on his first homer of the season, which came off Jacob deGrom. At the time, it handed the Marlins a 4-3 lead. According to Statcast™, Bour's liner over the wall in left field projected at 377 feet, with an exit velocity of 101.6 mph.
A year ago, Bour knocked 25 home runs, the most of any returning Marlins player this year. He broke in with the club in 2014, and since Statcast™ began tracking, the Miami first baseman entered Tuesday with four career opposite-field home runs at Marlins Park.

Still, it wasn't enough as the Marlins' bullpen surrendered the lead in the eighth inning, with Kyle Barraclough giving up solo home runs to Wilmer Flores and Asdrubal Cabrera, who enjoyed a two-homer game. And in the ninth inning , Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead two-run double off Brad Ziegler.
"Obviously, we're showing we have the pitching, we have the hitting. We're not putting it all together," Bour said. "There is no time to feel bad for yourself. The games keep coming, no matter what. You've got to wake up and play another one tomorrow."

Ninth-inning misfortune: The Mets, winners of seven straight and with a 9-1 record, are off to the best start in franchise history. With things going right, New York is capitalizing on breaks. The Mets took advantage of third baseman Brian Anderson's throwing error on Amed Rosario's slow roller. With the Marlins unable to secure the second out, the Mets grabbed the lead on Cespedes' two-run double that deflected off Anderson's glove and went down the third-base line.
"That's our job," Ziegler said of holding late-inning leads. "When you see the offense battle like that -- we were down big -- they got us a couple of leads. We just didn't do our job. Period."
Ziegler actually didn't have much good fortune in the inning, either. According to Statcast™, Cespedes' game-winning double had an exit velocity of 73.2 mph and a hit probability of 6 percent. Rosario's grounder to third was 79.1 mph off the bat, with a 10-percent hit probability.
"I'm getting ground balls," Ziegler said. "That's what I'm trying to do. It's just not working out."

Bour snaps homer drought: Home runs tend to come in bunches for Bour. The left-handed-hitting first baseman snapped out of his early-season struggles with a pair of two-run shots. It marked Bour's fourth career multi-homer game and first since May 31, 2017, against the Phillies.
"He's letting the ball get deep," Mattingly said of Bour's opposite-field approach. "Obviously, deGrom is a guy with really good stuff. To be willing, to go the other way [is a good sign]. The other pitch is almost neck-high that he kind of tomahawks the other way. It tells you he is willing to let the ball get deep. Usually, when guys are swinging the bat better, they're letting the ball get deep."
"These kind of sting. We play the game in Philly the other night and lose by [19] runs; this hurts a lot more than that. Our guys come back from being down early. deGrom is out there and we fight back. We tie it up and end up getting the lead. You get the game where you want it. Once you do that, these are the games you want to put in the win column." -- Mattingly, comparing losing 20-1 on Saturday to blowing a late lead on Tuesday

Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak at Marlins Park to 16 games with a first-inning single. That matches the longest streak at Marlins Park, tied with Christian Yelich, who hit safely in 16 straight in 2014. Castro also has reached safely in all 11 games, which ties Carlos Lee ('12) for the sixth-longest on-base streak to begin a Marlins career.
Jarlin Garcia has made 70 career Major League appearances -- all in the bullpen. Tonight at 7:10 ET, the lefty will make his first big league start. Garcia had been in a long-relief role, making two appearances and allowing two runs in 10 innings. Garcia has faced the Mets five times, not yielding a run in four innings.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.