Walk-off hero Bour resilient after rough month
MIAMI -- Flipping the calendar worked in Justin Bour's favor on Wednesday night. The 27-year-old first baseman, who batted .138 in June, opened July with a 2-for-4 performance that featured a three-run walk-off home run in the ninth inning of the Marlins' 6-5 win over the Giants at Marlins Park.
Bour's eighth homer gave the Marlins their first walk-off home run since Giancarlo Stanton's grand slam against the Mariners on April 18, 2014. The blast to right off Santiago Casilla also secured a series victory for Miami.
Although Bour had his struggles in June, he did belt a home run in Tuesday's 5-3 win.
"I felt good the last couple of days," the first baseman said. "Didn't really get the results I wanted to a couple of days ago. As long as I'm hitting the ball hard, I'm happy."
Bour's laser in the ninth off Casilla was tracked by Statcast™ to have landed a projected 393 feet away, with an exit velocity of 106 mph.
The Marlins have turned to Bour since Michael Morse is on the disabled list with a right ring finger injury. Morse is close to being reinstated.
The last few days, Bour has provided power in the middle of a Miami lineup that is without Stanton (broken left hand) for about month.
A Minor League Rule 5 Draft pick from the Cubs' system in 2013, Bour is more than just a potential power threat.
"When we took him in the Rule 5, we knew he could hit," manager Dan Jennings said. "He really swung the bat well for us when he first came up this year. Then he had a little spell there where his timing was off. Over the last three or four games, you could see his timing coming back.
"He's a strong, physical kid. He's not just a power hitter, he's a hitter. When he got that ball tonight down in that zone, it was good to see, and certainly a great boost inside that dugout for this ballclub."
Christian Yelich opened the ninth with a single to center of Casilla. Adeiny Hechavarria floated a single to center, and Bour sent them home, blasting a 93-mph fastball.
It was Miami's fourth walk-off win this year, and first since May 23 against the Orioles. The Marlins had been 0-42 when trailing after eight innings.
"I wasn't happy with myself earlier in the game with some of the at-bats I took," Bour said. "I had a choice of either letting that bother me or kind of 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 gotten the hit I did right there. It's important to play all nine innings."