More and more, Justin Bour is blossoming into the kind of hitter that Dan Jennings and the Miami Marlins hoped he would become.
Bour launched a three-run homer to back Dan Haren, and the Marlins extended Matt Harvey’s winless streak to five starts by beating the New York Mets 4-3 on Friday night.
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In December 2013, shortly after taking over as the Marlins’ general manager, Jennings plucked Bour from Chicago Cubs in the Rule 5 draft for players left off the roster. The burly rookie made his major league debut last year, and is hitting .361 with four homers since being promoted from Triple-A in late April.
”We loved his bat. He’d always been a hitter,” said Jennings, now in his second week as Miami’s manager. ”There’s power in that body.”
The Marlins stopped their three-game skid.
Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson homered for the Mets, who had won three straight and almost rallied in the ninth.
Haren (5-2) limited the Mets to four hits in seven innings. He did it with a fastball clocked at 84 mph in the early innings. He helped himself with a sacrifice bunt and single off the Mets’ ace.
”You never envision getting a three-run lead to Harvey,” he said.
A.J. Ramos held on in the ninth for his third save.
Ruben Tejada led off with a single, moved up on a wild pitch and scored when Daniel Murphy hit a blooper between shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and left fielder Christian Yelich and hustled for an RBI double.
Hechavarria was briefly shaken up after tumbling toward Yelich. Ramos struck out Michael Cuddyer and retired Wilmer Flores on a grounder for the final out.
Harvey (5-3) struck out 11, but fell to 0-3 in his last five outings, a string that includes two games in which he pitched shutout ball before leaving in the late innings.
The All-Star righty was coming off the worst start of his career, having been tagged for seven runs in four innings at Pittsburgh. After the game, the Mets said they worried Harvey – coming back from Tommy John surgery this year – was having ”dead arm” issues.
”Using that word for people is kind of alarming,” Harvey said. ”I didn’t feel like I was dead. I felt like I was coming out of my mechanics.”
Harvey started strong against the Marlins, striking out the side in the first inning. With a fastball hitting 99 mph, he retired the first nine batters, fanning six.
”Harvey’s unbelievable,” Haren said. ”He’s got dead arm. He’s throwing 98. I’m at 80.”
Dee Gordon broke the spell with a bunt single to lead off the fourth, and then stole his 20th base – he tops the majors in batting and steals. Martin Prado followed with a walk and after Giancarlo Stanton flied out, Bour homered deep to right field.
Bour homered on the first pitch, tagging a hanging slider. He’s connected in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
”Harvey’s obviously got nasty stuff,” Bour said. ”You don’t want to get behind.”
Harvey took off his glove and slapped it against his left hand as he walked to the dugout, and pounded his hand on the bench.
Prado added an RBI single in the fifth. Harvey gave up six hits in eight innings.
Duda connected for his third homer in two games, a drive into the second deck in the fourth. Granderson homered in the sixth.
Marlins: RHP Jose Fernandez (Tommy John surgery) is set to throw 45 pitches at extended spring training Monday. RHP Jarred Cosart (vertigo) is scheduled to pitch against him.
Mets: C Travis d’Arnaud (broken finger) had a setback at Class A St. Lucie. He sustained a bone bruise in his right wrist during a swing, likely delaying his return. … 3B David Wright (hamstring, back) got an injection in his back. He’s getting treatment in California and might visit his teammates in San Diego next week.
Marlins: RHP Tom Koehler (3-3, 3.44) pitched at nearby Stony Brook University. He’s 0-2 with a 5.28 ERA in six games at Citi Field.
Mets: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.08) is 4-0 in his last seven starts vs. the Marlins. Overall, he has permitted four earned runs or more in three straight starts for the first time in his career.
Stanton struck out three times in four at-bats vs. Harvey. The Miami slugger is 1 for 13 with 7 Ks lifetime against the Mets star. Stanton contributed with his glove, making a sliding catch on a liner by Flores.