Miami Marlins first baseman Justin Bour (48) hits a solo home run against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 3, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Andrew A. Nelles
July 03, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) Justin Bour spent five years in the minor league system for the Cubs.

Still for him, his winning solo home run in the sixth inning to send the Marlins over Chicago 2-1 on Friday didn't mean more than any other.

''It feels good to win - there's no real difference (from) playing against any other team,'' said Bour, who was picked up by the Marlins for $12,500 as a Rule 5 selection in 2013.

Bour homered for a fourth straight game, this time off Cubs starter Jason Hammel. It snapped a 1-all tie and spelled the difference for Tom Koehler (7-4), who allowed five hits and an earned run in his six innings while striking out four and walking one for the Marlins, who have won four straight.

The Marlins bullpen recorded three scoreless innings to protect the one-run lead. A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth to earn his 13th save in 16 opportunities.

Solid pitching - combined with just enough offense - proved to be a winning recipe for the Marlins.

''It was a solid team win today and we've been playing really good baseball,'' Koehler said. ''Hopefully, it's something that will continue.''

Miami loaded the bases in the eighth inning on a Dee Gordon single and a pair of walks. But the Marlins failed to extend their lead when Cubs reliever Travis Wood struck out J.T. Realmuto.

Despite getting little offensive support, Hammel (5-4) nearly matched Koehler's effectiveness. Hammel retired 14 straight hitters in the middle innings before Bour's winning homer barely cleared the right field fence and dropped into the basket in front of the bleachers.

Hammel allowed only four hits - including the two homers - in seven innings while striking out five and walking one.

''It sucks that the two mistakes you have in the game end up leaving the yard and costing the team a game,'' Hammel said.

Christian Yelich gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a one-out solo home run. The Cubs, who saw their three-game winning streak snapped, responded quickly, tying the game in their first at-bat. Miguel Montero's RBI single scored Kris Bryant, who doubled to left field with two outs.

But Koehler quickly put that behind him and kept the Marlins in line for the win until Bour delivered his winner.

''We rode the strength of two home runs,'' Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. ''With that kind of pitching, it was enough.''

MR. ONE-LINER

Marlins manager Dan Jennings clearly likes the way RHP Tom Koehler is moving, referring to Friday's winning pitcher after the game as `General Patton', `Blood and Guts' and a prize fighter. Koehler, who has now made three quality starts while improving his record to 7-4, appreciates the confidence from his manager, but also got a chuckle out of all of the ways Jennings chose to refer to him. ''He's got some one-liners up his sleeve,'' Koehler said. ''I don't know if he writes them down at night hoping we get a victory, but he's got some interesting ones.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Marlins: 1B Michael Morse (right finger sprain) tweaked a back muscle and made a minor league rehab start on Friday. Manager Dan Jennings said Morse could join the Marlins during their weekend visit to Chicago. ... RHP Jarred Cosart will return to Miami's starting rotation on Saturday after missing a month with vertigo. Cosart made a relief appearance on June 26 against the Dodgers when he allowed two earned runs and six hits in four innings.

Cubs: Manager Joe Maddon said OF Jorge Soler (left ankle) could be back ''soon'' and was hoping to play nine innings for Triple-A Iowa on Friday. ... President Theo Epstein said the immigration issues that have kept RHP Rafael Soriano in the Dominican Republic are past him, and that he should join one of the club's minor league affiliates following a brief time at Mesa, Arizona.

UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Jarred Cosart (1-3) will make his first start after missing a month with vertigo against the Cubs and LHP Clayton Richard (0-0), who was acquired in a trade Friday from the Pittsburgh Pirates and hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2013 with San Diego.

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