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No more Bour as Marlins continue series vs. Mets

MIAMI -- Last place obviously doesn't bother the Miami Marlins.

The Marlins, who play host to their National League East rivals, the New York Mets, on Saturday night midway through a three-game set, traded away starting first baseman Justin Bour on Friday to the Philadelphia Phillies, getting a Class A prospect in return.

Miami's trade leaves a huge power void on the team -- Bour led the Marlins with 19 homers and 54 RBI. Derek Dietrich, who was starting in left field, moved to first to cover for Bour.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly alluded to the slow-footed Bour's lack of athleticism when he asked about the trade.

"I think the trade speaks to our direction," Mattingly said, "Guys who are more athletic, speed, more multi-dimensional players.

"Bour's been good for us. This trade doesn't necessarily make us better right now, but (Bour) wasn't going to be part of our direction for the future."

Bour, a left-handed hitter, is making $3.4 million this season and is under team control for next year.

Meanwhile, the Mets, who beat the Marlins 6-2 on Friday, are in fourth place in the National League East in a season plagued by injuries.

Right fielder Jay Bruce, who had 36 homers and 101 RBI last season, is on the disabled list and has just three homers this year. Again, this is a lefty power bat who had slugged a total of 69 homers the past two years.

Similarly, left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who had 35 homers and 105 RBI when he led the Mets to the World Series in 2015, is out for the year after surgery on both heels. The slugger, who turns 33 in October, has seen his games-played totals shrink from 159 in 2015 to 132 in 2016, 81 in 2017 and just 38 this year.

Center fielder Juan Lagares, who was off to a great start with a .339 batting average, lasted just 30 games before suffering a season-ending injury.

And that was just the outfield. Mets third baseman Todd Frazier landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career, missing 45 games. Catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who hit 16 homers last year, lasted just four games before he was lost for the season.

In addition to the injuries, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was released after 54 games and standout second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera -- an impending free agent -- was traded just before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

With all those issues, the Mets' lineup features young talents such as Mike Conforto in left, Brandon Nimmo in right, Amed Rosario at shortstop and rookie Jeff McNeil at second.

New York also acquired veteran retread Austin Jackson, who is starting in center after having landed on the waiver wire.

"His approach (at the plate) is really good," Mets manager Mickey Callaway told the New York Post when asked about Jackson.

On Saturday, Marlins right-hander Dan Straily (4-5, 4.35 ERA) will face that New York lineup. Straily has a 4.85 ERA in eight home starts this season.

The good news for Straily is that after he posted a disturbing 6.53 ERA in June, his ERA was 3.82 in July and is at 3.38 after one August start.

New York will counter with rookie right-hander Corey Oswalt (1-2, 5.13). He has a 3.68 ERA in four home starts, but his ERA on the road in three appearances is 7.94.

Oswalt is starting in place of veteran left-hander Steven Matz, who will miss his second straight turn in the rotation because of a forearm injury.
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