WASHINGTON -- When Justin Bour was growing up in the D.C. area, his father was assigned to the Secret Service, protecting the lives of presidents. These days, Bour's father is retired and the first baseman for the Marlins is putting the hurt on the Washington Nationals, his hometown team.
Bour's three-run homer Thursday sparked the Marlins to a 6-4 victory over the Nationals. It was the fourth home run of Bour's career at Nationals Park. The only place where he's hit more is Marlins Park. Bour chalks up his success against the Nationals (lifetime .313 average and .960 OPS) to having faced them often so far in his young career.
It has nothing to do, he says, with having grown up in the area and watching them play. In fact, Bour said the first major league game he ever saw was the first one he played in. But Bour does have close ties to the area, where his father was often the closest person to the U.S. president.
"He was in transportation detail and he guarded both (George H.W.) Bush and (Bill) Clinton," Bour said. "He drove one of the limos for one of the inaugural."
Bour said if he wasn't playing baseball, "I'd probably be doing some sort of law enforcement."
Like father, like son, in other words.
Martin Prado was scratched from Friday's lineup due to a sore wrist he tweaked in Thursday's game, according to manager Dan Jennings, who termed the decision "precautionary" and said the third baseman could be back in the lineup on Saturday.
"It's just a little discomfort," Jennings said.
Carter Capps threw a sim game Friday and will likely throw one more before returning to the Marlins' bullpen, probably during the upcoming home stand, Jennings said.
"The volunteer list was very light," Jennings said of the hitters who stood in against Capps. "There were not many people running to grab a bat to face Carter Capps."
One who did was Marlins hitting coach Frank Menechino, who slapped a single up the middle on the only pitch he saw from Capps. But no one else managed to hit the ball out of the cage at Nationals Park.
Marlins bullpen catcher Jeff Urgelles said Capps is intimidating.
"The ball gets on you really, really quick," said Urgelles, who often warms up Capps in the bullpen but said facing him from the batter's box is an altogether different experience. "I've seen his delivery thousands and thousands of times. But when you're standing sideways and not facing him square, it's a lot different. I can see why he strikes out so many hitters, because when he's painting down and away, and throwing so hard, it's not easy to catch up to. No shot. Nobody has a shot."