MIAMI -- With a 16-8 record since Aug. 31, the Miami Marlins have been the hottest team in the National League. They also have won seven of their past eight series.
They kept it up Saturday night, when rookie left-hander Justin Nicolino pitched seven strong innings and Justin Bour slugged a two-run homer to lead Miami to a 6-2 win over the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park.
"Those players are playing with pride," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "They realize there is no rainbow at the end in terms of the postseason. But there is the mindset that this core is together. This core is good and finishing this season strong and getting ready for 2016."
Nicolino (4-4) did not strike out a batter but allowed just two hits -- both singles -- three walks and one run. It was his best home start of the season. Before Saturday, he had been 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA at Marlins Park.
Bour has 21 homers, the most by a Marlins rookie since Giancarlo Stanton hit 22 in 2010. The franchise rookie record is 27, set by Dan Uggla in 2006.
"He is taking tremendous at-bats," Jennings said of Bour. "When (pitchers) are making mistakes, he's getting them. And, with one swing of his bat, he can put up two, three runs."
Miami added four runs in the eighth, getting a bases-loaded walk from shortstop Miguel Rojas, a two-run single by pinch hitter Casey McGehee and a sacrifice fly by second baseman Dee Gordon.
The Marlins (68-87) got their fourth win in a row. The Marlins also have taken six straight games against the Braves. Still, the Marlins are on their sixth consecutive losing season, the longest active skid in the majors.
Atlanta (62-93) is having its worst season since 1990, when it lost 97 games.
Braves starter Julio Teheran (10-8) lasted six innings, allowing six hits, four walks and two runs.
"Just one pitch, one home run (by Bour), cost me the game," Teheran said.
After Bour's first-inning homer, the Braves cut their deficit to 2-1 in the third. Center fielder Cameron Maybin drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Teheran and scored on right fielder Nick Markakis' RBI single.
Miami nearly increased its lead to 3-1 in the fourth. Bour led off with a single and tried to score standing up on left fielder Derek Dietrich's double. But, on the relay, shortstop Andrelton Simmons threw out the slow-footed Bour.
"That one is on me -- I just have to slide there," Bour said. "When he hit it, I thought I was going to be in there easy. But there's no excuse. I'll take the blame on that."
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he felt confident on that play.
"Every time, I want the ball in (Simmons') hands," Gonzalez said. "He's the best I've ever seen in a lot of different things."
In the sixth, Miami loaded the bases with two outs but failed to score when Nicolino bounced out.
Atlanta had a chance to tie or take the lead in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs. But Miami brought in reliever Bryan Morris, and he struck out third baseman Adonis Garcia, who swung at a low pitch.
Maybin hit an RBI single in the ninth, but the Braves stranded two runners against reliever Jose Urena.
"What we're trying to do is create a mindset," Jennings said. "And the mindset right now is that this is a talented team."
NOTES: When Dee Gordon threw high in the eighth inning, it snapped a 67-game errorless streak, the second longest ever by a Marlins second baseman. ... Braves C A.J. Pierzynski, who left the game Friday due to a bruised left shoulder, sat out Saturday but could return Sunday. ... Braves 1B Freddie Freeman entered Saturday second in the majors with a .376 batting average with runners in scoring position. ... Braves SS Andrelton Simmons entered Saturday leading the majors in double plays by a shortstop (123). He also led all NL shortstops in fielding percentage (.991). ... RHP A.J. Ramos on Friday became the 10th pitcher in Marlins history to get 30 saves in one year.