A large screen outside of the Miami Marlins field displays on field activities as Miami Marlin players leave messages on the pitchers mound to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida, September 26, 2016. Jose Fernanedez died in a boating accident in Miami on Sunday September 25, 2016. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPIto | License Photo
MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins, playing inspired baseball in their first game since the tragic death of pitcher Jose Fernandez, routed the New York Mets 7-3 on Monday night at Marlins Park.
Fernandez, who was already a two-time All-Star at age 24, died early Sunday morning in a boating accident in which speed was a factor, according to authorities.
There were numerous tributes to Fernandez throughout Monday's game, and every Marlins player wore No. 16 in honor of their fallen teammate.
Before the game, Mets and Marlins players and coaches exchanged hugs. The Marlins players also kneeled around the mound Fernandez virtually owned with a 29-2 record and a 1.49 ERA at Marlins Park.
Once the game began, the Marlins (78-78) gave numerous indications that this would be a truly special night for their organization and fans.
Slow-footed Justin Bour hit his first career triple, and 160-pound Dee Gordon hit his first home run of the season.
Both of those hits were emphatic. Bour completed his triple with a belly flop into third base, to the delight of the fans. Bour went 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored, falling a homer short of what would have been the first cycle in Marlins history.
Gordon muscled up and hit his homer to the upper deck in right field. He went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, and the four hits were a season high.
The Mets (83-74), who are locked into a fight with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants for two National League Wild Card spots, needed this game but were no match for a Marlins team determined to honor Fernandez.
Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon (14-8) was hit hard, lasting just 2 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and seven runs.
Colon was ambushed early. It started with his third pitch, which is when Gordon took him deep for just the ninth homer in his six-year major league career.
When Gordon reached home plate, it was obvious that he was sobbing, and he was embraced by his teammates in a highly emotional moment.
Miami added four runs on five hits in the second inning. Among the hits were RBI singles by Gordon and J.T. Realmuto and a run-scoring double by Adeiny Hechavarria.
The Marlins continued the barrage in the third, making it 7-0. Bour's RBI triple highlighted the inning.
New York got on the board in the fifth on a two-run double by Asdrubal Cabrera, who hit his shot deep down the right-field line.
NOTES: Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (strep throat) will pitch Tuesday after having his start pushed back two days. ... The Mets entered Monday having scored 25 straight runs in their previous series against the Philadelphia Phillies. ... The Mets are trying to reach the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1999-2000. ... The Marlins have three outfielders with at least 20 homers this season -- LF Marcell Ozuna, CF Christian Yelich and RF Giancarlo Stanton. ... The Mets have three outfielders with at least 30 homers this season -- LF Yoenis Cespedes, CF Curtis Granderson and RF Jay Bruce. ... Starting Tuesday, the Marlins will wear a patch on their uniforms to honor Jose Fernandez. ... The Marlins-Atlanta Braves game that was cancelled Sunday would be made up next Monday only if Miami were still in the playoff race.