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OAK@MIA: Flynn fans three in 2014 debut

At the big league level, nothing is set in stone. Brian Flynn, whom the Marlins will send to the mound on Thursday in the series finale against the Pirates, certainly has seen that in his first few days back with the Marlins.

On Tuesday, the lefty was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans after Jacob Turner was designated for assignment. Flynn, ranked No. 10 among Marlins prospects according to MLB.com, was supposed to start on Tuesday night for the Zephyrs, with whom he was 7-8 with a 4.00 ERA in 21 starts, but the Marlins called on him to pitch out of the bullpen in long relief instead.

That changed on Wednesday when it was announced he would be making his first start of the season in a Miami uniform, getting the nod after Jarred Cosart was scratched due to a sore left oblique. Flynn appeared in one game for the Marlins on June 27 against the A's, when he threw three innings of relief, allowing two runs on four hits. A year ago, he made four starts for Miami, going 0-2 with an 8.50 ERA.

"It's a crazy game," Flynn said of the whirlwind of activity the past few days. "I never saw that [Cosart's ailment] coming. I hope Jarred heals up quickly. I look at this as an opportunity to impress."

Edinson Volquez is in desperate need of impressing his opponents, too. The Pirates' starter has been shaky since the All-Star break, posting a 5.74 ERA in his last three starts. Opponents have a .343 average and .973 OPS against him.

What tanked Volquez's most recent outing was a three-run shot by Arizona's Ender Inciarte. Volquez gave up four runs (three earned), struck out five and allowed seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He got a no-decision as the Pirates rallied late for a win.

The good news for Volquez is that he's never lost to the Marlins, going 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in six starts against them. He's pitched at least six innings and allowed two runs or fewer in five of those starts.

Marlins: Trying to make hitting contagious
Grinding out at-bats can sometimes be a group activity. The Marlins are starting to get production throughout the lineup, from more sources than just Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee. Adeiny Hechavarria has picked things up, and Jeff Baker -- against lefty pitching -- is making contributions.

Drawing walks also is part of the process.

"There's more than one way to win ballgames," manager Mike Redmond said. "Grinding out at-bats and taking advantage of a mistake, that becomes huge. It seems like our offense is based on momentum. They seem to feed off each other. That's something we really hadn't had over the last five or six days. We're looking to get that back."

Pirates: Walker's absence felt in lineup
Neil Walker wasn't in the lineup again on Wednesday night, and the second baseman didn't make a pinch-hit appearance. In three of the Pirates' last four games, Walker has sat out with nagging back tightness.

It's an unfortunate time for Walker to be sidelined, especially since his team is already without a few key pieces. Plus, he's had one of the hottest bats on the team in the second half. His .319 average since the All-Star break is second to only Josh Harrison among players with at least 20 plate appearances.

Worth noting
• By scoring three runs off Jeff Locke on Wednesday night, the Marlins snapped a streak of seven games in which they had scored exactly one run against opposing starters. The last team to record a stretch of seven games scoring one run off opposing starters was the Cleveland Indians, from April 28-May 6, 1966. No team in Major League history has gone past the seven-game mark.

• Twelve of Harrison's last 20 hits since July 27 have gone for extra bases. He has at least one extra-base hit in nine of his last 10 games, and entering Wednesday's game, led all Major League players with 12 extra-base hits (five homers, six doubles and one triple) in that span.

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