The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Marlins rookie Flynn starts well vs. Pirates, but knocked out in 5th inning of 7-2 loss
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Miami Marlins rookie left-hander Brian Flynn made his first start of the 2014 season. In his first turn through the Pittsburgh Pirates' lineup, Flynn gave up a pair of hits and faced one batter over the minimum through three innings.
He started to unravel in the fourth. Flynn (0-1) gave up three runs in that frame and then allowed two more in the fifth when he failed to record an out.
"(Pitching coach) Chuck (Hernandez) and I were talking about just 'trust your stuff,'" Flynn said. "I did that for the first three innings, and after that I started just trying to feel for it."
The big blow came in the fourth when Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco drove in a pair with a bases-loaded single.
Polanco finished 2 for 4 and drove in four runs, Edinson Volquez pitched one-hit ball over seven innings, and Pittsburgh beat Miami 7-2 on Thursday night.
Marlins reliever Dan Jennings was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Jordy Mercer in the seventh. Miami manager Mike Redmond said Jennings had his eyes open and was responding to questions when he was still on the mound.
After the game, the Marlins announced that a CT scan on Jennings was negative and that he was diagnosed with a concussion. Jennings was kept in a hospital overnight for observation.
Jennings momentarily stumbled before going to his knees after the play. He stood up to get in a cart and held up a hand to acknowledge the crowd as he was driven off the field.
Volquez (9-7) didn't allow a hit until the fifth, when Donovan Solano singled with one out. Volquez struck out seven batters and walked three.
Mercer's leadoff double started the three-run fourth, and Polanco's two-run single made it 3-0.
Mercer and Gaby Sanchez added RBI singles in the fifth. Mercer finished with three hits and scored twice, and Josh Harrison extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle looked for his hitters to strike once they had taken their first at-bats against Flynn.
"Sometimes it's going to take you one time for everybody in the box just to see the movement," Hurdle said. "We were able to take advantage of some balls left out over the plate."
Polanco hit a two-run double in the eighth.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 27th homer of the season, a two-run drive in the Miami ninth. Redmond didn't have any explanation for the Marlins' listless offence.
"It's just one of those nights," Redmond said. "We've got to be able to swing with these guys, and we weren't able to do it."
Marlins: 1B John Baker was held out of the game after fouling a ball off his foot Wednesday night.
Pirates: Center fielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) missed his third straight game. Hurdle said the reigning MVP is adding to his recovery routine but it is still in a "wait-and-see" situation as to whether he will go on the disabled list. ... Second baseman Neil Walker (back) sat out for the fourth time in five games. ... Infielder Clint Barmes (groin) is nearing a return, with baserunning being the only obstacle in the way of a plan to come off the DL.
Marlins: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-6, 4.22 ERA) starts for the Marlins against RHP Mike Leake (9-9, 3,46 ERA) on Friday night as Miami continues its six-game trip in Cincinnati. Eovaldi makes his second career start against the Reds. He pitched seven innings and allowed a run on two hits in Miami's extra-inning win Saturday.
Pirates: Pittsburgh opens a three-game set with San Diego at home as RHP Vance Worley (4-1, 2.43 ERA) faces RHP Ian Kennedy (8-9, 3.59 ERA). Worley has allowed just one run in his last two starts, which included his first career shutout on July 28 in San Francisco.
GETAWAY DAY STRIKE ZONE
Of Volquez's seven strikeouts Thursday night, four were called third strikes. After Volquez one-hit the Miami Marlins for seven innings, Redmond thought the Pirates' right-hander received aid from the umpire,
"He got some help back (behind the plate) too," Redmond said. "He got some strike calls there. A lot of them."
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