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Marlins' Kendry Flores On Mound In 1st Big League Start

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MIAMI (AP) -- When Philadelphia dealt Cole Hamels on July 31, it did so like any struggling team with eyes on the future. Three weeks later, the Phillies are there.

Philadelphia's Jerad Eickhoff will make his major league debut Friday night in Miami as the Marlins send Kendry Flores out for his first big league start.

Eickhoff, who will be called up Friday to fill David Buchanan's spot in the rotation, came over from Texas as part of the Hamels deal and went 2-1 with a 2.49 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. That gave the 25-year-old a 12-5 record and 3.85 ERA in 22 starts and a relief effort split between three minor league clubs this season, and it was enough for the Phillies to throw the right-hander into the fire.

The starting staff, however, hasn't set the bar very high with a 7.28 ERA in 17 games in August.

"I think it's a tremendous honor," Eickhoff told MLB's official website of being traded for Hamels. "He's been such a great player and he's done so much in this game already. Those are tough shoes to fill, and I'm not trying to fill them by any means. But if I can help in any way, that's what I'm here to do."

Flores (1-1, 2.35) is taking over for the injured David Phelps, who is out for the season with a fractured forearm as Miami's injuries continue to mount. The right-hander has pitched 7 2-3 innings over six relief appearances, five of which were scoreless. The 23-year-old made 19 starts for Triple-A New Orleans and Double-A Jacksonville prior to that, posting a 6-5 record, 2.34 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.

The Marlins (50-71) have had no trouble providing run support lately and will be after their fourth straight home victory following Thursday's series-opening 9-7 win. Over a 7-3 span, the Marlins are averaging 6.3 runs and hitting .311.

Martin Prado hit a two-run homer and is batting .438 with 14 RBIs in his last eight games against the Phillies. He also seems to have figured out Marlins Park, hitting .306 in his last 23 games after posting a .205 average in his first 20 there this season.

Dee Gordon is on the greater tear with five straight multihit efforts and a .432 average in his last 10, while Adeiny Hechavarria is on a career-best 13-game hitting streak. Marcell Ozuna has homered in his last two, and the Marlins have moved on from a 2-13 stretch in which they scored 2.8 runs per game and hit .215.

"It's been a roller coaster all year offensively so it's nice to see guys approaching and playing the game the way it should be played," Prado said.

The Marlins have won 11 of 16 at home against the Phillies with five straight series wins.

Philadelphia (47-74) has lost seven of nine and four straight on the road. It's yet to win a road series in the NL East this year, going 5-18 against what's been the worst division in baseball.

The Phillies have one win to show for the 19 runs they've scored in the last three games. Andres Blanco is batting .389 with three home runs in his last five contests, while Odubel Herrera is at .366 in his last 20.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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