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Marquez fans 9 in 8 innings, helps Rox end skid

@oapostrophesd
August 11, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- German Márquez was on the mound when the Rockies’ time of torment began. They hope his latest appearance on the mound is when it ended. Marquez halted a five-game losing streak with an efficient eight innings in an 8-3 victory over the Padres on Sunday afternoon. The

SAN DIEGO -- German Márquez was on the mound when the Rockies’ time of torment began. They hope his latest appearance on the mound is when it ended.

Marquez halted a five-game losing streak with an efficient eight innings in an 8-3 victory over the Padres on Sunday afternoon. The Rockies had lost the first three games of the series at Petco Park.

Box score

A 1-5 road trip isn’t something to boast about, but the Rockies got to board their flight back to Denver with a victory in hand, a sense of relief and a reminder of the team’s capabilities.

“Winning is good,” right fielder Charlie Blackmon said, succinctly.

“The goal,” manager Bud Black said, “is to make that happen tomorrow -- good pitching and timely hitting.”

Marquez (11-5) allowed three runs on five hits and two walks, collecting nine strikeouts. He gave up solo home runs to Francisco Mejia and Josh Naylor, but he also retired 11 straight batters at one point.

“Marquez threw the ball well,” Black said. “In the middle innings, he really found his breaking ball. They were swinging at balls down below the zone. That tells me they looked like strikes coming out of the hand. …

“The fastball was pretty much located in and out, located to a corner. He kept his poise even after the two home runs. … I thought German was outstanding.”

Marquez also contributed to the Rockies’ four-run sixth inning, which put them ahead, 4-2. His two-out RBI single off reliever Craig Stammen capped the rally. It was Marquez’s 11th RBI of the season and his first hit in 10 career at-bats at Petco Park. He also had a pair of sacrifice bunts.

It was Marquez's low pitch count (93) and effectiveness that kept him in the game, but Black said the right-hander's ability to help himself at the plate can allow him to go deeper in games than some pitchers who come out for a pinch-hitter.

Black let Marquez put down a bunt in the eighth, moving Tony Wolters to second base, and it resulted in the Rockies’ fifth run when Raimel Tapia followed with a two-out, RBI single. Marquez did his part again with a scoreless bottom of the inning.

“My mindset was to keep the ball down and go as far as I can,” Marquez said.

The four-run sixth was the Rockies’ first four-run inning at Petco Park since June 3, 2017. They sent nine batters to the plate and had six hits -- their first six-hit inning at Petco Park since Sept. 4, 2012. Yonder Alonso got the Rockies on the board with his 100th career home run, a two-run shot to right-center field off starter Dinelson Lamet -- Alonso’s second game-tying homer in two days -- and Desmond broke an 0-for-14 skid with an RBI single off Stammen.

Unlike Saturday, when Alonso’s equalizer went to waste, the Rockies added on with two-run rallies in the eighth and ninth, and Marquez kept going strong until yielding to Carlos Estevez for the ninth.

Marquez was the starter on July 15 when the Rockies opened a doubleheader with a 19-2 loss to the then-red-hot Giants. San Francisco swept that twin bill, and Colorado went on a four-week skid in which it lost 19 of 25 games.

Will the victory Sunday push the Rockies in the opposite direction? Peter Lambert aims to start a winning streak when he faces the D-backs at Coors Field on Monday. He’ll have a team behind him that got a timely dose of confidence.

“I think most of our guys go day to day, and we don’t let a loss carry over to the next day,” Blackmon said. “But wins can loosen guys up and let guys have a little more fun going into the next game.”

The Rockies have proved capable of a turnaround. They opened the season 3-12, then went 28-15 to climb four games above .500.

Whether Marquez provided a turning point or a mere pause in an ongoing slide will be determined in the days ahead. But the Rockies hope he’s not asked to stop another losing streak when he pitches next weekend.

Shaun O'Neill is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @oapostrophesd.