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Marquis provides relief for Padres' bullpen

LOS ANGELES -- The last thing the Padres needed on Tuesday was another short outing from a starting pitcher.

After all, the Padres entered that game with the third-most innings pitched by relievers in the Major Leagues (48), trailing the Pirates (49 1/3) and the Blue Jays (50) through 13 games.

But Jason Marquis mostly gave the bullpen the night off, as he pitched 7 2/3 innings in what became a 9-2 victory over the Dodgers. Andrew Cashner got the final four outs. It was the longest start by a Padres pitcher this season.

"Those are great ones," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It freshens up the bullpen and gives the guys the required rest they need. That's so critical."

Black said most relievers -- closers aside -- appear in 60-80 games per season. But piling up those innings and appearances early won't help the team come August and September.

"It's great whenever our guys [starters] throw pitches in the seventh inning and even better when they do it in the eighth," Black said.

Black was hopeful that Wednesday starter Tyson Ross could pitch deep into the game as well. That, coupled with an off-day on Thursday, would help as the team prepares to open a three-game set on Friday against the Giants at AT&T Park.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter.
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