Swing and a prayer for Marquez on 1st hit

Rookie Rockies pitcher helps own cause with 2-run single on an 0-2 count

Swing and a prayer for Marquez on 1st hit

DENVER -- Rockies rookie right-handed pitcher German Marquez will never forget his first Major League hit. Explaining how he did it is another matter.

Marquez's two-run single on a two-strike pitch off Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. was the big hit in a 3-0 victory -- which also featured Marquez's eight-inning, three-hit, eight-strikeout pitching performance -- Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field.

"I didn't look at that pitch," the Rockies' fourth-ranked prospect said. "I just swung."

Almost as intriguing as the hit off Edwards, who entered with an .091 opponents' batting average, was manager Bud Black's decision to send Marquez up. There were two outs with runners at second and third and the Rockies were holding just a one-run lead. Righty Adam Ottavino and lefty Jake McGee had warmed up in the bullpen.

"Here's a young man with 82 pitches, throwing a one-hit shutout, and we're going to take him out of the game?" Black said. "Against a reliever, now, who has a 0.64 ERA, and has thrown 14 innings and given up four hits.

"So our guy off the bench obviously has a better chance to get a hit than Marquez. But if you think about it, I thought Marquez had a good chance to put up a zero in the eighth inning, the way he was throwing the baseball."

Marquez pitches out of a jam

Black was right. Marquez gave up two hits in the eighth, but finished the inning by forcing a Jon Jay grounder with runners at second and third.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon didn't leave convinced to write in Marquez on his Silver Slugger Award ballot.

"Their pitcher should not get a two-run single on an 0-2 count," Maddon said. "That guy can't hit. That's just one of those really non-fortuitous moments. There's no way to describe it other than that."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.