Marquis leading stellar Rockies staff

Marquis leading stellar Rockies staff

DENVER -- Monday's series finale is a rubber match for Jason Marquis in his season series against the Giants. Marquis is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in two starts.

The Rockies All-Star pitched a complete-game, 5-1 victory in San Francisco over the Giants his first time facing them this season, back in May. Five days later at Coors Field, Marquis lasted six innings in an 8-3 loss to the Giants, allowing seven runs (five earned) in the outing. Over the course of his career, he is 4-2 with a 2.52 ERA against the Giants.

The veteran right-hander has been the anchor on a solid pitching staff this season, having set the standard early when the team was struggling, and spread his attitude and approach to the rest of the staff over the course of the season. With Aaron Cook hitting the 15-day disabled list, the Rockies can bank on a rotation that has emerged as one of the league's most productive, avoiding putting undue pressure on an ace like Marquis.

"We have four starters in our rotation with double-digit wins," manager Jim Tracy said Sunday. "With the amount of time left in the season, I wouldn't write Jason Hammel off as a guy who could get into the double-digit category. How many other rotations in baseball have four of their five starters with double-digit wins with the possibility of one of the five guys in the rotation doing it himself? It's pretty special."

Marquis has bounced back from a three-start winless streak in July and August to win his last two in a row, including a one-run, seven-inning outing his last time out. Even with the dry spell, he has gone 5-3 with a 2.57 ERA in nine starts since June 30.

Marquis enters the game with a share of the Major League lead with 14 wins, and a win Monday would put him alone atop the leaders.

Pitching matchup
COL: RHP Jason Marquis (14-8, 3.58 ERA)
Marquis continued to show why he was named to the 2009 National League All-Star team in his last start Wednesday against Washington, as he moved into a tie for the most victories in the NL with six-plus strong innings in a 5-4 win. He allowed three runs on nine hits, walking one while striking out one. He also helped his own cause at the plate, going 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

SF: LHP Barry Zito (8-11, 4.26 ERA)
Zito's ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break is 2.36 -- better than rotation mates Tim Lincecum (2.65), Matt Cain (2.53) and Jonathan Sanchez (3.54). He's only 3-2 personally in this span, but the Giants have won five of his seven outings. Zito pitched one of his better games of the season on May 3 against Colorado, yielding two hits and walking one in seven innings as the Giants proceeded to win, 1-0, in 10 innings. Among Rockies hitters, Todd Helton (.313, 5-for-16) has had fair success against Zito. But Zito has thrived against Brad Hawpe (.071, 1-for-14), Chris Iannetta (.100, 1-for-10), Clint Barmes (.154, 2-for-13), Garrett Atkins (.182, 4-for-22), Ryan Spilborghs (.188, 3-for-16) and Troy Tulowitzki (.211, 4-for-19).

Tidbits
Russ Ortiz, an 11-year Major League veteran signed to a Minor League contract by the Rockies on Sunday, made his Sky Sox debut on the same day, pitching four innings in relief and giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out three. ... The crowd at Coors Field on Sunday was the second-largest of the season and the fourth sellout of the year for the Rockies. The biggest crowd of 2009 came on Opening Day. ... Ubaldo Jimenez is now 5-0 with a 1.63 ERA in August. ... Huston Street's 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts Sunday makes him a perfect 13-for-13 in save opportunities at Coors Field this season. ... Clint Barmes has been hit twice this month with the bases loaded, Sunday against the Giants and Aug. 9 against the Cubs. ... Josh Fogg has been named as Wednesday's starter, taking Cook's turn in the rotation.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN

On radio
• KOA 850

Up next
• Tuesday: Rockies (Jason Hammel, 8-7, 4.54) vs. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 8-7, 2.96), 6:40 p.m. MT
• Wednesday: Rockies (Josh Fogg, 0-1, 2.25) vs. Dodgers (Randy Wolf, 8-6, 3.34), 6:40 p.m. MT
• Thursday: Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa, 12-8, 4.76) vs. Dodgers (Vicente Padilla, 8-6, 4.92), 1:10 p.m. MT

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.