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Marquis has arm, bat suited for Coors

Citizen Staff Writer



Colorado got a two-for-one deal with the acquisition of Jason Marquis during the offseason: A starting pitcher and a strong hitter.

The Rockies got a player who has a reputation for throwing strikes in Coors Field, while being a home run threat at the plate.

“I pride myself in everything I do,” Marquis said. “I don’t want to be another out just standing there at the plate. I want to make the pitcher work.

“It has won me a few games over the course of the last five or so years.”

Marquis joined the Rockies in a trade with the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Luis Vizcaino in January.

The pickup gives Colorado a consistent hurler who has won at least 11 games in five straight seasons. It also provides a pitcher with a .206 career batting average and five home runs.

Marquis hit a grand slam to break open a 2-2 tie against the New York Mets a year ago.

The homer was part of a five-RBI game, the first for a Cubs pitcher in 36 years. The blast was also his second homer within three plate appearances.

Marquis, 30, had a home run against Cincinnati in his previous game.

“It makes the other pitcher work a little harder knowing there are nine outs in the National League instead of eight,” Marquis said. “More than anything, it puts more pressure on the pitcher than myself.”

The homer in Shea Stadium couldn’t have come at a better time, with 40 of the New Yorker’s fans and family in the grandstands.

Marquis also has 25 doubles, two triples and 40 RBIs during his career.

“As a pitcher, I don’t exactly have 500 home runs so I remember them all vividly,” he said. “Hopefully there are more to come.”

And, oh, yes, the right-hander can pitch as well. Marquis is 79-70 overall with a 4.55 ERA.

But those numbers are better at Coors Field, where the Rockies play. In Denver, he has a 3-0 mark with a 2.51 ERA.

“He is coming here with an edge,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “He wants to take his career to the next step . . .

“He is very athletic off the mound and has a nice skill set and sinks the ball. His athleticism on offense is another dynamic which gives us a chance to make a gigantic step forward.”

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