Jason Marquis became Major League Baseball's first 12-game winner this season when he led the Colorado Rockies to a 6-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday. Marquis (12-6), in addition to a strong eight innings on the mound, drove in two runs with a double in a four-run sixth inning. "I haven't swung a bat in the past week or so with the All-Star break, and I hadn't taken batting practice this road trip yet," Marquis said. "I felt good, and I just tried to see it and hit it as hard as I could."
He struck out three and walked none while giving up five hits and one run. "When he starts throwing strikes early in the count and gets the opposition swinging, the ball starts getting hit on the ground (and) he gets a lot of easy outs," the Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "This is when Jason Marquis is at his best, and he was today." Ian Stewart and Brad Hawpe also hit solo home runs for Colorado, who won for the seventh time in 10 games.
Stewart gave the Rockies a 2-0 lead with his fourth inning homer and Hawpe made it 3-0 with his blast in the sixth. The win spoiled the Major League pitching debut of 21-year-old Padres rookie Mat Latos (0-1), who gave up three hits and two runs in four innings. He struck out four and walked one. San Diego scored their lone run in the seventh off a sacrifice fly by Kevin Kouzmanoff. Meanwhile in other action, JA Happ's impressive rookie season continued as he pitched seven scoreless innings to stay unbeaten as the Philadelphia Phillies' won 5-0 against the Florida Marlins.
It was the Phillies' eighth consecutive win and their sweep of the Marlins increased their lead over National League East rivals Florida to seven games, making the Atlanta Braves their closest challengers. Yunel Escobar had a home run and four RBI to lead the Braves to a 7-1 win over the New York Mets. Joel Pineiro was a key figure with bat and ball as the St Louis Cardinals maintained their two-game lead at the top the NL Central with a 2-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. He allowed one run across seven innings and also provided his own offence, driving in both runs.
Alfonso Soriano continued his return to form with his second homer in consecutive nights as the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 11-3. Jonny Gomes' two-run shot in the eighth inning gave the Cincinnati Reds a 5-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. * Reuters