Marquis goes seven strong as Rockies top Cubs
Jason Marquis wasn't a fan favorite in his time with the Chicago Cubs, and if he didn't know it then, he does now. The Wrigley Field faithful booed him at every turn this week.
Marquis got some measure of revenge Wednesday, hitting a two-run single off Rich Harden to put Colorado ahead against his former team, then pitching the Rockies over the Chicago Cubs 5-2.
"Everybody has the right to react the way they want and feel the way they want," he said. "Obviously, that's not the way I was raised, to boo people, but everybody is different. If there was something I didn't like, I just didn't pay attention."
Marquis (2-0), who spent the previous two years with the Cubs, was jeered during introductions before Monday's home opener and again several times Wednesday. He hit a bases-loaded single in the second and allowed one run and five hits in seven innings.
Did this win mean anything extra?
"Not really," he said. "A little ammo to talk to the guys I'm friends with, but other than that, a win is a win. It feels great every time I get it."
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle didn't talk to Marquis about pitching against his old club. He had a different take on Marquis' status among Cubs fans.
"He did pretty well here," Hurdle said of Marquis' 23-18 record with Chicago. "He pitched a lot of innings and won some games. I walked around the streets enough here the last couple of days and everybody told me they liked him."
Manuel Corpas followed Marquis with a hitless eighth before Huston Street got in trouble in the ninth, allowing a leadoff home run to Derrek Lee followed by a walk to pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot and a single to Reed Johnson.
Jason Grilli came in, and Fontenot was thrown out by Chris Iannetta trying to advance on a breaking ball in the dirt that got away from the catcher. Geovany Soto then hit into a game-ending double play, giving Grilli his second career save and first this year.
"At that point, I should've stayed at second," Fontenot said. "With Geo up, he could've tied the game with one swing. I thought the ball rolled farther away from him. I was trying to be too aggressive."
Street is 0-1 with a save and a 13.50 ERA in four appearances. His status as closer is unclear.
"I've got a whole night and a whole 'nother day to figure something out," Hurdle said. "If we need to figure something out."
Seth Smith homered for the Rockies, who completed a two-game split on a cold afternoon with the wind blowing in.
Harden, rested for much of spring training to aid a balky shoulder, allowed four runs, five hits and four walks in three innings, his shortest outing since July 7, 2007, when he went 2 2-3 innings for Oakland against Seattle. He struck out eight but threw 92 pitches.
"He struck out the side in the first, but then he started to throw, instead of pitch," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said.
Harden has 18 strikeouts in two starts, but the Cubs lost both games.
"I felt good, maybe a little too good," Harden said. "It's something I've always fought, where I feel too good and I start throwing, instead of delivering every pitch with a purpose."
After Harden struck out his first four batters, Colorado loaded the bases on a pair of walks and an infield single. Clint Barmes then struck out, but Marquis singled to center on a ball Johnson couldn't come up with on a dive. Johnson did throw out Iannetta at third to end the inning.
"Jason can swing it," Soto said. "I trust Harden's fastball anytime, but he got good wood on it."
Marquis, the 2005 NL Silver Slugger winner at pitcher, has a .211 batting average, five homers and 43 RBIs in 446 career at-bats.
Smith homered in the third, and Colorado made it 4-0 when Todd Helton doubled and Alfonso Soriano misplayed Garrett Atkins' single to left.
Pinch-hitter Micah Hoffpauir doubled in a run for the Cubs in the fifth, but pinch-hitter Dexter Fowler made it 5-1 with an RBI double in the eighth.
With every player, manager and coach wearing No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, Piniella joked he might confuse Kosuke Fukudome's interpreter. "I'll yell, 'Hey 42' and he's going to be looking around," Piniella said. ... The game time temperature also was 42. ... The Cubs held Aramis Ramirez out for the second straight game with a sore lower back. Milton Bradley missed his second full game with a strained right groin. Bradley will be out a few more games. ... Soto made his first start since the second game of the season. He had been out with shoulder soreness. ... Colorado OF Brad Hawpe missed the game because of a strained left hamstring. ... Smith's homer ended an 0-for-10 slump.