German Marquez rebounds big time as Rockies blast Phillies – The Denver Post

There are miniature moments that paint the big picture of a player’s season.

Case in point: German Marquez’s strikeout of Bryce Harper in the fifth inning of the Rockies’ 11-2 win over the Phillies Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

With two on and two out, Harper, Philly’s National League MVP candidate, worked Marquez to a 3-2 count. But Marquez struck out Harper swinging at a wicked 85.5 mph knuckle-curve to preserve Colorado’s 4-0 lead. Marquez acknowledge that the juices were flowing when he fanned Harper.

“Harper is a dangerous guy, so I knew that I had to strike out this guy or put him away. It was a big moment for me,” said Marquez, who whittled his ERA to 3.93 after 29 starts.

Manager Bud Black called the Harper strikeout, “The at-bat of the night … That was the key moment for German, for us, and we felt it in the dugout.”

“Overall, I thought he was pitching (tonight) and not ‘out-stuffing’ the opponent,” Black said, who credited Marquez’s increased maturity for the right-hander’s ability to grind through a long season.

Marquez’s bounce-back performance paved the way for the road-challenged Rockies to take their second straight game at Philadelphia. The Rockies hit three homers, including a grand slam by catcher Elias Diaz in the ninth, his 17th homer of the season.

Colorado was on the brink of its first shutout in Philadelphia since Sept. 12, 2007, until Didi Gregorius hit a solo homer off Ben Bowden in the ninth and Harper delivered an RBI single.

The Phillies’ wild-card playoff hopes are quickly fading. With a 71-70 record, they are now four games behind San Diego for the National League’s second wild-card spot. The Padres were playing at the Los Angeles Dodgers late Friday night.

Marquez, a first-time all-star who’s on track to be the best starting pitcher in Rockies history, entered the game in a definite funk. Over his last five starts, he’d carried a 7.77 ERA with eight home runs allowed. Batters were hitting 12-for-26 with runners in scoring position against the righty during that span.

But Marquez was sharp Friday night, pitching six scoreless innings, allowing six hits, striking out six and walking one.

Colorado’s road-challenged offense, meanwhile, strung together a number of good at-bats, something that’s been the Rockies’ goal since spring training. The Rockies finished the night with 10 hits and hit 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

In Colorado’s three-run second, Diaz and Colton Welker drew one-out walks off of lefty Bailey Falter. Sam Hilliard drove in Diaz with a single and Yonathan Daza’s hustle double brought home Welker. Cam Bedrosian relieved Falter and immediately gave up an RBI single to Marquez, who drove in his seventh run of the season.

Charlie Blackmon’s run-scoring single made it 4-0 in the fourth. Back-to-back solo homers by Trevor Story and C.J. Cron off Ramon Rosso made it 6-0 in the seventh. Story’s homer was his 20th, while Cron blasted his 27th, this one a 437-footer to left.

Cron, who is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the season, is just three homers short of the career-high 30 he hit with Tampa Bay in 2018. He also delivered an RBI single in the ninth for his 82nd RBI of the season, extending his career-high.

The two clubs hook up for the third game of the four-game series on Saturday night.

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