DENVER — Germán Márquez couldn’t get it done with his arm. His bat, however, was a different story.
It wasn’t just his, though. Nearly the entire lineup got on base, as the Rockies took down the Dodgers 10-5 on Wednesday night. The Dodgers, chasing the Giants for the National League West title, were a game behind San Francisco entering Wednesday’s game.
For the Rockies, as fun as it may be to play spoiler, none of this changes where they are in the standings. But, they still want their top pitcher to break out of this rough patch before the offseason.
Márquez muddled this start, giving up five earned runs before he was removed in the fifth. After a star-studded June and July, when he posted a 2.86 ERA and earned a trip to the All-Star Game, Márquez has struggled. He’s given up 15 earned runs in the last 19 innings.
"I just want to finish strong," he said. "I've been thinking too much. It is what it, it's baseball. It's always up and down."
On Wednesday, he started fine, but things unraveled in the fourth. Justin Turner scored on an RBI double from Gavin Lux, then Luke Raley hit a towering 472-foot home run to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. It didn’t get much better in the fifth, as Márquez walked three, including one with the bases loaded.
"I thought he came out of his delivery a little bit," manager Bud Black said. "Really looked like he wanted to keep the ball down for a potential double play. Looked sped up, rushed. Caught up in the moment of an impactful game."
Black has been hesitant to call Márquez his ace, even though Márquez has at times this season pitched at that caliber. Then come the starts like this, or worse — he’s allowed six or more runs in four outings this year. All pitchers have bad days, just like all athletes do. But Márquez knows that to earn that coveted title, he needs to eliminate some of those starts.
Márquez, despite his performance on the mound, was the one who helped them take the lead. With the game tied 3-3 in the fourth, he hit an RBI double, sending CJ Cron and Ryan McMahon home to give the Rockies a 5-3 lead. Márquez now has a .250 batting average, adding to his Silver Slugger campaign.
Luckily for Márquez, his teammates were feisty. They saved him in the fifth, when, with no outs and the bases loaded, Charlie Blackmon turned what should have been a routine sacrifice fly into a double play to get Trea Turner out at third.
"A momentum changer," Black said. "It's like a fumble in football in the NFL, when you are driving and you fumble and the other team recovers. ... that was a huge play."
They also drove out CY Young candidate Walker Buehler in the fourth inning, targeting him for five earned runs. The Rockies also forced the Dodgers to use six relievers.
Brendan Rodgers and Sam Hilliard each hit home runs, their 15th and 12th of the season respectively. Cron, a free agent after the season, went 4 for 5 with an RBI. Cron, who won August National League player of the month, has made himself even more valuable to the Rockies heading into the offseason.
And the bullpen held steady, with Robert Stephenson, Tyler Kinley, Jordan Sheffield and Lucas Gilbreath pitching scoreless innings for the Rockies.