PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Jason Marquis has been a feel-good story for the Padres, and that continued on Saturday night when he flirted with what would have been the first no-hitter in Padres history. He settled for a two-hit, complete-game shutout, as San Diego beat the Pirates, 5-0.
The 33-year-old Marquis pitched so poorly at the start of the season that he was released by the Minnesota Twins after going 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA in seven starts. San Diego signed the 13-year veteran as a free agent on May 29.
He missed the latter part of Spring Training and the beginning of the season while on the bereavement list after his 7-year-old daughter, Reese Marquis, was severely injured in a bicycle accident near their Long Island, N.Y., home. Reese has recovered and Marquis is now pitching with a clear head.
"I wasn't able to do the things I needed to do to really be able to be ready to pitch at the start of the season, but I don't regret that because my family will always come first," Marquis said. "The Twins were great with letting me spend all the time I needed with my family. I felt bad it didn't work out there, but I'm also thankful for this opportunity. I enjoy playing with these guys."
Marquis has now earned a win in five of his last six starts, and lowered his ERA to 3.66 with San Diego.
"It's really just being able to work on what I needed to work on," Marquis said of his resurgence. "Unfortunate situations happen and you've got to attend to them. I just wasn't there to work on what I needed to, but every time I step on the mound I did everything I could to try and get hitters out, and sometimes it doesn't work out. I came to San Diego and I felt refreshed, and I was able to go home and see that my daughter was getting better and on her way to a great recovery.
"I have a clear mind and was able to work on things at home, my one Minor League start here and pitching coach Darren Balsley has been unbelievable, I keep saying I wish I would have found him 10 years ago. He's made a world of difference."