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July 21, 2009

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Marquis becomes first 12-game winner as Rockies outplay Padres

JASON Marquis became MLB'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."

The All-Star right-hander 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," 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.

"There's no questioning the fastball and the arm that the kid has," Tracy said. "He's got a very powerful arm. When he starts to get to the point where he commands his secondary pitches, he's going to be a tough customer."

In Toronto, Roy Halladay allowed just six hits to win for the first time since June 7 and Rod Barajas drove in three runs to lead the Toronto Blue Jays past the Boston Red Sox 3-1.

Biggest prize

Halladay (11-3) could be the biggest prize available before the July 31 trade deadline. Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said this month he would field offers for the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner, who is signed through 2010.

Barajas put the Blue Jays in front with a two-out, two-run double in the second off left-hander Jon Lester (8-7).

In New York, Joba Chamberlain won for the first time in almost a month as New York got home runs from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez in a 2-1 victory over Detroit that completed a three-game sweep of the AL Central leaders.

Chamberlain (5-2) rebounded from two ineffective starts and New York edged punchless Detroit 2-1 for the second consecutive day.

In Cleveland, Ichiro Suzuki had three hits, scored twice and made a game-saving catch to help Seattle beat Cleveland 5-3 for a third straight game. Suzuki went 3 for 4 with a walk, raising his average to .363.

In Chicago, Jeremy Guthrie pitched eight solid innings and Gregg Zaun hit a three-run home run as Baltimore beat Chicago 10-2. Zaun was 3 for 4 with four RBIs as the Orioles improved to 15-29 on the road.

In Kansas City, Missouri, Gabe Gross drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the tiebreaking run with two outs in the eighth inning as Tampa Bay rallied for a 4-3 win against the struggling Kansas City bullpen.

In other action, it was: Angels 1, Athletics 0, 10 innings; Rangers 5, Twins 3, 12 innings.


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