DENVER - It was a strange afternoon for Rockies starter German Marquez who surrendered seven hits and three runs in the first three innings. He was getting hit hard and often but also still piling up the swings and misses.
He pitched only the 86th immaculate inning in MLB history, striking out three batters on nine pitches in the fourth. It was the second in Rockies franchise history, the only other came courtesy of Rex Brothers on June 14, 2014 in San Francisco.
What looked early to be a short afternoon for Marquez turned into a quality start in which he tied his career high in strikeouts with 10.
Ultimately, he and the Rockies pitching staff were barely outdueled by Chris Archer and the Pittsburgh Pirates who edged out a 4-3 win.
The Pirates didn't waste any time picking up where they left off in the second game, finding the green with solid line drives against Marquez beginning with a one-single from Starling Marte. Gregory Polanco followed by smashing a double off the wall in deep left center, scoring the first run of the game.
Marquez then committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, allowing Polanco to reach third. He struck out the next batter but surrendered a two-out single to Colin Moran, plating another run.
They added one in the third on a single through the shift from Moran and a double to right by Adam Frazier. The run came in on a groundout to second off the bat of Josh Bell.