German Marquez earns first win of season as Rockies blow past Royals at Coors Field

German Marquez finally returned to his All-Star form Saturday night at Coors Field.

The Rockies’ right-hander was excellent in a 10-4 victory against the Royals, allowing three earned runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts. He blanked Kansas City in five of six innings pitched.

The team’s presumed ace had entered the game 0-3 this season with a 6.47 ERA over his last six starts.

“Everything was working today,” Marquez said. “Today was good. I feel happy with this outing. … I’ve been working on my mechanics and to get that fastball down.”

Colorado (17-16), in the midst of a nine-game homestand, has the opportunity to claim its three-game series over Kansas City on Sunday afternoon.

Marquez received plenty of run support in his first win of the year. Sam Hilliard continued to bust out of his offensive slump with a three-run homer in the third and set a career-high with four RBIs on the night. The Rockies also received solo home runs from Charlie Blackmon (first inning) and Ryan McMahon (seventh inning).

The Rockies totaled 10 hits on Saturday and set a National League record with at least two runs scored at home over the past 80 games inside Coors Field.

“It’s huge for the team,” Hilliard said. “It’s good to see the bats start going again in back-to-back games at home. We’re looking forward to doing more of the same tomorrow.”

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Marquez breezed through the first two innings before getting challenged in the third. Kansas City’s Michael Taylor started the inning with a triple off the wall in right. Whit Merrifield chipped in an RBI single before Salvador Perez launched a two-run homer to tie the game at 3-3. But Marquez, a first-time All-Star selection in 2021, finished the night strong allowing no hits or walks over his final three innings.

“(Marquez) knows his place on this team and what his start day means to us,” manager Bud Black said. “He was frustrated and disappointed about what happened in his first five or six starts. But I think, how he’s throwing now, that can be put behind him. Hopefully, we can see him reel off a few starts like tonight.”

Marquez was replaced by reliever Ashton Goudeau in the seventh. He gave up a solo homer to Bobby Witt Jr. before settling in to retire the side. Right-hander Tyler Kinley held Kansas City scoreless in the eighth and Lucas Gilbreath closed the game for Colorado in the ninth with no runs allowed.

The University of Denver hockey team, the reigning NCAA champion, was a special guest at Coors Field on Saturday night. DU head coach David Carle threw out the first pitch. Black spoke with Carle and Pioneer players before the game.

“Who doesn’t love championships? I’ve been fortunate to be part of a few,” Black said. “In whatever sport, it’s a special bond that those guys are going to have the rest of their careers. … I just wanted to congratulate them. I think it’s awesome.”

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