The travails of Jason Marquis continue. In what probably was his worst game in the last four, all losses, Marquis gave up two homers to Colorado left fielder Matt Holliday, hit two batters, failed to strike out anybody and generally labored through six innings in a 6-2 loss to the Rockies.
Marquis has given up 33 hits and 25 runs (22 earned) in 22 2/3 innings over his last four starts and has tossed six homers. "He's working real hard to get it right," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.
The Cardinals hit several balls hard off Colorado starter Jeff Francis, but had multiple runners on in just one inning of the first seven Francis pitched.
In the eighth, the Cardinals broke through against Francis for the only time when second baseman Hector Luna, a .444 hitter (8-for-18) with men in scoring position, singling to score left fielder So Taguchi, who had walked.
REPLAY: Jason Marquis (3-4) was bad from the start, hitting two and walking one of the first seven hitters to face him. Colorado scored two runs in the first and never looked back.
The Cardinals didn't have an extra-base hit among the seven hits they had off Colorado starter Jeff Francis and reliever Jose Mesa. They lost for just the fifth time in 17 games at new Busch Stadium.
NOTES --RHP Sidney Ponson has been diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain in his right elbow area. Ponson, who came out after three innings on Sunday, will have his next start skipped because of a day off for the Cardinals this week.
No decision has been made about putting him on the disabled list, although that might happen because the Cardinals can get by without a fifth starter until May 20 in Kansas City.
--OF Larry Bigbie, who had been on a medical rehabilitation option at Triple-A Memphis, was activated from the 15-day disabled list. Bigbie, who suffered a cracked bone in his left foot in spring training, replaced OF John Gall on the roster. Gall, hitting .250 in 12 at-bats, was sent back to Memphis. Bigbie hit only .143 (5-for-35) at Memphis.
--RHP Jason Marquis, who lost for the fourth straight time, allowed runners in every inning but the fourth. --The Cardinals' loss was their fifth in their last eight games.