Marquis escapes jam in sixth; Nationals lead Padres 2-1

SAN DIEGO - Jason Marquis took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and lost it on the first at-bat of that inning. After that, he gave up three walks and two hits to the next 11 batters. But somehow, he escaped it with only one run, and the Nationals still lead the Padres 2-1 heading into the seventh.

Marquis started to lose something on his fastball in the sixth inning, throwing it only 87 mph and leaving a couple up in the strike zone. He also got squeezed on a close pitch to Ryan Ludwick for a bases-loaded walk that has scored the Padres’ only run. But he threw only one fastball to Anthony Rizzo in a six-pitch at-bat, getting him to strike out on a changeup, and got Jorge Cantu to beat a sinker into the ground for the third out of the inning. Particularly on the Rizzo at-bat, Marquis made a good adjustment to get out of trouble.

The Nationals, though, have only had two hits since Michael Morse’s homer in the second, and Jayson Werth got picked off first with Morse at the plate in the sixth. It’s 2-1, and the Nationals will have to hope their bullpen is better tonight than it has been all week.