The Washington Times - March 14, 2011, 01:05PM

VIERA, Fla. — We’re minutes from the first pitch here at Space Coast Stadium where Jason Marquis will be making his third start of the spring.

Before he takes the mound, a few quick notes about Marquis:


He is working on a seven-inning scoreless streak this spring, which is an encouraging sign for a pitcher whose first year in the organization went south quite quickly and a guy who, last spring, allowed 21 earned runs in 20.2 innings.

Recovered from having bone chips in his right elbow removed in May of 2010, Marquis is in the final year of a two-year, $15 million deal and could become a valuable trade piece for the Nationals if he comes out and has a strong first half.

There are 10 current Tigers who have faced Marquis before but, fortunately for the right-hander, the player with the most success against him, Miguel Cabrera, did not travel to Viera today. Cabrera has faced Marquis 19 times with a .412 average, two doubles, a homer and three RBI.

Of the Tigers who made the trip, Marquis has been mostly in control when they’ve met. Magglio Ordonez has faced him six times with one hit and three striekouts; Johnny Peralta with a triple and two RBI; and Don Kelly with four at-bats and one hit.

Marquis figures to go four or five innings at least today, building off the three he tossed in his first start and the four-inning outing he had last time out on March 9.