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And Marquis‘ slider came around, his pitches moved more and the ball stayed down. Before exiting with one on and no outs in the eighth, Marquis retired eight of 10 batters via ground balls. The Brewers stranded 10 runners.

“My focus now is pounding the bottom of the strike zone,” Marquis said. “It’s just my experience watching past guys I’ve played with and thinking about what they did, the mindset they had when they took the ball.”

Marquis‘ effort was part of the Nationals’ unexpected string of outings from the starting rotation. The Colorado Rockies are baseball’s only other team to have their starters pitch at least five innings in each game.

“We’re trying to do our part to keep our team in the game,” Marquis said. “We’ve got to pick our team up. It’s that time of year.”