PITTSBURGH (AP) - Jason Marquis pitched so poorly early in the season that he was released.
Things have changed quite a bit since then.
The veteran right-hander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before settling for a two-hitter as the San Diego Padres beat the Pirates 5-0 for their 11th straight win in Pittsburgh.
Travis Snider broke up the bid with an infield single off the pitcher's mound leading off the seventh inning. Second baseman Alexi Amarista dived to his right but the ball glanced off his glove.
Released earlier this season by Minnesota, Marquis struck out four and walked one in his first shutout since April 29, 2011, for Washington against San Francisco, and fifth of his career. Pedro Alvarez was the only other Pittsburgh player to reach base. He walked in the second and singled in the eighth.
``He was just pounding the strike zone with his sinker,' San Diego third baseman Chase Headley said. ``It was fun to watch.'
The Padres, who joined the National League in 1969 as an expansion team, are the only major league franchise without a no-hitter. Johan Santana threw the first one in New York Mets' history on June 1 against St. Louis.
``It goes to show you how hard pitching a no-hitter really is,' San Diego manager Bud Black said.
Marquis (6-6), who threw his eighth career complete game, was released by the Twins after going 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA in seven starts. San Diego signed the 13-year veteran as a free agent on May 29.
Marquis has never thrown a no-hitter.
``I'd love to have one, that's the goal every time you take the mound,' Marquis said. ``I gave it a pretty good shot but it didn't quite work out.'
Marquis missed the latter part of spring training and the beginning of the season while on the bereavement list after his 7-year-old daughter, Reese Marquis, was severely injured in a bicycle accident near their Long Island home. Reese has recovered and Marquis is now pitching with a clear head.
``I wasn't able to do the things I needed to do to really be able to be ready to pitch at the start of the season but I don't regret that because my family will always come first,' Marquis said. ``The Twins were great with letting me spend all the time I needed with my family. I felt bad it didn't work out there but I'm also thankful for this opportunity. I enjoy playing with these guys.'
San Diego won its sixth straight game and sent Pittsburgh to its third consecutive loss. The Padres' winning streak in Pittsburgh began in 2009.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle managed Marquis in Colorado for part of the 2009 season when he won 15 games and earned his only All-Star Game selection.
``It can be challenging because you keep wanting to hit him and you can't hit anything hard because of his sinker,' Hurdle said. ``We didn't square many balls up.'
Headley hit his third home run in the two games for the Padres and Will Venable also went deep. Venable and Marquis each had two of San Diego's 10 hits.
A.J. Burnett (14-4) failed in his bid to become the first Pirates pitcher to win 15 games since Todd Ritchie in 1999 and also had his four-game winning streak stopped.
Burnett allowed five runs - four earned - and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks. It was Burnett's first loss in eight home decisions and the Pirates had been 10-0 in his starts at PNC Park.
``We were fortunate to score as many runs as he did because Burnett was really tough and his curveball was nasty,' Headley said.
Snider left the game after the seventh inning with right hamstring tightness after beating out an infield hit. He said the injury was minor and he expects to play Sunday.
Headley's home run, his 18th, with two outs in the first inning opened the scoring. He homered twice Friday night in San Diego's 9-8 win over Pittsburgh.
Everth Cabrera led off the third with a triple and scored on Yonder Alonso's two-out single.
In the fourth, first baseman Garrett Jones booted a grounder by Venable for a two-base error and Cameron Maybin followed with an RBI single to push the Padres' lead to 3-0.
Venable hit his seventh homer to lead off the sixth and Headley drew a bases-loaded walk from Burnett with two outs to round out the scoring.
NOTES: San Diego placed RHP Huston Street, who has converted all 21 save opportunities this season, on the disabled list with a strained left calf muscle and recalled RHP Cody Burns from Triple-A Tucson. Street was injured while recording the final out in Friday night's game. ... Pittsburgh RHP Kevin Correia will get a second spot start Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers as manager Clint Hurdle wants to give his starting pitchers extra rest during a stretch where his team is playing 20 games in 20 days. Correia, who was moved to the bullpen from the starting rotation following the acquisition of LHP Wandy Rodriguez from Houston in a July 24 trade with Houston, also started Wednesday and beat Arizona. Correia has won his last seven decisions to improve to 9-6. ... The crowd of 39,485 was the third-largest in PNC Park's 12-season history with part of the lure being a postgame fireworks extravaganza and concert by Styx. ... San Diego RHP Ross Ohlendorf (4-2, 5.61) will face Pittsburgh LHP Erik Bedard (6-12, 4.53) on Sunday in the finale of the three-game series.
The Associated Press News Service
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