Jason Marquis makes his season debut this evening, as the Minnesota Twins continue a four-game set with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
After signing with the Twins this offseason, Marquis had to miss two weeks of spring training while tending to his seven-year-old daughter, who was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in Staten Island, N.Y.
He made two starts in the minors, allowing three runs over 14 innings.
"I felt great, physically and mentally," Marquis said. "Obviously the time the Twins gave me to be with my daughter and pitch with New Britain at the same time allowed me not only to get ready, physically and mentally, too. She's at home safe and sound now."
"... But as for myself, I was able to accomplish what I wanted in New Britain, and now I'm ready to go."
Marquis, who grew up in Long Island, rooting for the Yankees, split last season between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks and was 8-6 with a 4.43 ERA. In addition to those teams Marquis has also pitched for Atlanta, St. Louis, the Cubs and Colorado. This, though, will be his first start as an American Leaguer.
"I grew up a Yankees fan," Marquis said. "So to start a game in a different uniform here is definitely exciting and a dream come true. It took 13 years to get it done and it finally came, and hopefully I can get the 'W' Wednesday."
Getting that win will be tough, though. Not only have the Twins won just three of their last 13 and eight of their last 34 in the Bronx, but they will be facing Hiroki Kuroda, who was absolutely brilliant in his Bronx debut on Friday.
After a poor showing against Tampa Bay in his first start with the Yankees, Kuroda dazzled his last time out, scattering five hits over eight-plus innings to get the win. He also struck out six and walked a pair.
"It was exactly what you'd want," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. "Hiro did an outstanding job against a team that puts a lot of pressure on defenses and swings the bats. He's the story of the game. He shut down a very good team."
The Yankees evened this set up at a game apiece on Tuesday, as CC Sabathia struck out seven batters over 7 1/3 innings and New York got three RBI from Chris Stewart in an 8-3 victory.
Stewart highlighted a four-run third with the go-ahead two-run single. Andruw Jones belted a solo homer and Derek Jeter knocked in two runs as part of a 13- hit attack.
The Twins, who took the opener of this four-game set on Monday, got a homer from Josh Willingham. Francisco Liriano (0-2) allowed seven hits and five runs over 2 1/3 innings and saw his ERA rise to 11.91.
"I just want him to relax, have a smile on his face and have some fun playing this game because he has great stuff," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said about Liriano.