NEW YORK -- Jason Marquis' return to the mound tonight turned into a bit of a ragged affair.
Making his first rehab start for Class A Potomac, Marquis allowed three runs and six hits over 3 2/3 innings against Winston-Salem. All three of the runs, though, came during the second inning at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge.
On the 15-day disabled list with bone chips in his right elbow, Marquis hadn't pitched since a disastrous outing April 18 in Washington in which he failed to retire any of the seven Brewers batters he faced. His ERA a staggering 20.52, Marquis was shut down after an enhanced MRI revealed the loose bodies in his elbow.
He received a cortisone shot and began playing catch later that week, reporting no problems. Marquis even tried to convince team officials to activate him off the DL Saturday when the Nationals needed a fill-in starter for John Lannan.
The club wanted the veteran right-hander to take things slower and make at least a couple of rehab starts. Before tonight's game at Citi Field, manager Jim Riggleman expressed hope that Marquis could return to the majors after perhaps only one more rehab outing.
He'll need to perform better next time out, though, to earn his way back into the Nationals' rotation. After escaping the first inning unscathed tonight, Marquis allowed two doubles and three singles during the three-run second. He rebounded to retire four the last six batters he faced, though he did walk one Winston-Salem batter and hit another before departing.