Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis hits grand slam

Updated: September 23, 2008, 12:44 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Jason Marquis hit a grand slam Monday night against the New York Mets and became the first Chicago Cubs pitcher in 36 years to have five RBIs in a game.

Marquis connected off rookie Jon Niese in the fourth inning, snapping a 2-all tie with his fifth career homer and second this season. It was the second slam the Mets allowed to a pitcher this year -- Seattle's Felix Hernandez cracked one June 23 off Johan Santana, also at Shea Stadium.

The 1977 Cubs were the previous team to give up two grand slams to pitchers in one season. Montreal's Don Stanhouse and Philadelphia's Larry Christenson hit those long balls, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Enjoying a big game in his hometown after leaving nearly 30 tickets for friends and family, Marquis added an RBI groundout in the fifth to make it 8-2. The last Cubs pitcher to drive in five runs was Milt Pappas on Aug. 11, 1972, against the Mets at Wrigley Field.

"It's pretty impressive. Plus, he pitched a good ballgame," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said.

Kevin Tapani hit the previous grand slam by a Cubs pitcher on July 20, 1998, at Atlanta off Denny Neagle.

The five RBIs were a career high for Marquis, who entered the game with a .205 career batting average and 35 RBIs -- including five this season.

"When he comes up there, he's more than capable of handling himself," teammate Mark DeRosa said. "He's a pretty good hitter. We've been kidding him about that all year."

In the fourth, Marquis pulled a first-pitch curveball into New York's right-field bullpen for his second home run in three at-bats. He also connected off Cincinnati's Gary Majewski on Sept. 6 in a 14-9 victory.

"I was just looking for a ball I could drive," Marquis said. "Bases loaded, pitcher up, obviously he didn't want to fall behind."

Marquis left with an 8-4 lead in the seventh inning and received applause from fans behind Chicago's dugout on the third base side. The Cubs won 9-5, boosting Marquis' record to 11-9.

The slam by Hernandez in June was the first by an AL pitcher since Cleveland's Steve Dunning connected off Oakland's Diego Segui on May 11, 1971.

Dontrelle Willis, then pitching for Florida, also hit a grand slam against the Mets at Shea Stadium on July 7, 2006.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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