MESA, ARIZ. Jason Marquis made it known early in spring training he wants no part of the bullpen this season. Or the Chicago Cubs, if they assign him there.
The right-hander bolstered his case for a spot in the rotation with another sound start Tuesday, allowing one run and five hits over five-plus innings in the Cubs' 6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Chicago right fielder Kosuke Fukudome left the game in the sixth inning after an errant throw hit him below his left collarbone after a stolen base. He was immediately replaced by Eric Patterson and ran off the field without help.
Marquis, who has made at least 32 starts and won at least 12 games each of the last four seasons, is battling Jon Lieber and Ryan Dempster for two spots in the rotation. He struck out four and walked two against Kansas City.
"I'm prepared to be a starter for the Chicago Cubs," Marquis said. "That's first and foremost. Any other situation that takes me in a different direction, I'll address it when the time comes."
The rotation battle continues Wednesday with Dempster pitching at home against Oakland in an afternoon split-squad game and righty Lieber throwing against San Francisco in Scottsdale that night.
Dempster is coming off a disastrous outing against the Los Angeles Angels, when he allowed six runs and five hits in 12â3 innings. Lieber has allowed two runs and seven hits in 10 innings this spring.