Jason Marquis was spotted four runs before he ever took the mound in his Twins debut Wednesday.
He nearly gave that lead right back in his first-ever inning in a Minnesota uniform and his first start since Aug. 14 of last season, when he suffered a broken leg.
Marquis' first inning of work as a Twin was a shaky one, as he gave up three runs on four hits and two walks against the New York Yankees, who quickly cut Minnesota's lead to 4-3. But, when all was said and done Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, Marquis earned the win as the Twins beat New York, 6-5.
After the Twins scored four runs in the top of the first, the Yankees quickly answered against Marquis. The bottom of the first started with a single by Derek Jeter, and Marquis then walked Curtis Granderson on four pitches. After Mark Teixeira flew out for the first out, Robinson Cano doubled in Jeter. Granderson and Cano scored one at-bat later on Nick Swisher's grounder up the middle off Marquis.
The Yankees wouldn't score again in the inning, but Marquis wasn't in the clear at that point. He gave up a two-out single to Raul Ibanez and walked Andruw Jones to load the bases. But Eric Chavez hit into an inning-ending double play, and Marquis escaped his first inning as a Twin with a 4-3 lead.
Marquis settled down after that, pitching a perfect second inning. He allowed one run in the third a solo homer by Robinson Cano to right field but that would be the last Yankees run scored on Marquis
"I really calmed down," Marquis said of his adjustment after the first inning. "I was really rushing a little bit, using a little too much of my body and my legs, jumping to home plate. That's just from the excitement of not being out on a big league mound since last August when I broke my leg. It was a lot of emotions running through my head, so I was just able to slow myself down, really try to make my legs disappear from underneath me so I could focus on getting downhill."Marquis also avoided trouble in the fourth inning, as he got Jeter to fly out and struck out Granderson with runners on first and second and just one out. Marquis' night ended after he faced the minimum in the fifth inning. Teixeira led off with a single but Marquis was again aided by a double play. The Twins right-hander then got Swisher to ground out to short for the final out of the fifth.After 87 pitches (50 strikes) and five innings, Marquis' Twins debut was done. He surrendered four runs on seven hits, struck out three and walked one. He left with a 6-4 lead and Minnesota held on to win 6-5."When we went to take him out, he said, 'I've got more,' which that's exactly what you'd expect out of him," Twins manager Gardenhire said. "We told him that's good enough for tonight. He's had a lot going on and a lot on his table in his first start. We were happy. As he went along, he had to battle all night long, but he made pitches when he had to, got out of some stuff and kept us with the lead, which was important."Marquis, a New York native, spent his previous 12 seasons in the National League with Atlanta, St. Louis, Washington, the Chicago Cubs, Arizona and Colorado. As a result, Marquis had only appeared at Yankee Stadium once prior to Wednesday, and that was the old stadium. He appeared in relief during his lone outing in the Bronx prior, pitching two innings while giving up two runs on one hit (a home run).But Wednesday marked Marquis' first time pitching at the new Yankee Stadium, which opened for the 2009 season. And he did so with his family in attendance, including his 7-year-old daughter, Reese, who suffered a serious bicycle accident last month. Marquis left spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., to be with his family during that time. Prior to Wednesday's start, Marquis built up his arm strength by pitching two games for Double-A New Britain, which allowed him to be close to his daughter. But Reese is recovering and was able to watch her dad earn his first win as a Twin."It's special to be back on the field, to be in my hometown, to be around my family especially through the hard times," Marquis said after Wednesday's game. "The Twins have been so gracious in allowing me to get my work done, to be around my family and be around my daughter, who had an unfortunate accident. To start off here and home and get a 'W,' it feels great."Robby Incmikoski contributed to this report.Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.