ATLANTA -- German Marquez's start for the Colorado Rockies against the Atlanta Braves at Denver in early April was one of his worst as the right-hander walked six and gave up seven runs over 4 2/3 innings.
Marquez, though, goes into his rematch with the Braves having apparently shaken off his struggles of the first few months of the season as the Rockies go for a four-game series sweep on Sunday at SunTrust Park.
The 23-year-old right-hander has won five of his last six decisions and held the Astros hitless though four innings at Houston on Tuesday, eventually allowing a run and three hits over seven innings in the 5-1 victory.
Marquez (10-9, 4.51 ERA) will be matched up against fellow Venezuelan Anibal Sanchez, a 34-year-old veteran who has been a relative model of consistency for the Braves this season and has never lost to the Rockies.
Sanchez (6-3, 3.07 ERA) is 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in six career starts against the Rockies. The right-hander allowed two runs and struck out six in five innings while getting a no-decision during the teams' April series won by the Braves.
Sanchez, though, needs a bit of a bounce-back effort coming into this game against the Rockies (67-56) as the Braves (68-54) try to recover from Saturday night's stunning 5-3 loss in 10 innings after leading 3-0 with two outs and on one on the ninth, while Marquez is riding a high from his last start, when he and his teammates got the best of the Astros and Justin Verlander.
"I try to do my best regardless of who I face, but yeah, there is a little extra whenever you're facing the reigning (World Series) champions and one of the best pitchers in the game," Marquez told the media afterward. "So that little extra was there for me."
Sanchez, in contrast, allowed five runs (four earned) over five innings in a no-decision against the struggling Miami Marlins. He gave up a two-run homer to J.T. Realmuto and hurt himself with a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt that led to three more runs.
It was Sanchez' first start after he had to leave after two innings when hit on the left calf by a comebacker at Washington on Aug. 9.
In the start before that, Sanchez struck out nine and gave up one run and two hits in six innings while beating the Mets and Jacob deGrom 2-1 in New York.
"I tried to prepare a really good game. I didn't want to make any mistakes. I knew for sure it was going to be a close game," Sanchez said afterward.
Sanchez has eight quality starts and the Braves are 10-7 when he takes the mound.
Despite Sanchez's success against the Rockies, outfielder Gerardo Parra is 10-for-19 against him with two home runs and three doubles.
In the Braves' victory in April over Marquez, Dansby Swanson was 3-for-3 with a double and triple, and Ozzie Albies hit a home run.
Marquez has 12 quality starts in 24 outings, with the Rockies going 13-11 when he pitches.
Marquez didn't face the Braves as a rookie last season, when he was 11-7 with 4.39 ERA.