Lucchesi bitten by home run ball in start vs. Rockies

SAN DIEGO– One start removed from having only thrown 69 pitches in five-plus innings against the Washington Nationals, Joey Lucchesi was lifted on Monday evening after throwing only 71 pitches in five innings of work.

It was an up-and-down start for the rookie left-hander. Despite the low pitch count, Lucchesi allowed six hits and three runs, all of them earned. He struck out two and walked one.

In the top of the fifth, he was bitten by the home run ball from two unlikely sources. Daniel Castro led the inning off with his first home run since 2015; a line drive shot that landed in the left-field seats. After allowing a hit to pitcher Tyler Anderson and inducing a ground-ball double play off the bat of Charlie Blackmon, Lucchesi gave up his second home run of the inning to right fielder Noel Cuevas.

For Cuevas, the 354-foot home run was the first of his career.

Lucchesi averaged 88.9 mph on his fastball and induced only two swinging strikes with his much-talked about “churve.”

Hitting in Lucchesi’s place in the bottom of the fifth was Matt Szczur, who doubled down the left field line and later scored to tie the game at three.

Kazuhisa Makita came on in relief in the top of the sixth and allowed a three-run home run to left fielder Gerardo Parra.

The Rockies currently lead 6-3 in the bottom of the sixth.