Padres Can't Score Again in Loss

San Diego wastes a good start from a promising rookie

One of the things that makes a pitcher a really good pitcher is the ability to stay in a game when he doesn’t have his best stuff. If Thursday is any indication, Joey Lucchesi is going to be a really good pitcher.

The rookie (and ninth-ranked San Diego prospect) threw well but, as is their custom in April, the Padres could not get much offense in a 3-1 loss to Colorado on Thursday afternoon at Petco Park.

Lucchesi’s second big league start came against the Rockies and it got off to a … well, a rocky start. He gave up a hit and walked three in the first two innings, using 45 pitches to do it. But he kept the Rockies from scoring and after that Lucchesi was really good, tossing three perfect innings on just 39 pitches. Joey finished with seven strikeouts and probably would have gone out for more but, once again, the Padres offense was not much help.

Lucchesi was removed for a pinch-hitter with two on and two outs in the bottom of the fifth but Chase Headley struck out looking to end the inning. Headley ran his season-opening hitless streak to 12-straight at-bats.

The Padres bullpen kept putting up zeroes. Phil Maton tossed a scoreless sixth and Craig Stammen got through the seventh and eighth with a little help from his friends. With Blackmon on third base and one out the Padres brought the infield in. DJ LeMahieu’s grounder up the middle was scooped up by a diving Freddy Galvis, who threw out LeMahieu from his knees at short to keep Blackmon from scoring. Stammen got Ian Desmond on a comebacker to end the threat.

The Rockies finally broke through in the ninth in one of the most improbable ways possible. All-Star reliever Brad Hand walked the first two batters he faced then Gerardo Parra tried to bunt them over. Carlos Asuaje dropped the throw covering first base to load them up with nobody out. Hand then struck out All-Star Carlos Gonzalez before issuing a four-pitch walk to Ryan McMahon, a rookie with no hits this season, to bring in the first run of the game.

Hand allowed a 2-run single to LeMahieu to make it 3-0 and, with the way the Padres offense has been going, that was plenty. Manuel Margot hit a solo home run in the ninth inning for the Friars’ lone run.

The Padres start their season-opening, seven-game homestand going 1-6 and now they hit the road to meet the defending World Series champion Astros for a three-game set in Houston starting Friday.

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