SAN DIEGO -- Kazuhisa Makita spent the first week of this Padres' homestand at Triple-A El Paso. The Rockies greeted him rudely upon his return to the big leagues.Gerardo Parra launched a tiebreaking three-run homer off Makita in the top of the sixth inning Monday night, sending Colorado to a
SAN DIEGO -- Kazuhisa Makita spent the first week of this Padres' homestand at Triple-A El Paso. The Rockies greeted him rudely upon his return to the big leagues.
Gerardo Parra launched a tiebreaking three-run homer off Makita in the top of the sixth inning Monday night, sending Colorado to a 6-4 victory at Petco Park. It wasn't the softest landing spot for Makita, and it wasn't the softest landing either.
"He missed down and in," said Padres manager Andy Green. "That down-and-in spot to Parra is not where you want to end up."
Makita had allowed 11 runs over his last eight appearances. Yet the Padres called upon the struggling right-hander in a tie game in the sixth inning. Green laid out his reasoning.
Under different circumstances, Makita wouldn't have entered in that spot. But right-hander Phil Maton was placed on the disabled list Sunday. Jordan Lyles was promoted to the rotation last week. Plus, closer Brad Hand was unavailable, having worked two straight days, pushing Adam Cimber into a late-inning role.
"It pushes everybody back," Green said. "It changes the context, and not having Phil Maton or Jordan Lyles changes the context of your bullpen. At some point, you've got to hand the ball to somebody against three righties. … That's for Maki to step up and pitch well. It just didn't happen for him."
Green also liked the matchups. Makita retired Trevor Story on a bunt attempt, but he allowed hard singles to Ian Desmond and Chris Iannetta, setting the stage for the lefty-hitting Parra. Green stuck with Makita, citing Parra's ugly swings against the right-hander last month.
"He clearly didn't see him well," Green said. "[Makita] beat him up in the zone."
On Monday, Makita lost to Parra down in the zone.
Meanwhile, Padres rookie starter Joey Lucchesi battled what he called "glute tightness" that persisted throughout his start. Both he Green downplayed the nature of the tightness, and Lucchesi said he's worked through the issue in the past.
Still, Lucchesi ran into a bit of fatigue as a result. With one out in the fifth inning, Lucchesi hung his changeup/curveball hybrid to Daniel Castro, who mashed it into the left-field seats. Noel Cuevas did the same three batters later when Lucchesi grooved an 88-mph fastball down the middle to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom half of the frame, Green pinch-hit for his starter after just 71 pitches. Lucchesi had allowed three runs on five hits while striking out two. He also reached base via walk in the third inning and was thrown out trying to score with an awkward slide into home on a wild pitch.
"When you're battling [leg tightness] and you're fatigued, it wasn't the right time to put him back out for the sixth," Green said.
For a moment, the decision appeared prudent, as pinch-hitter Matthew Szczur doubled and later scored to tie the game. But it set the stage for Makita's implosion.
GALVIS ON CYCLE WATCH
Padres shortstop Freddy Galvis appears to have put his slump behind him, pounding out three more hits on Monday night. When he strode to the plate with two outs in the ninth, he was a homer shy of the cycle.
He bunted. Seriously.
The way Galvis saw it, reaching base was of paramount importance with his team down by two runs. Had he homered, the Padres would've been in practically the same position, needing a runner other than him to score to tie the game.
"I'm just trying to do what's best for the team," Galvis said. "What's best for the team was getting on base. I'm trying to get a rally going. It's not about me. I don't want to go up there and make three big swings for the fence."
Galvis pushed his bunt up the first-base line, and was out by a step when Desmond flipped to closer Wade Davis.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Squeeze me close: Even in the most dire of slumps, Manuel Margot brings plenty to the table with his speed and with his defense. He showed off another facet of his game in the third inning with a picture-perfect squeeze bunt that plated Galvis (who had doubled to open the frame). The placement of Margot's bunt forced Desmond to vacate the bag. Rockies starter Tyler Anderson initially went for the ball, too, and Margot's wheels carried him to an easy single.
Trevor Stor-E: Franmil Reyes went 0-for-4 in his big league debut, reaching base only once when Story sailed his throw into the netting beyond the first-base line. The error plated Franchy Cordero, but it represented something of a bad break for the Padres. Last year, Story's throw would've landed in the second row. This year, the ball was in play, and Reyes was held at first. It's likely he'd have scored on Galvis' ensuing two-out single. Instead, the Padres settled for one run and a 2-1 lead.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Reyes, Cordero and Margot combined to make up the first outfield in franchise history featuring a trio of Dominican-born players.
Lyles was sharp in his first start of the season, allowing one earned run to the Cardinals over five innings. Now, the veteran right-hander will face the Rockies, his former club, on Tuesday afternoon with first pitch slated for 12:40 p.m. PT. Colorado counters with right-hander German Marquez.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.