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Lucroy set for Rockies debut vs. Mets

DENVER -- Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is expected to make his Rockies debut on Thursday in the rubber game of Colorado's three-game series with the New York Mets.

Colorado right-hander German Marquez (9-4, 4.08 ERA) will look to win a fifth consecutive start when he opposes Mets right-hander Rafael Montero (1-7, 5.56).

The Rockies acquired Lucroy on Sunday from the Texas Rangers for a player to be named. He was scratched from the lineup Tuesday due to stomach illness. Lucroy was better Wednesday but said he still felt weak. He anticipates playing in the series finale, a day game after a night game.

"I've got to give these guys (a) return, so I've got to get out there and play a little bit and start contributing the best I can," Lucroy said. He added of the stomach issue, "Believe me, it's terrible timing, absolutely terrible timing."

The Rockies (61-47) acquired Lucroy, 31, to provide a veteran presence behind the plate and particularly to help guide a rotation that has often included four rookies -- Marquez, Kyle Freeland, Jeff Hoffman and Antonio Senzatela.

"Coming over here, I'm jumping right into a good lineup, jumping into a good hitting park," said Lucroy, who has struggled offensively this season, hitting .242 with four homers and 27 RBI in 77 games with Texas. "I'm jumping into a division which I'm very familiar with. It's one of those things, it feels good. It's like a breath of fresh air, even if the air's a little thinner."

Lucroy will be catching Marquez, who has never faced the Mets. Marquez is 4-0 with a 3.25 ERA in his past four starts, recording four walks and 33 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings.

The Rockies are 11-6 in starts by Marquez, who is 5-2 with a 4.29 ERA in eight starts this season at Coors Field.

Marquez retired the first 16 batters and had a career-high 10 strikeouts in his last start, Saturday at Washington. He gave up two runs on three hits with no walks and was the winning pitcher in Colorado's 4-2 victory.

The Mets' Montero gave up three hits and five runs in 4 2/3 innings Friday at Seattle and wasn't involved in the decision. The Mets won 7-5. That was the first time since June 25 that Montero failed to pitch at least six innings in a start.

In his only previous appearance against the Rockies, Montero pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits with seven strikeouts and one walk at Citi Field on Sept. 10, 2014, while recording his first career victory in New York's 2-0 win.

The Mets (49-56) are 4-5 on a 10-game road trip that will end Thursday after stops in San Diego (2-2) and Seattle (1-2). During the trip, veterans Lucas Duda and Addison Reed were traded for prospects, although the Mets did acquire AJ Ramos to take over the closing duties from Reed.

The Mets endured a walk-off 5-4 loss to the Rockies on Tuesday but came back from a 5-0 deficit in the third inning Wednesday to win 10-5 as four relievers worked six scoreless innings.

"We've been pretty resilient as a group," Mets second baseman Neil Walker said after the Wednesday rally. "We've been hit hard by the injury bug over the course of the last two years. The one constant is guys haven't put any extra pressure on themselves to come and perform or do too much. That makes nights like tonight possible where guys keeps grinding out at-bats to come back or the bullpen throwing six innings and keeping the game where it's at.

"Nobody's throwing away at-bats if we get down early. You don't hear guys talking about, 'Could I be traded?' We're coming in every day with the common goal of winning, no matter who's on the mound, no matter who's playing, whatever the case may be."

The Rockies may not have their closer available for the series finale. Right-hander Greg Holland is day-to-day due to a cut on his right index finger, an injury that manager Bud Black said occurred Tuesday in a kitchen accident.

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