DENVER (AP) — Juan Nicasio had a tough outing in more ways than one.
The Colorado right-hander gave up a career-high 10 runs on top of nearly being struck in the head by a line drive, and the Rockies lost 13-10 to the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
"That was a little too close. You'd have to ask Juan, but I'd guess he was a little shaken up," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Nicasio (5-5) deflected a line drive by Justin Upton with his glove in the bottom of the first in a frightening reminder of a previous episode when he fractured his neck and sustained a concussion after being hit in the head by a line drive on Aug. 5, 2011. He missed the rest of his rookie season.
"That was scary," Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "You definitely look at his past history and know what happened. So it's something you don't want to see. But Juan is a tough kid. I think he's really over that. For him, he just mainly looked at that, 'I made a bad pitch. I need to make better pitches.' He's one of a kind."
Nicasio assured Weiss he was all right after the near miss and stayed in the game but he allowed seven first-inning runs, four coming on Andrelton Simmons' grand slam. He also allowed home runs by Freddie Freeman and Evan Gattis before leaving with two outs in the fourth inning.
"I didn't worry about that line drive to me," Nicasio said. "I didn't do my job today. I feel bad for my team. They scored 10 runs. I need to win this game, you know? I need to make a good pitch when I need to make a good pitch."
The Braves and Rockies combined for 29 hits and neither starter made it out of the fifth inning. Atlanta's Mike Minor left after giving up two hits to start the fifth.