LOS ANGELES — The Fourth of July. Postgame fireworks at Dodger Stadium. Pitching for his hometown team.

Check that. Pitching very well for his hometown team.

Forgive Rockies left-hander Lucas Gilbreath for pinching himself.

“Sometimes I have to take a step and think about where I am and I say, ‘Wow!’ ” Gilbreath said prior to Monday night’s game. “I stand out here and look around this ballpark and think, ‘Wow.’ ”

Gilbreath, 26, is a Colorado native who graduated from Legacy High School in Broomfield. His parents, Chris and Theresa, were in attendance at Monday night’s game.

“They came out to see me play, plus my dad has never been to Dodger Stadium,” Gilbreath said.

The lefty grew up as a die-hard Rockies fan, playing youth baseball at Larry Walker Field in Thornton. He became a hot prospect playing in the non-profit Broomfield Baseball League, at Legacy High, and in the Rockies’ Scout Team Program. He moved on to the University of Minnesota, where he was a first-team all-Big Ten honoree in 2017.

Selected in the seventh round of the ’17 draft, he’s now evolving into a solid piece of Colorado’s bullpen. Gilbreath (0-0, 4.03 ERA) entered Monday’s game against the Dodgers with a 0.49 ERA in his last 19 outings since May 10, the fourth-lowest ERA in the majors across that span, while holding batters to a .197 average.

“More than anything, he’s been more consistent in the strike zone,” manager Bud Black said. “His fastball has played and his velocity has ticked up over a period of time. And he has the ability to throw the fastball at the top of the zone, where hitters take a rip at it, but also it’s a borderline strike if the hitter takes it.”

Black added that Gilbreath is flashing a more consistent slider, with a harder break.

“He’s just been pitching,” Black said.



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