Created on Thursday, 13 March 2014 Written by MIKE CRANSTON, Associated Press
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — An efficient Brett Anderson turned a scheduled three-inning start into a five-inning, one-run outing for Colorado on Wednesday as a Rockies split-squad beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2.
Pitching on short rest because Colorado plays five games in three days, Anderson gave up five hits and struck out two. He didn't hit 50 pitches until the fifth.
"I didn't feel like I had the fastball velocity I had the first two outings, but my command was pretty good, still," Anderson said. "Breaking ball, both of them were pretty good. Coming off three days' rest, that's pretty much all I could ask for."
Charlie Culberson had an RBI double off Reds starter Mike Leake in the third. It was the lone run allowed by Leake, who yielded three hits and a walk in three innings as he regains strength following an abdominal injury.
"Not my best," Leake said. "Could have been down in the zone a little better."
Charlie Blackmon and Matt McBride added RBI singles for the Rockies.
Rockies lefty Tyler Matzek walked four straight to start the ninth. Mike McClendon came on and induced a force play at home and a double play to send the Reds to their 10th loss in 11 games.
Reds: It was the first time manager Bryan Price got to see Leake, who pitched in a split-squad game Price didn't attend in his first start.
"He looked good. He moved around well, had a nice bunt. It kind of shows that he's healthy," Price said.
Rockies: Manager Walt Weiss has changed his mind and might not split up lefties Jorge De La Rosa and Anderson in the rotation.
"There's a possibility they could go back-to-back," Weiss said. "It makes it tough on opposing left-hand hitters."
DE LA ROSA GETS NOD
With Jhoulys Chacin (shoulder) sidelined, the worst-kept secret of Rockies camp was De La Rosa starting the March 31 opener at Miami.
The Rockies formally announced the move just as the game began. It will be the first opening-day assignment for the 32-year-old De La Rosa.
"He's worked really hard," Weiss said. "He deserves it."
De La Rosa went a career-best 16-6 with a 3.49 ERA last season, completing a comeback from reconstructive elbow surgery that limited him to 13 combined starts the previous two years.
"It was a hard time," De La Rosa said. "This year, I think I'm ready for this.
Reds right fielder Chris Heisey robbed Michael Cuddyer of extra bases with a diving catch in right and threw to first for a double play to end the first. Heisey then doubled to start the next inning and scored.
Heisey went 2 for 3 and is hitting .370 (10 for 27).
"He's been terrific," Price said. "I've been around him as long as he's been in the big leagues, starting in 2010, and we've always felt like he's that guy who could be a dynamic player."
Reds: Right-hander Mat Latos recovering from elbow and knee surgeries, is scheduled to throw a batting practice later this week.
Rockies: Catcher Jordan Pacheco (shoulder) returned and went 0 for 1.
Cuddyer, the reigning NL batting champion, went 0 for 3 and acknowledged spring training can drag for established position players.
"You're not playing every day. You're not building on at-bats," he said.
The key time? The final two weeks.
"I need about 10 days of consistent at-bats," Cuddyer said. "That's where I try to formulate my game plan going into the season."
Former Rockies star Larry Walker began a stint as a guest instructor. The 1997 NL MVP chatted with players around the batting cage and was in the Colorado dugout for the game.
The 47-year-old Walker doesn't plan to go into coaching full-time because of the time he'd be away from his family.