Kyle Kendrick sharp as Rockies beat D-backs 6-0
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run double and opening-day starter Kyle Kendrick threw four standout innings as the Colorado Rockies romped past the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6-0 on Sunday.
Corey Dickerson homered in the fifth and had two hits . Charlie Blackmon doubled in two runs in the second to start the scoring, and D.J. LeMahieu and Nick Hundley each had two hits.
A.J. Pollock went 2 for 3 to raise his average to .378 for the Diamondbacks.
Rockies: Kendrick allowed just two hits. He walked one and struck out one. ''My command was pretty good,'' Kendrick said. ''I'm just trying to build up that strength.''
Diamondbacks: Robbie Ray allowed two runs and five hits in three innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Rockies: Justin Morneau is taking a couple days off with a sore elbow.
Diamondbacks: Reliever Brad Ziegler made his first spring appearance as he comes back from microfracture knee surgery. He pitched one inning, giving up a solo homer to Dickerson.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR BASEBALL STATS
Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale suggests fans will see multiple shifts within at-bats, depending on the count. ''I think that's something you're going to see more and more of in the big leagues with all the intel we're getting,'' Hale said. ''It's nice to have good athletes out there you can do it with.''
It will be up to hitters to make adjustments and take what the defense gives them. Hale said, ''Baseball is hard to change, but we have become a little bit of thinkers. We're not cavemen.''
ROCKIES RELEASE CHACIN
In a surprise move, the Rockies released Jhoulys Chacin, a former starting pitcher. He had a 6.52 ERA this spring in 9 2-3 innings. He walked four and struck out five.
Chacin was 38-48 in six seasons with Colorado with a 3.78 ERA, including 14-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 2013. He slumped to 1-7, 5.40 last year.
''It's a tough day,'' manager Walt Weiss said. ''A tough day for us, for me having to have that conversation with Jhoulys, who has been a warrior for us.''
Weiss said the club brought in a number of starting candidates and, ''we just felt like Jhoulys was behind a few of the other guys.''
The Rockies also optioned pitchers Chad Bettis and Chris Rusin and infielder Ben Paulsen to their minor league system and reassigned nine others to their minor league camp: pitchers Jair Jurrjens, John Lannan, Kraig Sitton and Brett Marshall; catcher Audry Perez; infielders Omar Quintanilla and Trevor Story; and outfielder Roger Bernadina.
D-BACKS MAKE CUTS
The Diamondbacks sent seven players to their minor league camp, including catcher Peter O'Brien, who they foresee as a home run hitter at the big-league level. Others sent down include reliever Jake Barrett, outfielder Danny Dorn, infielders Nick Evans, Jamie Romak and Danny Worth and pitcher J.C. Ramirez.
As for O'Brien, the D-Backs will have to decide what position he will play long term. ''If he's a potential 30 to 40 home run guy with 100 RBIs, we need him to play a lot,'' Hale said. ''So is that at catcher or would it be somewhere else?''
Rockies: Jon Gray will start Monday at home vs. the Milwaukee Brewers.
Diamondbacks: Daniel Hudson will start Monday at the Los Angeles Dodgers.