Tulowitzki homers, Butler strong in Rockies' win over Giants
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Troy Tulowitzki hit his third home run of the spring, Eddie Butler threw five effective innings in an audition for a rotation spot, and the Colorado Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Wednesday.
Giants starter Tim Hudson retired 10 straight before Corey Dickerson's single. Tulowitzki followed by crushing a first-pitch sinker onto the left-field berm in a three-run fourth.
Tulowitzki went 2 for 3 and is hitting .375 in his return from season-ending hip surgery.
Hudson allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. The 39-year-old right-hander also doubled off the left field wall.
The 24-year-old Butler, who was 8 when Hudson made his big-league debut, allowed one run and five hits and needed only 56 pitches against San Francisco's likely opening-day lineup.
The right-hander is one of four in competition to start following the release of Jhoulys Chacin and with Jorge De La Rosa injured.
''Competition makes us way better,'' Butler said. ''Look, at least one of us has to go down to the minors. And it's going to be tough to say who.''
Giants: Hudson threw 78 pitches.
''It was a good work day,'' he said. ''Hot day out there and I had some innings where I had to work through some stuff. Overall, I'm pleased.''
Rockies: Butler, who lowered his ERA to 2.63, could have escaped without allowing a run. Nori Aoki's deep fly to right with two outs in the fifth bounced off Carlos Gonzalez's glove for an RBI triple.
Butler praised the work of veteran catcher Nick Hundley.
''It's unbelievable. I think I only shook him off one time,'' Butler said.
Giants: C Buster Posey left early with pain in his shoulder blade, but manager Bruce Bochy said it wasn't serious. Bochy said Posey would play first base Thursday and Hector Sanchez will catch Tim Lincecum. . CF Angel Pagan (back spasms) hit third and went 0 for 3 in his first Cactus League game since March 14.
Rockies: De La Rosa is limited to playing catch. . INFs Charlie Culberson (back) went 2 for 4 and David Descalso (oblique) 2 for 3 in a minor league game. Closer LaTroy Hawkins gave up two runs and three hits in one inning in the same game.
Colorado also made a roster move, sending reliever Tommy Kahnle to the minors.
OLD MAN RUNNING
Hudson's double included what he called a ''shabby'' slide into second.
''About three steps past first, I was highly regretting that decision,'' Hudson said of going for two.
Hudson was stranded at second, and that gave him the first test of baseball's new 2:25 clock between innings.
''I think when I got out to the mound, the clock was like at 47 (seconds) - and I was out of breath. And I hadn't made a pitch yet,'' Hudson said. ''But from what I understand, it's not a hard count. I took three or four warmup pitches, then I spent the last 20 seconds trying to not pass out.''
NEXT BIG THING
Crossing the Rockies clubhouse Wednesday morning, Tulowitzki had to make Twister-like maneuverings to get around the players sliding on the floor on a vibrating foam roller.
''It's addicting,'' reliever Adam Ottavino said.
Added outfielder Charlie Blackmon: ''Every day we come in and talk about how awesome it is.''
The $200 device is an upgrade over the traditional roller that loosens muscles and knots.
''This takes it to another level,'' Blackmon said. ''A normal foam roller, you have to roll back and forth over a knot or hold it over a knot and flex your muscle. With this, if you find a knot, you can in essence just stay on it and the vibration will work it out.''
Giants: Lincecum makes his fifth start Thursday against Oakland.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis faces Texas on Thursday.