Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 6

Eric Hinske feels right at home in Arizona, and the transition
to playing for the Diamondbacks has been pretty comfortable as
well.

Hinske had three singles and two RBIs and fellow Diamondbacks
newcomer Martin Prado had two hits with three RBIs, leading Arizona
to an 8-6 win over the Colorado Rockies on a chilly Sunday at Salt
River Fields.

Hinske, the 2002 American League Rookie of the Year who signed
with Arizona as a free agent in December, drove in runs in the
fourth and fifth innings, when the Diamondbacks did all their
damage in windy, 54-degree conditions.

”My timing is getting better in my mind,” said Hinske, an
Arizona resident. ”A couple of the hits might look like lucky
hits, but in my mind there are no lucky hits. I got a chance to
play in the first two games and I feel good. The only downside was
the cold. Where’s all my sunny Arizona weather.”

Hinske will pinch hit and back up Paul Goldschmidt at first base
for the Diamondbacks.

”It’s a great situation for me. I live here so it’s very
comfortable and I’ve played with a lot of these guys before in
different places,” he said. ”With the lineup we can put on the
field and the arms we throw at people you know it’s going to be a
fun year.”

Prado, the main acquisition in the offseason deal that sent
Justin Upton to Atlanta, drove in three runs with a pair of hits
including a two-run double in the five-run Arizona fourth. He now
has four RBIs in his first two spring games.

Corey Dickerson hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning for
Rockies, who had three hits in the first five innings. Jose
Gonzalez, Matt McBride and Kyle Parker had RBI hits during a
four-run eighth.

Colorado reliever Juan Nicasio, coming back from knee surgery
that ended his season in June, took the loss. Counted to be a
rotation member for the Rockies, Nicasio allowed four runs – one
earned – and four hits in 2-3 of an inning before being lifted.

”I don’t think he’s pitched in about seven months and it’s all
about getting a feel,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. ”He was
working on his secondary stuff, and that put him in some tough
counts. If he can pitch in good counts he’s going to be very tough
because that’s a big arm, there is some life to his stuff. That’s
going to be the key for him.”

Prado doubled into the right-center gap off Colorado reliever
Parker Frazier to score two in the fourth after Adam Eaton and
Hinske had RBI singles. Prado singled home Hinske during a
three-run Arizona fifth.

Colorado veteran Jeff Francis, who won 17 games in 2007 but is
20-39 with a 5.06 ERA since, started and allowed two hits in two
scoreless innings for the Rockies.

”Two quiet innings and very efficient,” Weiss said. ”A great
job.”

NOTES: Eaton also had three hits for Arizona, and Eric Chaves
had two. . Colorado center fielder Tim Wheeler made a nice
shoestring to rob Prado of another hit in third inning.
”Interesting weather,” Wheeler said. ”I guess we’re getting
ready for Denver (in April).” . Arizona starter Patrick Corbin,
fighting for the final spot in the Arizona rotation, helped his
cause with two strong scoreless innings. He struck out four
straight hitters including Carlos Gonzalez and Ramon Hernandez
after allowing a walk to Colorado’s leadoff hitter, Wheeler. ”Last
year I came up and wanted to show them what I have and this year
you have a definite goal in mind,” Corbin said. ”I can relax and
just try to be myself and show that I can be the guy.”