SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Jorge De La Rosa’s first Cactus League start was cut short when the left-hander aggravated a lingering groin injury in the third inning of the Colorado Rockies’ 3-2 loss to a split-squad of Oakland Athletics on Friday.
De La Rosa, scheduled to start Colorado’s home opener on April 10, had his spring debut pushed back twice due to a groin strain. He pitched two scoreless innings Sunday in a B game.
De La Rosa labored through the first two innings. After Billy Burns’ one-out single in the third, De La Rosa immediately looked to the dugout. He was quickly removed.
”It was a ground ball hit to the right side and he broke off the mound. That’s when he felt it,” manager Walt Weiss said.
The team said it was left groin tightness. De La Rosa, who declined to speak to reporters, was charged with two runs and three hits. He threw 45 pitches, five fewer than his limit.
”It’s concerning,” Weiss said.
The A’s also were concerned after outfielder Sam Fuld was hit in the jaw on an errant throw to first base while running out a fielder’s choice in the seventh. Fuld walked off the field, but was headed to the hospital after the game for tests.
Carlos Gonzalez singled, doubled and drove in two runs for the Rockies.
A’s: RHP Jesse Chavez gave up two runs and six hits in four innings. He struck out Troy Tulowitzki and Wilin Rosario on curveballs in the first.
”That’s a pitch we’ve been working on the past two weeks,” Chavez said. ”It’s something I need.”
Rockies: De La Rosa was uncomfortable from the start. After walking Burns and throwing a first-pitch ball to Fuld, De La Rosa had the grounds crew come out and tweak the mound.
Weiss said he didn’t believe the mound had anything to do with the injury.
A’s: Fuld’s CT scan was negative. He will be reevaluated Saturday and is day to day. . Burns stayed in the game after Eddie Butler hit him on the left knee as he squared to bunt in the fifth.
Oakland’s Ike Davis singled up the middle against De La Rosa in his first at-bat in 10 days. He went 1 for 3 as the DH.
”My back felt really good,” Davis said. ”Hopefully, nothing tightens up in the morning.”
Davis could play first base by Sunday.
Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt isn’t expected to miss any time after getting hit with a line drive Thursday. He carefully ran his hand over his right jaw Friday morning. It was slightly sore, but the right-hander knows he’s lucky.
”First time it’s happened to me,” said Betancourt, who in contrast has hit one batter in his career — in 2003.
Weiss said he has been pleasantly surprised with Betancourt’s velocity and command as he tries to come back at age 39 from elbow surgery. Betancourt, who was once Colorado’s closer, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2013.
A non-roster invite, Betancourt said he’s finally pain-free.
”Probably since spring training 2011, I was always dealing with soreness,” Betancourt said. ”I was worried about my elbow every day. Now it’s amazing.”
Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu ranged far to his left for a grounder to end the third and started a 4-6-3 double play an inning later.
On the way to winning his first Gold Glove last year, LeMahieu committed six errors in 144 games. None came on grounders.
”When you hit fungoes or you see him field ground balls in a game, the ball just disappears,” Weiss said.
In 316 career games at second, LeMahieu has a .993 fielding percentage.
”He’s not the prototype when you look at him. He’s 6-(foot)-4 and not skinny,” Weiss said. ”But he’s very rangy. Great instincts, great feel.”
A’s: RHP Jesse Hahn starts Saturday against Cincinnati.
Rockies: It’s a split-squad Saturday, with RHPs Jhoulys Chacin going against the Los Angeles Dodgers and David Hale pitching against Cleveland.