Arenado homers, De La Rosa sharp in Rockies’ win
MESA, Ariz. (AP) Nolan Arenado and Kyle Parker each hit home runs and Jorge De La Rosa pitched three innings of two-hit ball Tuesday, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 13-0 win over the Chicago Cubs in front of a Cactus League-record 14,840 fans.
Arenado had three hits, including a sun-aided triple, and two RBIs to lead the Rockies’ 16-hit attack, while Drew Stubbs added two singles and Parker hit a two-run shot off Cubs starter Travis Wood.
Kent Matthes and Ryan Wheeler also connected for Colorado.
Manager Walt Weiss hasn’t named an opening-day starter, but clearly De La Rosa, who won 16 games last year, is a candidate.
”I’d be nice,” he said. ”It doesn’t matter. I just want to pitch.”
Wood’s final line – five earned runs in 2 2-3 innings with a walk and no strikeouts – could have been different. After getting through the first two innings without much trouble, he retired the first two in the third before Arenado, who is hitting .455 this spring, sent a drive to center field that the Cubs’ Junior Lake lost in the sun. It fell for a triple and the Rockies followed with five straight hits.
”You see it every year several times,” Wood said of the misplay. ”I have to be able to come back get out of the inning.”
Rockies: De La Rosa was efficient against the Cubs’ four left-handed hitters in the lineup. The only sign of trouble came in the third when he walked Luis Valbuena and Darwin Barney singled, but De La Rosa induced a double play from Lake, the leadoff hitter, to end the threat.
”I was working on fastball command, to both sides of the plate,” he said. ”The change up was much better today. I’m just working on some things until I get into trouble. Then it is more like pitching in a game.”
Cubs: ”I felt like I made some good pitches; they just put some good swings on them,” Wood said of the Rockies’ run of two-out hits. ”It was just one of those days. Luckily it happened in spring training.”
Rockies: Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who has been down with a right shoulder strain since Feb. 25, threw from 90 feet on Monday. The next step will be pushing it out to 120 feet for a long-toss session before returning to the mound.
Cubs: Left-handed reliever James Russell is expected to make his first spring training appearance on Wednesday after dealing with a ”fatigued” arm since the start of camp. Russell, who has pitched in 151 games the last two seasons, threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Saturday without any problems.
”I was getting a little stir crazy, standing off to the side, not getting on the mound,” Russell said. ”It’s good to get a little dirt on the spikes once in a while. It feels good.”
Barney, the Cubs’ Gold Glove second baseman, has been playing some shortstop with Starlin Castro out with a hamstring strain. In the third inning, he had to charge a ball and throw on the run to get Corey Dickerson in a close play.
In the first inning, Barney made a nice diving stop toward the second base bag with runners on first and second. He stopped it from getting through the infield but when Dickerson rounded third too far, Barney threw to the third baseman and Dickerson broke for home and scored.