Rockies 14, Athletics 7

BY foxsports • March 11, 2009

Oakland outfielder Matt Holliday enjoyed facing his former team for the first time on Tuesday. Holliday had two singles but the Rockies earned a 14-7 victory. "These guys are going to be my friends until I die, no matter where I play, what team they're on or what team I'm on," Holliday said. "They're my friends and it's good to see them, no matter what the circumstances." Holliday, who established himself as one of the premier power hitters in the majors during his five-year stint with the Rockies, was traded for closer Huston Street, pitcher Greg Smith and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez in the offseason. Holliday spent the past five years coming here when he played for the Rockies. "It seemed a little strange coming into this park and coming out of (the opponent's) dugout," Holliday said. "The only other time I might have done that was in an intra-squad game, but it was not too bad." The left fielder, who led the National League in batting (.340), hits (216), RBIs (137) and doubles (50) during the Rockies' 2007 World Series season, was welcomed back by his teammates. Holliday got an RBI single through the left side of the infield in the first inning off Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa. Holliday scored after a Jack Cust walk and a Sean Doolittle double. Holliday added a single up the middle in the fifth. "Once you get in there it is all about competing and your adrenaline gets going no matter who is out there," Holliday said when asked if he was geared up to play his former club. "I didn't feel any different." Colorado is still trying to find an everyday replacement for Holliday with an assortment of players this spring getting time in left field. Nobody has taken over the role despite Seth Smith, Scott Podsednik, Matt Murton and Carlos Gonzalez all seeing action at Holliday's former spot. Smith started, and went 1-for-3 with a two-run double, in left against the A's. "I still have some work to do to get some guys out there, but I like everything I have seen out there," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. The Rockies manager and several players have said it will be difficult for one player to have the kind of numbers Holliday put up for Colorado. The three-time All-Star is a career .319 hitter with 128 home runs and 483 RBIs. The Rockies had plenty of offense against Oakland's Chris Schroder, overcoming a 5-0 deficit with Ryan Spilborghs driving in a pair of runs with a line-shot triple to right field. Yorvit Torrealba added an RBI double. Torrealba went 2-for-3 with two doubles and 4 RBIs. Spilborghs was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs. Schroder gave up five runs on four hits, including three doubles and walked two. Colorado didn't do much against A's starter Trevor Cahill. The top Oakland pitching prospect continues to impress with a third straight productive outing. He allowed one run and two hits in three innings. "My arm wasn't as strong as the last two starts. I had to battle that. It wasn't bad I guess," Cahill said. "I just tried to relax and let my arm do its thing. I got behind some guys, but made pitches when I had to." Cahill has allowed two runs and three hits in eight spring innings. Colorado's starter was not as fortunate. De La Rosa did not make it out of the first inning, getting pulled after giving up not only Holliday's single, but two other hits, a double, three walks and five runs in one-third of an inning. The Rockies' scheduled No. 4 starter threw 40 pitches to get one out, split evenly with 20 strikes and balls. "I have no excuse. I am not throwing the ball good," De La Rosa said. "It's my mechanics. I don't feel my mechanics very good. I'm going to keep working and see what happens." It was De La Rosa's second straight rough start. He allowed six runs and 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings in a loss in an exhibition game against Team Mexico of the World Baseball Classic last week.

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