SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – 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.”
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)