SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Walt Weiss and the Colorado Rockies like what they see from Troy Tulowitzki so far in spring training games.
Tulowitzki, limited to 47 games last season after left groin surgery, had a two-run single and was involved in four flawless defensive plays during his three innings in the Rockies’ 9-1 win over Texas on Monday.
Along with a rare double play on which the two-time Gold Glove shortstop got an assist and a putout, there was a nifty play when he ran forward to pick up a slow roller and threw out speedy Rangers center fielder Craig Gentry at first base.
“Every time he passes one of these tests, it’s a peace of mind for us,” said Weiss, the former Rockies infielder and their new manager. “He’s in a really good place right now.”
Colorado starter Chris Volstad, who signed as a minor league free agent during the offseason, benefited from two of the Rockies’ three double plays. He faced the minimum six batters in his two innings despite giving up a pair of singles.
Martin Perez started for Texas and retired all six batters he faced, with two strikeouts.
“Fell behind but made pitches when he had to,” manager Ron Washington said. “Two clean innings, attacked the zone, down in the bottom of the zone.”
Then Justin Grimm, like Perez among several candidates for the No. 5 spot in the Rangers’ rotation, allowed hits to four of the first six batters he faced after taking over in the third.
That included an RBI single by DJ LeMahieu and the runs-scoring hit by Tulowitzki that made it 3-0. Tuluowitzki took a called third strike in the first against Perez after fouling off some tough pitches.
Tulowitzki is 2 for 4 with three RBIs in two spring games. He had an RBI groundout and a hit in his first game Saturday, and for now likely will play every other day. He didn’t play after May last season.
“We’ll adjust on the fly depending on how he feels, how many at-bats he thinks he needs,” Weiss said.
Charlie Culberson hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning for Colorado, and Nolan Arenado added a solo shot two batters later. Both homers came off right-hander Neil Ramirez, who gave up five runs in a span of eight batters.
NOTES: Yu Darvish is scheduled to make his first spring start for Texas on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox. … The Rangers are 0-3-1 this spring. … Texas batters went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. They are 1 for 26 in such situations the last three games. … Eric Young Jr. led off and played left field for Colorado. He has already played second base this spring, and Weiss expected to give him a chance to play several different positions. … The Rockies leave Salt River Fields for the first time this spring to play the Chicago Cubs in Mesa on Tuesday. … After his RBI single in the third, LeMahieu was eventually thrown out after getting caught in a wild rundown between third base and home. Grimm fielded a comebacker, threw to 3BYangervis Solarte, before C Geovany Soto got the ball, threw to SS Elvis Andrus and then got it back to tag out LeMahieu near third base.
– By STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer
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