SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Troy Tulowitzki hit two long home runs and impressed in the field on Friday, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 7-2 victory over a Los Angeles Angels split squad.
Tulowitzki, healthy in the spring for the first time in several years, sent the first pitch he saw from Joe Blanton halfway up the sloping lawn beyond left field in the first inning.
The All-Star shortstop’s two-run shot to left in the third traveled farther, bouncing onto the concourse.
It was a loud way to end an 0-for-5 start to the spring.
“I’m just trying to keep my body healthy,” Tulowitzki said.
That’s been his big problem. Tulowitzki has dealt with wrist, groin and rib injuries in the past four seasons. He acknowledged he was “playing mind games” with himself last spring.
“I’m back to myself and that feels good,” he said.
Mike McKenry added a solo homer and Josh Rutledge a two-run shot off Blanton. He allowed seven runs on eight hits before being lifted with one out in the fourth.
Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa showed improvement in his second start, allowing a run on three hits in three innings. He gave up four runs and didn’t get out of the second inning in his spring debut.
Angels: It was an awful day for Blanton, banished to the bullpen last season after going 2-13 with a 5.66 ERA in his first 20 starts. The Rockies pounced on the right-hander’s mistakes, with all four home runs pulled to left field.
“As the game went on, my slider really wasn’t working and my fastball was (a problem) against righties,” Blanton said. “It’s spring training so I just kept trying to throw those two and they weren’t good today.”
Rockies: De La Rosa indicated his fastball command improved from his first start. But he said his changeup was riding up and that got him into trouble when he labored in the third.
“I think I was overthrowing in the last inning,” he said. “I got a little tired.”
NL batting champion Michael Cuddyer raised the left sleeve of his T-shirt Friday morning, revealing a red and purple imprint of the baseball he was plunked with by the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija two days earlier.
“It ripped off the skin,” Cuddyer said. “It’s stiff, it’s sore.”
Cuddyer was in the original Colorado lineup posted in the clubhouse, but was later scratched as a precaution. He took part in the pregame workout and said he’d likely play Saturday.
Cuddyer said the pitch narrowly missed his jaw.
“I got lucky,” he said.
Rutledge also flied to right in his first game back from a left ankle injury. … First baseman Justin Morneau (stiff neck) took batting practice and manager Walt Weiss said he “looked good.” But Weiss said he likely wouldn’t be ready for Saturday’s game.
None of the Angels regulars made the trip. They instead stayed for the home game against the Cubs played at the same time.
– By MIKE CRANSTON, Associated Press
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