SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Franklin Morales pitched two shutout innings in his bid to return to the Colorado staff and the Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-0 on Friday.
“Score 11 runs and give up two hits,” summarized Rockies manager Walt Weiss. “That’s a good formula.”
The 28-year-old Morales both started and relieved for the Rockies from 2007-11. He was traded to Boston during his final season in Colorado.
The left-hander gave up a double to Matt Tuiasosopo, walked two and struck out one. He threw 36 pitches, including 21 strikes.
“His pitch count was high, but his velocity was good,” Weiss said. “For the first time out, I thought he did a nice job.”
Morales said he’s “the same power pitcher” as when he pitched for the Rockies previously. But now, “I have more location.”
“I’m very excited because they gave me this opportunity. I’m going to show what I have,” he said.
Patrick Corbin, projected as the D-Backs’ No. 1 starter, pitched four innings, giving up two runs and four hits.
Corbin blanked the Rockies for two innings but then gave up a two-run homer to pinch-hitter Ryan Casteel in the third.
Weiss said the Rockies have considerably more depth than last year, when they got off to a good start but then faded badly.
“I think we’re set up better for what a six- or seven-month season throws at you,” he said.
Last year “when we got beyond that first tier, we were young and inexperienced. We’re a little deeper as we sit here today,” he said.
Because they open the season early, on March 22-23 in Australia, Corbin and the other Arizona pitchers are on an advanced track.
“I feel I am where I need to be,” Corbin said. “I feel pretty good with the four innings. I wasn’t tired at all. I’m going to work on my pitch count and get ready for my next start and the opening series in Sydney.”
Arizona catcher Miguel Montero, whose upcoming season is a key for the team, is set to catch Saturday and Sunday.
“He’s on a pretty accelerated schedule,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “We’ll make sure he’s ready for Australia.”
Montero dipped to just .230 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs in 116 games last year. His 162-game averages are .267 with 18 homers and 79 RBIs.
“He’s fine; it’s a new year,” Gibson said. “He’s healthy. … He’s confident in himself. We expect a good bounce-back year.”
Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson doubled, singled and drove in two runs.
“He’s one of those guys who can hit underwater,” Weiss said. “He’s aggressive in the box. He’s always going to hit.”
Dickerson said he trained with a track coach in the winter and is faster and strong than ever.
“Working hard in the offseason is paying off a little bit early on in camp,” he said.
Rockies outfielder, Jason Pridie hit a solo homer. He’d also homered the previous day in an intrasquad game.
“It’s all about making that impression,” Pridie said. Better to do that early in spring, too, considering the club seems to have a crowded outfield and the rotation tends to shrink later on.”
“I know we have some great outfielders,” he said. “I want to keep showing my talents and hope my name keeps coming up when they’re talking about things.”
Said Weiss: “There will be some difficult decisions.”