DENVER -- Until he makes his 2010 debut, the lasting impression fans at Coors Field have of Huston Street is his blown save and loss in the final two games of the '09 National League Division Series against the Phillies.

As far as Street is concerned, though, that was a long time and a lot of pain ago. After fighting shoulder inflammation and a groin strain, Street finally appeared on the active roster for the first time Tuesday, before the opener of three games between the Rockies and the Red Sox. Juan Rincon was designated for assignment.

"Last year was gone before November came; this year has been about this year," said Street, who converted 35-of-37 save chances during the regular season last year. "This year has been about 2010, and the frustration that comes with it being June 22, working through the shoulder, getting the shoulder right, then having the groin.

"It makes you appreciate the opportunity you get every single day. I don't think I ever have taken it for granted. I felt going to Spring Training I was as ready as I've ever been. But circumstances are a daily reminder of how special it is."

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Street won't immediately be shoved into the ninth inning, but he'll slowly be moved back into the role. The Rockies signed Street to a three-year, $22.5 million contract with an option for a fourth year during the offseason to be their closer.

Current closer Manuel Corpas is 9-for-11 in save opportunities, but in his last two outings, he has given up eight runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning.

Rincon has pitched two stints for the Rockies this season, appearing in one game each time. If Rincon clears waivers, he can return to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Tracy said Rincon, 31, is in a position where he could be brought up and sent down several times, and he has handled it well.

CarGo's knee good to go for opener

DENVER -- After a three-game hiatus, Rockies center fielder Carlos Gonzalez returned to the starting lineup against the Red Sox on Tuesday.

Gonzalez, a potential All-Star hitting .295 with 10 homers, 42 RBIs and 41 runs, was sidelined for the Brewers series after suffering a bruised left knee in Minnesota.

He said he'd be wearing a knee brace on Tuesday.

"I ran on Saturday and Sunday," Gonzalez said. "Saturday was a little easier and Sunday was harder. But [Monday] was a really good day, because I got to rest and now I feel ready to go."

Manager Jim Tracy said if the Rockies had played Monday, it was uncertain if Gonzalez would have been ready to go.

"It afforded all of us a chance to take a day to catch our breath," Tracy said. "It gave Carlos an extra day, and obviously, he didn't miss a game. He's back in our lineup and he's hitting third and he has a very difficult opponent to deal with in Jon Lester -- not the easiest task in the world."

Lester, a left-hander, went into his start Tuesday for the Red Sox with an 8-2 record and a 3.13 ERA. Gonzalez's 24 hits and .324 average against left-handed pitching this season rank him second in the National League in both categories.

Ubaldo leaves park as precaution

DENVER -- Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez left Coors Field in street clothes before Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox with what the team called an upset stomach. Jimenez had complained of feeling sick and dizzy.

Jimenez, who at 13-1 with a 1.15 ERA is the fourth pitcher since 1920 to win 13 of his first 14 starts, is scheduled to start for the Rockies against the Red Sox on Wednesday.

He is still expected to make his scheduled start. The ace played catch before the game, and after head athletic trainer Keith Dugger talked to manager Jim Tracy, they decided it was best Jimenez go home and rest.

Nelson makes first start for Rockies

DENVER -- Tuesday night was a first for Rockies infielder Chris Nelson in more ways than one.

The game against the Red Sox was the first Major League start for Nelson, 24, called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday after regular shortstop Troy Tulowitzki landed on the disabled list with a fractured left wrist.

Not only that, but it was his first professional game at third base. Nelson, the team's No. 1 Draft choice in 2004, played 28 games at shortstop and nine at second this season. Before this season, he played 430 games at short and one at second.

Once, last year in the Arizona Fall League, he moved to third after starting a game at second. Nelson did, however, play some games at third for the Rockies during Spring Training. During the regular season at Colorado Springs, he took ground balls at third base during batting practice.

"I always felt I could play third," Nelson said. "I can play in the infield, period.

"It feels good to be in the lineup. I'm excited and ready to go."

Rockies manager Jim Tracy went with the right-handed hitting Nelson, mainly because the Rockies were facing lefty starter Jon Lester. That would have been a difficult matchup for regular third baseman Ian Stewart, who is 5-for-37 (.135) this month, and has a .191 average in 47 at-bats this season against left-handed pitchers.