03/22/08 9:15 PM ET
Vizcaino passes test vs. D-backs
Right-hander solid in first game back after elbow issues
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
Vizcaino, the team's top free-agent acquisition and the primary setup man, pitched his first Cactus League game since March 4, before elbow issues marred his spring. More importantly, he was pitching on consecutive days, giving up a run on two hits in one inning of a Minor League game on Friday.
"His fastball, he can get a little bit better plane on it, get it down a bit more, and his slider was very effective today," said manager Clint Hurdle, who said he wants to test Vizcaino's durability.
Second baseman Jayson Nix went 1-for-3 after missing three games with back tightness. Right fielder Brad Hawpe, out since March 10 because of a sore left elbow, was in the original lineup, but chose instead to get at-bats in a Minor League game.
Right-hander Aaron Cook had a 5-1 lead, but saw the outing unravel after he hit the first two batters of the fifth inning. Cook gave up five hits and six runs with two walks and four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
"I wanted to get six or seven [innings], but the fifth inning, I'm out there laboring and guys are out there running around and getting their legs tired, it's time to come out," Cook said. "It's Spring Training, so it's a lot easier to put it behind me."
Left-handed bullpen candidate Micah Bowie, who had given up no runs and three hits in eight previous outings -- including an exhibition against the Mexican National Team -- yielded three runs in the seventh. Righty Ryan Speier gave up two runs in the eighth -- double the number he'd given up in eight previous outings.
Seth Smith, who had pinch-hit magic late last season, entered as a reserve and knocked a three-run homer and an RBI double. Scott Podsednik had a hit and two walks and Cory Sullivan had two hits; the two are competing for the final outfield spot.
The Rockies also added former Pirates catcher Humberto Cota, 29, on a Minor League contract.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.