Tulo, Blackmon homer, but road win streak snapped at six

Tulo, Blackmon homer, but road win streak snapped at six

LOS ANGELES -- Howie Kendrick homered and doubled, Adrian Gonzalez had a pair of RBI doubles and Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 in six innings of a 7-3 win over the Rockies on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, extending the Dodgers' win streak to five games and snapping Colorado's road win streak at six.

Troy Tulowitzki and Charlie Blackmon homered off Kershaw, with two of the three Colorado runs unearned. Kershaw is 5-0 in his last five starts against the Rockies, including a no-hitter. Starter Kyle Kendrick went 4 2/3 innings for the Rockies and was charged with six runs on seven hits.

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Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tulowitzki sees improved attitude among teammates

Rockies' road win streak was snapped, but shortstop sees positives

Tulowitzki sees improved attitude among teammates

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowtizki was hopeful as he tested his bats Friday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, and he insisted he would feel that way at night's end.

"Off the field, the questions [the younger players] come up to me [with] in the locker room and talk to me about or when they text me at night, those questions are impressive for some young kids," Tulowitzki said."Those questions aren't about, 'How do I become a better player myself?' It's, 'How do we win around here?'"

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Axford may need to extend emergency family leave

Rockies pitcher's son still hospitalized after rattlesnake bite

Axford may need to extend emergency family leave

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies right-handed pitcher John Axford's family medical emergency leave expires Sunday. Manager Walt Weiss said Friday the club will be in contact with the Commissioner's office if it is determined that Axford needs more time.

Axford's 2 1/2-year-old son, Jameson, was bitten twice on his right foot by a rattlesnake during Spring Training. The plan was to move Jameson from a Phoenix-area hospital to one in the Denver area so Axford can be with his family as arrangements are made for additional surgery.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

CarGo set to return to lineup vs. Dodgers

CarGo set to return to lineup vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers and their fans are in the throes of a Yasiel Puig watch, as the transformational right fielder nurses a left hamstring strain. He's missed three games. Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles, who will start against the Dodgers on Saturday night, would rather Puig not return. Puig is 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs against Lyles.

Zack Greinke, who is 19-1 against the NL West since joining the Dodgers, will oppose Lyles.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New Rox catcher Hundley's leadership skills paying off

Veteran backstop also delivering at the plate

New Rox catcher Hundley's leadership skills paying off

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rockies catcher Nick Hundley has led young pitchers as advertised, and he has performed better than expected as he begins a two-year, $6.25 million contract.

Hundley has started seven of the first nine games, and the club is 6-1 with him behind the plate. He handled a smooth outing -- a 10-0 Opening Day victory over the Brewers, led by starter Kyle Kendrick's seven no-walk innings.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matzek overcomes early jitters, cruises to pick up first win

Rox starters hold Giants to 1 run in series sweep

Matzek overcomes early jitters, cruises to pick up first win

SAN FRANCISCO -- While Rockies fans likely worried about lefty Tyler Matzek's scattershot control for the first two innings Wednesday night, he experienced peace -- and trust -- in the dugout.

"For the most part, it's a quick 'Good job,' or 'Let's think about doing this next time,' but not much," said Matzek, who confirmed the Rockies' belief that he'd find a way. He did, settling down for six solid innings of one-run ball in a 4-2 victory that completed a three-game sweep at AT&T Park and ran the Rockies to 6-0 on the road.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arenado's big blast carries Rox to sweep of Giants

Arenado's big blast carries Rox to sweep of Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- A night after showing his two-time Rawlings Gold Glove prowess with a stunning catch, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado showed he can hit as well.

Arenado's three-run, first-inning homer lifted the Rockies past the Giants, 4-2, for their sixth win in as many road games. It completed just the Rockies' fourth sweep of a series at AT&T Park since it opened in 2000.

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Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De La Rosa set to rejoin rotation Monday vs. Padres

Rockies lefty has been sidelined with left groin strain

De La Rosa set to rejoin rotation Monday vs. Padres

SAN FRANCISCO -- After pitching five innings, striking out five and giving up three runs (two earned) in an injury rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday, lefty Jorge De La Rosa is set to rejoin the Rockies' rotation on Monday against the Padres at Coors Field.

De La Rosa, who has dealt with a left groin strain since early in Spring Training, is 45-14 in his career at Coors.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Young: Robinson 'paved the way for us to put on this uniform'

Rockies coaches eye rise to managerial ranks

Young: Robinson 'paved the way for us to put on this uniform'

SAN FRANCISCO -- For Wednesday night's Rockies-Giants game on Jackie Robinson Day, the Rockies featured two African-American coaches, Eric Young at first base and Stu Cole at third base.

On a day when every player in the game wore Jackie Robinson's No. 42 to commemorate the end of the color barrier in 1947, Young and Cole were in positions to offer examples of opportunities the game offers. Both could become candidates for Major League managerial jobs, as could Triple-A Albuquerque manager Glenallen Hill.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Good as gold: Arenado makes fantastic catch

Rockies third baseman bounces off tarp, nearly doubles up runner

Good as gold: Arenado makes fantastic catch

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado had just lived the play of the night, of the year, and possibly of his lifetime. He didn't want to see it again, not immediately. It was too scary, too exhilarating, maybe even too good for his own eyes.

But Arenado's tumble into the tarpaulin roll behind the Giants' bullpen to grab a foul pop by Gregor Blanco in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 4-1 Rockies victory at AT&T Park went viral practically the second the highlight went online.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

'New wrinkle' gives Ottavino arsenal to be Rox's closer

Reliever revives cut fastball to gain effectiveness against lefty hitters

'New wrinkle' gives Ottavino arsenal to be Rox's closer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Those Nasty Boys that carried the Reds to the 1990 World Series combined to tally a Major League-leading 50 saves that year. Five relievers had saves in what has been commonly labeled a bullpen by committee.

Every committee, however, has a chairman.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies' strong pitching, defense sink Giants

Rockies' strong pitching, defense sink Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies got to Giants starter Tim Hudson early, with eight hits in the first four innings, and used an all-hands pitching effort to win, 4-1, at AT&T Park on Tuesday night.

The Rockies scored twice in the second, one run on a Corey Dickerson RBI single, the other on Hudson's wild pitch, and got a safety squeeze from DJ LeMahieu in the fourth. After that, Hudson retired 11 straight and 12 of the next 13 before leaving the game after seven innings.

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Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Reagins has spent decades in the game of baseball, and he's worked in everything from marketing to baseball operations. Reagins, formerly the general manager of the Angels, has taken on a new assignment with Major League Baseball as the senior vice president of youth programs, and he took some time Tuesday to discuss his plans for the future.

Reagins, under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, will be in charge of consolidating the league's relationships with youth, high school and college baseball organizations around the country. Reagins attended the Civil Rights Game instructional clinic Tuesday at Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, and he spoke a bit about Jackie Robinson, the Urban Youth Academies and the future of the game.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swingman Bergman ready for first 2015 start

Swingman Bergman ready for first 2015 start

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rockies right-hander Christian Bergman entered the regular season with an uncertain role, and he'll enter Tuesday's start against the Giants having pitched just one inning. But that could be good.

"[Kyle] Kendrick told me about this role, 'At the very least, your arm is going to feel great, even if you're not pitching,'" said Bergman, who replaced Tyler Matzek on Friday, escaped a jam and earned a win over the Cubs. "But I've done my work on the side and threw a bullpen after the game yesterday."

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies bullpen pitches in for victory over Giants

Oberg gets win in Major League debut; new closer Ottavino earns save

Rockies bullpen pitches in for victory over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Right-hander Scott Oberg admitted feeling jitters in the Rockies' bullpen before his Major League debut Tuesday night.

"[Catcher Nick] Hundley came out there to make sure I enjoyed it and threw strikes, and Tulo [shortstop Troy Tulowitzki] came out there and said the same things," said Oberg, who delivered his important, scoreless fifth inning in the Rockies' 4-1 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies get just enough to spoil Giants' home opener

Rockies get just enough to spoil Giants' home opener

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Colorado Rockies' offense was unusually quiet Monday, but it didn't matter because their pitching took over in a 2-0 defeat of the San Francisco Giants.

Rockies starter Eddie Butler lasted only 5 1/3 innings but stranded 10 runners in the first four innings. The Giants, playing their home opener at AT&T Park, went 0-for-5 off Butler with runners in scoring position.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler dances out of trouble to get win in shutout

Rockies rookie walks six Giants in 5 1/3 innings

Butler dances out of trouble to get win in shutout

SAN FRANCISCO -- Behind Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler's gingerbread beard is a baby face and mischievous smile -- one that will star in the Giants' nightmares when they hit the hay Monday night.

In 5 1/3 innings of the Giants' home opener, Butler gave up five hits, issued six walks and hit a batter. Yet not one runner scored, and Butler wound up with a strange but satisfying decision in the Rockies' second shutout of the season, 2-0.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies seek new closer after Hawkins' struggles

Betancourt gets save vs. Giants; Ottavino also a candidate for ninth

Rockies seek new closer after Hawkins' struggles

SAN FRANCISCO -- On Monday, the Rockies replaced years of experience closing games with, well, closing know-how.

Manager Walt Weiss replaced LaTroy Hawkins, who blew two of three closing chances, with righty Rafael Betancourt, the Rockies' closer from late 2011 until he suffered an elbow injury in August 2013. Betancourt confirmed the decision by striking out two in an efficient ninth inning for his first save in nearly 20 months in a 2-0 defeat of the defending World Series champion Giants in their home opener.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LeMahieu backs Lyles, but Rox fall short

LeMahieu backs Lyles, but Rox fall short

DENVER -- Pinch-hitter Welington Castillo smacked an RBI single and scored on Dexter Fowler's two-run homer in the ninth inning Sunday to lift the Cubs to a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Rockies.

"We knew we were in it -- it just took a bloop and a blast," Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks said.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Owen Perkins in a contributor to MLB.com. Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LeMahieu producing from nine-hole

Second baseman hits two-out, three-run triple vs. Cubs

LeMahieu producing from nine-hole

DENVER -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss pondered the possibility of batting his pitcher eighth throughout Spring Training, and in the first home series of the year, he tried it twice -- which is two more times than any Rockies manager had ever tried it before him.

Both times, DJ LeMahieu batted ninth. Both games the Rockies scored five runs. LeMahieu drove in four of the runs, scored two, and kept alive a rally that accounted for another, contributing to seven of the Rockies' 10 runs from the nine hole.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

For Axford, reviving career pales to challenge of ailing son

For Axford, reviving career pales to challenge of ailing son

DENVER -- John Axford's baseball season has been interrupted by a dose of reality.

His son Jameson, who turns 3 in June, has suffered another setback in his recovery from being bitten twice on the top of his right foot by a rattlesnake in the backyard of the home Axford and his family rented in Scottsdale, Ariz., during Spring Training.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox hope strong defensive core carries them far

Colorado boasts top-notch infield with Morneau, LeMahieu, Tulo, Arenado

Rox hope strong defensive core carries them far

DENVER -- Before losing their first game Saturday, the Rockies had matched their best start ever, going undefeated in their first four games and rekindling memories of their 1995 season, when they made the playoffs and also went 4-0 before losing the fifth game.

Manager Walt Weiss was the club's starting shortstop that year, and he noted a similar feeling around the clubhouse as he experienced then.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Axford taking family leave to care for son

Axford taking family leave to care for son

DENVER -- Rockies reliever John Axford is taking family leave from the Rockies to help his 2-year-old son, Jameson, deal with a medical emergency and surgery following a rattlesnake bite that occurred toward the end of Spring Training in Arizona. Jameson has already had surgery, but the results were more complicated than Axford anticipated.

"On Opening Day, my son had surgery for the first time on his foot," Axford said before Sunday's series finale with the Cubs. "We found out some tougher news than we were expecting. The necrotic tissue on his foot ended up being worse than we thought. There was a lot of infection in there, and it was a staph infection. The tissue they thought was going to be good turned out to not be great.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Oberg called up, set for Majors debut

Righty known for curveball, working on changeup

Oberg called up, set for Majors debut

DENVER -- With reliever John Axford going on the Family Medical Emergency List, Scott Oberg has joined the Rockies' bullpen and is poised to make his Major League debut.

The Rockies purchased Oberg's contract from Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday after transferring infielder Charlie Culberson from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Culberson has a lumbar disc injury.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Coors gives Kendrick rough welcome in first home start

Rockies righty allows 8 runs on 8 hits, 5 walks in loss to Cubs

Coors gives Kendrick rough welcome in first home start

DENVER -- For Rockies Opening Day pitcher Kyle Kendrick, his first week in purple pinstripes has been a tale of two cities: it was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

After seven innings of shutout baseball in a 10-0 Opening Day win in Milwaukee, Kendrick came home to Coors Field and gave up a career-high eight earned runs in five-plus innings to even his record at 1-1 as the Rockies earned their first loss of the season.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De La Rosa eyes final rehab start before return to rotation

Rockies starter sidelined with left groin strain

De La Rosa eyes final rehab start before return to rotation

DENVER -- Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa threw a bullpen session before Saturday's game with the Cubs and according to manager Walt Weiss, De La Rosa was fine and had no issues. Though Weiss said De La Rosa could start Tuesday in San Francisco, he would make at least one more rehab start before rejoining the club.

"The fact of the matter is we could bring him back, but he's not quite built up where we'd like him to be yet," Weiss said. "If he made a start in San Francisco, he'd be on a five-inning, 75-pitch limit, in that neighborhood. It makes it a little bit tougher to deal with the game when a guy's on that type of limit."

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrick roughed up for 8 runs as Cubs hand Rox first loss

Kendrick roughed up for 8 runs as Cubs hand Rox first loss

DENVER -- The Cubs finally found their offense. Starlin Castro, Chris Coghlan and Mike Olt each belted solo home runs and Dexter Fowler hit two triples and drove in two runs Saturday night to spark the Cubs to a 9-5 victory over the Rockies and even the series at one win apiece.

Coghlan and Olt belted consecutive homers in the third and Castro launched a monster shot to open the fifth, all off Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick. The Cubs had scored just three runs in their first three games combined before Saturday.

"The at-bats have been good," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It's just the ebb and flow of the season, and you want to get more consistent. I think our judgment at the plate has been good."

Castro's solo shot

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Owen Perkins in a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fowler gets warm welcome in 'emotional' return to Coors

Cubs outfielder spent first six seasons in Colorado

Fowler gets warm welcome in 'emotional' return to Coors

DENVER -- Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler appreciated the applause from the fans at Coors Field when he was introduced on Friday for the Rockies home opener. After all, he called the ballpark home for six seasons.

"Everybody was awesome," Fowler said Saturday. "Everybody was like, 'We miss you.' It was kind of an emotional day. It was weird. I'm glad we got the first day over with."

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morneau comes off bench to blast 1,500th career hit

Rockies slugger, 33, glad fan was willing to return milestone ball

Morneau comes off bench to blast 1,500th career hit

DENVER -- The more hits for Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau, the less they run together. He's cherishing milestones -- like his 1,500th hit, a sixth-inning leadoff homer during the Rockies' 5-1 home-opener victory over the Cubs on Friday afternoon.

"They managed to track it down, and we traded a bat and a ball for it," Morneau said. "I'm very grateful that someone would give that up. It would mean a lot more to me than anyone else.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Tulo, CarGo healthy, and with that, Rockies on tear

Sluggers have combined for eight RBIs as Colorado opens season at 4-0

Tulo, CarGo healthy, and with that, Rockies on tear

DENVER -- This is fun, right now, for the Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki is healthy. Carlos Gonzalez is healthy. And the Rockies are winning.

Nothing like opening the season with a 4-0 record -- something that Colorado has done only once before, back in 1995 -- to create that feel-good feeling.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.