Maine's comeback gets off to encouraging start

Maine's comeback gets off to encouraging start

TEMPE, Ariz. -- John Maine's road to recovery now includes a Cactus League outing.

On Wednesday, Maine gave up three hits in two scoreless innings against the Angels in his first appearance in a game this spring. The right-handed pitcher made only nine starts in 2010 in a season shortened by shoulder surgery.

"In my mind, he was reminiscent of the John Maine we have seen in the past," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "John Maine, when he is right like you saw a little bit today, has the capability to pitch up in the zone. ... I felt that for the first time out there since joining us that the ball is coming out very, very well."

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Maine entered in the fifth inning, and his first pitch was hit for single up the middle by Bobby Wilson. Chris Pettit hit Maine's second pitch to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for the start of a 6-4-3 double play. Jeremy Moore followed with a triple, but Maine recovered and retired Erick Aybar to end the inning.

In the sixth, Maine gave up a one-out single to Howard Kendrick, who stole second and third base. But Maine escaped the inning unscathed. He threw 15 pitches in the inning, 11 for strikes.

Huston Street replaced Maine to start the seventh inning.

"It was interesting," Tracy said. "We have to see more of it, but obviously, not too bad for the first time around, that's for sure."

Maine's career year came in his first full season with the Mets in 2007, when he went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA in 32 starts. He made 15 starts for the Mets the previous year, setting a rookie Mets record with 26 consecutive scoreless innings.