Pomeranz leads Rockies in pitching duel

Pomeranz leads Rockies in pitching duel

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies and D-backs opened the 2012 Cactus League schedule by pitching to a 1-1 tie at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Saturday afternoon.

Rockies reliever Josh Roenicke struck out David Winfree to end the top of the 10th with runners at the corners. The D-backs had eight hits. D-backs pitchers held the Rockies to four hits, the last a Wil Nieves single with one out in the bottom of the 10th.

"Pitching overall today was good," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It was good to get it under our belt, get the guys on the field and the evaluation begins."

The two young starting pitchers did not disappoint in their 2012 debuts. Rockies left-hander Drew Pomeranz, the key figure who came from the Indians for Ubaldo Jimenez last season, struck out two and gave up one hit in two scoreless innings. D-backs right-hander Trevor Bauer, the third overall pick in last summer's First-Year Player Draft, struck out two in two spotless innings.

"Our pitchers handled themselves extremely well," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.

Third baseman Nolan Arenado, the Rockies' top-rated prospect by MLB.com, made a positive first impression with a diving play to his right on a hard Gerardo Parra bouncer with runners at second and third in the top of the fourth. One run scored, but his catch and throw to retire Parra prevented another run.

"We've been involved in enough games like today over the course of the last three years that the understanding has to be there that when you get involved in games like that, little things ... are extremely important in those kinds of games," Tracy said. "And if it's not extremely important -- if you perform sloppily -- you put yourself in a position to get beat. We've done a terrific job of that. Obviously, the pitching is way ahead of the hitting right now."

Rockies veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez started and knocked two singles, the second driving in a run to tie the game at 1 in the bottom of the fourth.

D-backs up next: The D-backs play host to the Giants on Sunday at Salt River Fields with Opening Day starter Ian Kennedy on the mound. Relievers Takashi Saito and Craig Breslow are expected to make their D-backs debuts in the game. Brad Ziegler and David Hernandez are also among those who should see action. The game is officially a sellout.

Rockies up next: With no Cactus League game scheduled for Sunday, the Rockies will have an intrasquad game. Newly acquired right-hander Tyler Chatwood, miracle comeback maker Juan Nicasio (who suffered a broken neck when hit by a line drive last season) and left-handed prospect Edwar Cabrera are among the pitchers. The Rockies return to Cactus League play Monday against the D-backs at 1:10 MT at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin and left-hander Christian Friedrich -- a former top Draft pick -- among those scheduled to throw.

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