SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Juan Nicasio struck out seven and gave up just one unearned run in 4 2/3 innings against a D-backs Triple-A squad at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Thursday.
Nicasio, whose turn to work fell on a Rockies off-day, threw 75 pitches, 49 for strikes, and he walked just one. It was a forward step for the right-hander, who is 0-1 with a 6.97 ERA in four Cactus League appearances.
Catcher Wilin Rosario worked with Nicasio and went 2-for-3 with a home run that sailed over the batter's eye in center field. Outfielder Charlie Blackmon, out of Cactus League action since March 1 because of an infection in his right knee, went 1-for-6, with several hard outs.
Veteran first baseman Todd Helton, scratched from Wednesday's game against the Cubs because of illness, played in a Double-A game against the D-backs and went 4-for-4 with a homer. He drove in two runs.
Also in the Double-A game, righty Chris Volstad yielded a leadoff single, forced a double-play grounder and struck out the final batter in a 10-pitch frame; and right-handed prospect Joe Gardner gave up two runs on three hits and induced a double play during a 26-pitch inning.
Thomas Harding is a reporter forMLB.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.