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Volstad has successful return to relief work

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DENVER -- Before Wednesday night, the last time Rockies right-hander Chris Volstad pitched in relief was his Major League debut on July 6, 2008, for the Marlins against the Rockies at Coors Field.

His return to relief pitching turned out well.

Wednesday in Milwaukee, Volstad entered with a two-run lead in the seventh inning and gave up a run on a Ryan Braun RBI double. But he finished the inning by striking out Aramis Ramirez -- a hitter who had plenty of previous success against him -- on a 3-2 curveball to end the inning. The Rockies later pulled away for a 7-3 victory.

Volstad, who was a starter for the Marlins and the Cubs before joining the Rockies this winter, relies on his sinker, and Colorado believes that pitch works better in short spurts. But the strikeout of Ramirez, who is 6-for-18 against Volstad in his career, demonstrated that he can mix pitches.

"My first one was my very first appearance in the big leagues, and I hadn't done it since then," Volstad said. "I just try to make good pitches and treat it like any other inning."

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.

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{"event":["opening_day" ] }
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