Smith drives in three to spark Rockies

Smith drives in three to spark Rockies

at Phoenix
Tuesday, March 9

Rockies at the plate: Seth Smith led the way for Colorado with an RBI single and two doubles, one of them for two RBIs, in a 3-for-4 afternoon. Clint Barmes, Jonathan Herrera and Paul Phillips added doubles, and regulars Melvin Mora, Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs added singles. Fowler and Gonzalez also each stole a base, their firsts of the spring.

Dodgers at the plate: Andre Ethier singled in two at-bats and Xavier Paul accounted for both of the Dodgers' other two hits, including the hardest-hit ball of the game by either club, a laser of a triple that rebounded hard off the batter's eye in center field beyond the 410-foot marker.

Rockies on the mound: Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez threw three scoreless innings, giving up a single while walking three batters and striking out two. Lefty Greg Smith relieved Jimenez and pitched three shutout frames, giving up two hits and walk and striking out three. Justin Speier pitched a scoreless seventh, striking out two.

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Dodgers on the mound: The Dodgers had three important pieces of their pitching staff making their spring debuts Tuesday, with starter Hiroki Kuroda, closer Jonathan Broxton and setup man George Sherrill all working. Kuroda went two innings and gave up two runs -- one earned -- on two hits while striking out three and walking one. Broxton gave up one run on three hits in one inning, striking out one. Sherrill lasted two-thirds of an inning and gave up three runs, although none were earned, on two hits with a walk and a strikeout. Other Dodgers pitchers included Juan Perez, Hong-Chih Kuo, Luis Ayala and Charlie Haeger,

Worth noting: The wintry weather that has blown through the Valley caused mid-50s temperatures and 20-plus-mph winds that made several pop flies an adventure. One off the bat of Spilborghs with the bases loaded in the third inning was in foul territory by first base before blowing over almost all the way to the second-base bag, where Dodgers second baseman Blake DeWitt made the catch. It also contributed to three errors in the game (two by Los Angeles, one by Colorado) and an adventurous double by Smith that Paul appeared to have a bead on in left field before it went over his head and dropped.

Cactus League records: Rockies 6-2; Dodgers 1-3

Up next: Left-hander Jeff Francis is healthy after missing last season because of surgery on his throwing shoulder. But Friday, the first time he faced Major League hitters in 18 months, he showed that he's a long way from regaining the sharpness he showed in winning 17 games in 2007-- his last healthy season. Francis gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in two innings against the Giants. Three runs scored on Juan Uribe's no-doubt home run to left field. So Francis will try again Wednesday against the Royals at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson. Rockies pitching coach Bob Apodaca isn't panicking, saying he knew it would take a while for Francis to transfer bullpen sessions to game action. Rockies hitters will be facing the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner, Zack Greinke.

Doug Miller is a national writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.