- Associated Press - Monday, March 24, 2014

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Troy Tulowitzki homered, Franklin Morales struck out seven over five innings in a strong audition for a spot in the Colorado rotation, and the Rockies beat the Kansas City Royals 8-2 Monday.

Tulowitzki wrapped his third homer of spring training around the left field foul pole off former Rockies teammate Jeremy Guthrie in the second. The three-time All-Star finished 1 for 3 with a sacrifice fly and is hitting .160.

Charlie Culberson added a two-run double in the third. Guthrie allowed four runs and six hits in five innings.

Morales gave up an unearned run, thanks to his own error, and three hits. The left-hander made a wild pickoff throw to first base that hit the umpire. But he threw 73 pitches as he tries to beat out Jordan Lyles for the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

“In some of these decisions, it’s not just player-to-player and who won,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “You’ve got to take into consideration the design of the club and how the pieces fit. But he’s made a case for himself.”

Colorado’s Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer off Spencer Patton in the sixth, two days after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch.


Royals: Guthrie threw 93 pitches and wasn’t concerned with his 7.04 spring ERA. He’ll throw 60 pitches in his final start before the April 4 home opener.

“I feel like I’ve gotten the arm strength up and feel like I’ve been able to execute some pitches,” he said.

Rockies: With left-hander Boone Logan (elbow) possibly starting the season on the disabled list, Colorado might choose to put Morales in the bullpen.

“How do we align these pieces to take our best shot?” Weiss said. “And that evolves. It’s ever-changing.”


Royals: Manager Ned Yost said second baseman Omar Infante (elbow) felt good in a workout and is scheduled to play in a minor league game Tuesday. He’ll play five innings in the field and bat five times.

Rockies: Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin said his shoulder felt fine after throwing 30 fastballs off the mound Sunday. Chacin said he’ll throw four or five more bullpens before throwing batting practice. The Rockies expect him to return in early May.

Logan threw 15 pitches in a minor league game Monday without difficulty.

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