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Rockies, Royals scrap to 10-inning tie

Ubaldo Jimenez sizzled in the World Baseball Classic, then fizzled against Kansas City.

The Colorado Rockies hard-throwing right-hander was roughed up by the Royals on Tuesday, only to have his team erase a three-run deficit in the ninth for a 9-9 tie in 10 innings.

Carlos Gonzalez capped the comeback by lining a two-out single, scoring two runs – the second on right fielder Joe Dickerson’s error when he bobbled the ball. Dexter Fowler, hustling on the play, scored from first.

“I was just trying to make good contact and everything went well,” Gonzalez said. “Dexter did a great job, never stopping.”

Jimenez was making his first appearance since his sensational start for the Dominican Republic in the WBC last week, setting a tournament record with 10 strikeouts in four innings during an extra-inning loss to the Netherlands.

He couldn’t carry over his command, fading near the end of his 4 1/2-inning stint. Jimenez gave up eight runs and six hits while striking out four. He also walked three and hit a batter.

“I got tired a little bit,” said Jimenez, who’s being counted on by Colorado to fill the No. 2 spot in the rotation. “I guess I ran out of gas.”

Fatigue from the WBC?

“I don’t want to use excuses,” he said. “It just happened.”

Kyle Davies knows the feeling. The Royals starter was hit hard by the Rockies, surrendering six hits and five runs in three innings. Davies entered with a 0.71 ERA, the second-lowest in the Cactus League. Now it’s ballooned to 3.45.

Todd Helton’s balky back keeps steadily improving, his power returning along with it.

The Colorado first baseman homered for the second straight day, a solo shot to left field.

“He hit that one about 500 feet,” Davies said. “He’s one of the best hitters in the league.”

Helton struggled with a disk problem in his lower back last season, and numbness in his left leg robbed him of his ability to push off and drive the ball. He landed on the disabled list and then on the operating table.

With the pressure off the nerve, he’s finding his power swing again. Helton has a team-leading three home runs this spring.

Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki also had a big afternoon at the plate, hitting his first home run of the spring. Ryan Spilborghs laced a solo shot as well.

Miguel Olivo drove in four runs for Kansas City, including a three-run homer off Jimenez in the fourth. Mitch Maier added a three-run triple.

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