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Rockies focusing on fast start

Citizen Staff Writer



The Colorado Rockies are focusing on getting off to a good start this season.

That means making every spring workout, inning and game more meaningful.

“There will be an urgency for work and an execution level across the board needs to be focused on,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “Their discipline and intent through drill works will be critical throughout spring training.”

Hurdle is not taking anything for granted after continuous slow starts by the team over the years.

Starting pitchers will get more innings and hitters more at-bats this spring than usual.

“There will not be a game or an inning that will be overlooked,” Hurdle said. “We do not have the time to go out there and just have another day.

“We are going to have a focus and a purpose in everything we do. It is not that we haven’t in the past, we are just tightening it up a little bit.”

The Rockies finished strong in 2007 en route to the World Series. But they had to win 14 of their final 15 games just to make it to the playoffs.

Colorado started 10-16 that April. Last year, the Rockies were 1-5 right off the bat and 11-17 overall in April.

“Nobody wants to come out of the blocks not clean,” Hurdle said. “Nobody wants to trip coming out of opening day. We are focusing that we need to play winning baseball on opening day.”

The Rockies were 20-36 last year going into June and finished 74-88.

“We (will) pick up workloads for our nucleus guys and our core guys so we can be sharper when we do open,” Hurdle said.

Rockies notes

The Associated Press

Friday’s game: Anaheim Angels 5, Rockies 3

Saturday’s game: Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.

Sunday’s game: Rockies vs. Cleveland Indians, 1:05 p.m., Goodyear

Friday’s hitting: Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe each had RBIs for the Rockies in the loss.

Friday’s pitching: Greg Smith had trouble settling down on the mound in his debut with the Rockies. He allowed three runs, three hits and three walks over two innings. Colorado LHP Glendon Rusch worked two scoreless innings in relief.

Notable: Rockies outfielder Hawpe left the game with a cut on his left pinkie after diving back to second base on a pickoff attempt.

Quotable: “I was very anxious and very emotional out there,” Smith said. “I kind of let it get to me a little bit and that’s not my style.”

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