Lyles looks good in Rockies' Cactus League opener

Righty delivers two scoreless innings; top prospect Gray hits 97 mph in sharp outing

Lyles looks good in Rockies' Cactus League opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In the Cactus League opener for both teams, D-backs catching prospect Peter O'Brien went 2-for-3 with an RBI in a 6-2 victory over the Rockies on Wednesday afternoon in front of 6,780 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

D-backs starter Rubby De La Rosa, who is battling for a rotation spot, tossed an impressive two shutout innings on his 26th birthday. The right-hander, acquired from the Red Sox in the Wade Miley deal, allowed one hit and struck out two.

"I felt really good," De La Rosa said. "I feel they've given me a lot of opportunity and I'm trying to work hard and not throw away the opportunity."

Arizona righty Chase Anderson, another rotation candidate, followed De La Rosa to the mound and also worked a scoreless pair of innings. Righty prospect Aaron Blair struck out two in two scoreless innings, and righty prospect Braden Shipley added a scoreless frame with a strikeout.

Rockies righty starter Jordan Lyles, incorporating a split-changeup that he developed late last season, struck out two and yielded a walk and a hit batsman in two innings.

"I usually start out slow throwing just fastball-changeup, but I really wanted to work in everything -- especially the changeup," Lyles said. "I probably threw six or seven of those."

Rockies right-hander Jon Gray, the club's No. 1 prospect and's 16th-ranked prospect, threw scoreless third and fourth innings, with one hit and two strikeouts. Gray's highlight was a 97-mph fastball to fan Paul Goldschmidt to end the third.

O'Brien, who has an outside shot at capturing a catching spot, drove home the first D-backs run with a single off lefty Aaron Laffey in the sixth. Jordan Pacheco, formerly with the Rockies, doubled in a run and Ibarra added an infield RBI single off Yohan Flande. The D-backs added three eighth-inning runs, all charged to righty reliever Jairo Diaz, who topped out at 98 mph, but gave up two hits and two walks.

Rockies utility infield hopeful Rafael Ynoa ended the shutout bid with a bases-loaded RBI single with one out in the ninth. Roger Bernadina added a sacrifice fly.

D-backs Up Next: Right-hander Trevor Cahill has been impressive in bullpen sessions, but if he wants to win a spot in the rotation he'll have to show he can perform in games. Cahill, who has tweaked his mechanics to throw more over the top, will get the start against the Rockies on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. MT at Salt River Fields. The game will be available via an exclusive free audio webcast on

Rockies Up Next: Righty Jhoulys Chacin, limited to 11 starts last season because of rotator cuff and labrum damage, will test his rehabbed and strengthened shoulder against the D-backs on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. MT. After Gray had his eye-popping performance in his 2015 spring debut, righty Eddie Butler (No. 41 prospect, will appear Thursday for two scheduled innings.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.