Tulo, Morneau HRs power Rockies past Royals

Tulo, Morneau HRs power Rockies past Royals

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau hit consecutive first-inning home runs in a 6-2 victory over the Royals on Sunday in Cactus League action at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick before a crowd of 12,243.

Tulowitzki's two-run homer and Morneau's solo shot were off Royals starter Aaron Brooks, who filled in for Jeremy Guthrie (stomach virus), as the Rockies took a 3-0 lead. In the top of the first, before the homers, Tulowitzki made a diving stop on a grounder to the middle.

For the Royals, outfield prospect Brett Eibner went 3-for-3 with a double to raise his Spring Training batting average to .667 (10-for-15), while Jarrod Dyson went 2-for-3, including one hit coming on a bunt.

Two Rockies right-handed starters -- Kyle Kendrick and Jhoulys Chacin -- had smooth performances.

Kendrick went three innings and gave up two runs on five hits, but a popup that landed in front of the mound amidst the entire infield made Christian Colon's two-run single in the second inning possible. Kendrick struck out one and forced six ground-ball outs.

"I had to battle my command a little bit," Kendrick said. "I wasn't real sharp as last time. But it's coming around. It felt OK. I would have liked to have done some things better."

"Obviously, I want to keep the ball down, get a lot of groundballs. Hopefully, they can get a lot of work when I'm out there. That's the goal. They are very good players."

Chacin entered in the third and went three shutout innings, allowing four hits. He fanned one, forced a Chelsor Cuthbert double-play grounder in the third, and he pitched out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the sixth.

Rockies left fielder Corey Dickerson, hitting leadoff with center fielder Charlie Blackmon not in the lineup, went 3-for-3 with a double. Nolan Arenado added his fourth RBI of the spring, on a single off Kelvin Herrera in the fifth. Trevor Story, the Rockies' No. 13 prospect, according to MLB.com, made a diving grab to start a double play in the eighth inning.

For the Royals, lefty reliever Franklin Morales, who pitched for the Rockies last season, pitched his fifth and sixth scoreless innings.

Just before the game, the Rockies scratched infielder Daniel Descalso from the lineup with an oblique strain. Also, infielder Charlie Culberson has been absent from games lately because of lower back stiffness.

Up next: After an off-day on Monday, the Rockies return to Cactus League action on Tuesday at home against the Angels at 2:10 p.m. MT. Right-hander Chad Bettis is slated to make his first start this spring. Bettis, a reliever in 2014, has been converted to starter, and he has used the early spring to complete mechanical adjustments. Righty Brett Marshall, competing to add rotation depth, also is scheduled to pitch. Watch the game on MLB.TV.

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