Axford returns to action with spotless Minors outing

Axford returns to action with spotless Minors outing

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After testing his right arm with a spotless inning in a Minor League game on Thursday, right-handed reliever John Axford has turned his attention to the Rockies' season opener.

Axford had not pitched competitively since last Wednesday, the day his 2 1/2-year-old son, Jameson, was bitten twice on his left foot by a rattlesnake and admitted to an area hospital. But with his son's condition improving, Axford has been able to resume activity the last three days. On Thursday he vanquished a D-backs Double-A squad on 12 pitches, eight of them strikes.

"Maybe that time off helped a little bit, but I felt good, felt down in the zone, both my breaking balls were on today and I could work my fastball. I could work both sides of the plate and keep it low," said Axford, who is scheduled to appear in Saturday's Cactus League finale against the Mariners.

Opening Day will be in a familiar place, as Axford pitched for the Brewers from 2009-13.

"I'm looking forward to getting back and seeing some people, but also looking forward to being part of the Rockies and looking forward to hopefully winning three games as well," he said.

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.