Story's big day sparks Rockies past Rangers

Story's big day sparks Rockies past Rangers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Shortstop prospect Trevor Story added a home run and two doubles to his case for the Rockies' starting job in his team's 8-6 victory over the Rangers on Saturday afternoon at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Vying to be the Rockies' first rookie to make his debut in an Opening Day starting lineup since Jeff Baker started at third base in 2005, Story went 3-for-3 and lifted his spring batting average to .381. The homer, a two-out solo shot in the third off Rangers lefty Martin Perez, was Story's fifth this spring.

"There's always a little nerves and anticipation right when it starts -- I would say more excitement than nervousness, just because you're back with all your boys, playing ball again," said Story, whose chance was created because of uncertainty surrounding veteran Jose Reyes, who is not in camp after an offseason domestic violence charge. "I've just been trying to have fun since day one."

Ryan Rua, trying to make the Rangers in a reserve role, knocked two hits, including a double, and Chris Gimenez went 2-for-2 in his bid for a backup catching job.

Perez gave up four runs on seven hits in five innings.

"I attacked the zone," Perez said. "I threw my pitches where I wanted. They got a couple of base hits, I don't know how they hit the ball. But that's part of the game. I feel great. I'll be good for the season."

Arenado's RBI double

The Rangers' Nick Martinez, pushing for a rotation spot, gave up four runs (three earned) and four hits in three innings.

Rockies starter Chad Bettis held the Rangers to four hits in 5 1/3 innings and gave up four runs, just one earned. Bettis, expected to pitch No. 2 in the rotation behind Opening Day starter Jorge De La Rosa, threw a spring-high 89 pitches.

"I got a little tired today, but it was good to get some work in, get lengthened out and get ready to go," Bettis said. "There are going to be worse days than this, for sure. It's going to be a lot harder throughout the season. But it's good to get enough work in where I can feel it and fight through it."

Desmond's sacrifice fly

Rockies lefty Chris Rusin, in his first Cactus League outing after recovering from left middle finger inflammation, threw strikes on 22 of 32 pitches and gave up one run on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. The Rockies hope Rusin, who started 22 of his 24 outings last year, will be available at least out of the bullpen to open the season, with the possibility that he soon will be built up enough to start games.

"You never want to give up a run, but a lot of weak contact, which is what I was looking for in the first outing," Rusin said. "No walks -- I pounded the strike zone -- so I was pleased with that. It's just a little different getting out there and slowing your heart rate, because you're getting that competitive spirit for the first time in a while."

Rusin on returning to live play

Tony Wolters, whom the Rockies claimed off waivers from the Indians at the start of camp, put his team ahead with a two-run single in the seventh.

Wolters' two-run double

Up next for the Rangers: Right-hander Colby Lewis starts at 3:05 p.m. CT Sunday against the D-backs in Surprise (watch on MLB.TV). Lewis has a 10.24 ERA in three Cactus League starts. Matt Bush is expected to pitch as well. He pitched two scoreless innings in his first Cactus League outing.

Up next for the Rockies: Righty Christian Bergman, the Rockies pitcher most ready to step into the season-opening rotation for the injured Jon Gray (abdominal strain), is scheduled for 75 pitches in the start Sunday against the D-backs at Salt River Fields (2:10 p.m. MT, live on MLB.TV).

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.