Rockies' big flies support Gray's scoreless debut

Rockies' big flies support Gray's scoreless debut

PHOENIX -- Rockies catcher Tony Wolters hit a three-run homer and starter Jon Gray struck out two over two scoreless innings to lead Colorado to a 7-1 victory over the Dodgers on Monday at Camelback Ranch.

The Rockies did not waste any time getting on the board. Second baseman Alexi Amarista walked on four pitches to start the game, and after a double play, first baseman Jordan Patterson followed with a homer to center field to put Colorado up, 1-0.

Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda was charged with one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out one and walked two in the 36-pitch outing.

"The goal was just to pitch in a live situation, throw two innings and get my feel back for my pitches," Maeda said through a translator. "I thought I did pretty well. I felt pretty good. I didn't have the exact command of all of my pitches, but in terms of the feel and my body, I felt pretty good."

Wolters' home run off reliever Josh Fields came as part of five-run fourth that gave the Rockies a six-run lead to put away the game. Wolters, who is considered an excellent defender, and Tom Murphy are on track to split catching duties this season. Wolters hit .215 in the first half of his rookie year last season, and .321 in the second half.

"He hit a good fastball -- turned on a 3-2 pitch," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "The foul ball prior to it, he turned on. They were trying to go in on him and he got the bat to it."

Gray, a candidate to be the Opening Day starter, allowed two hits in his 50-pitch outing before yielding to Jeff Hoffman, a key piece in the trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto in 2015. Hoffman, who is competing for a job in the rotation, was charged with one run on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked one.

Rockies Up Next: The Rockies' top two Draft picks in 2014 -- one possibly a factor on this year's Major League squad -- are scheduled to pitch on Tuesday. Lefty Kyle Freeland, a Denver native who was chosen eighth overall, will begin his bid for a rotation spot after a solid year at Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque (11-10, 3.89 ERA). Behind him is a local product -- righty Ryan Castellani, who was selected out of Phoenix Brophy Prep and who will be making his Cactus League debut.

Dodgers Up Next: Left-hander Julio Urias makes his first start of the spring on Tuesday against the Rockies at Salt River Fields. The Dodgers want Urias to be available to the big league club late during the regular season, and are still trying to determine if Urias will start the season with Los Angeles or begin the season in the Minors.

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Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.