Tulowitzki, Morneau hit consecutive homers off Brooks, Rockies overpower Royals 6-2



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SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau hit home runs on consecutive pitches in the first inning, lifting the Colorado Rockies to a 6-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

Tulowitzki's liner off Royals rookie Aaron Brooks curled inside the left field foul pole. The two-run shot was the second of the spring for Tulowitzki, who also made a diving play at shortstop as he shows no ill-effects from season-ending hip surgery.

Morneau, the 2014 NL batting champ, sent Brooks' next pitch halfway up the grassy seating area in left center.

"Today was a nice little show in the first. That's a good feeling for a pitcher," Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick said. "The offense is going to score some runs."

Corey Dickerson went 3 for 3 and Nolan Arenado added an RBI single as the top four hitters in the Colorado order combined to go 6 for 11.

Christian Colon had a two-run single off Kendrick.

Rockies No. 1 starter Jorge De La Rosa made a pain-free spring debut in a morning "B'' game, giving up a double and striking out two in two scoreless innings. He had been out with a sore groin.

STARTING TIME

Royals: Brooks, who pitched in two games for the Royals last season, gave up four runs, five hits and struck out four in two innings. The right-hander was filling in for Jeremy Guthrie, who is recovering from a stomach virus.

Rockies: Kendrick, signed away from Philadelphia to fill a rotation spot, gave up two runs and five hits in three innings in his third start.

"I had to battle my command a little bit," he said. "I wasn't as sharp as last time."

Jhoulys Chacin, coming back from shoulder trouble a year ago, followed. He worked out of a sixth-inning jam to finish with three scoreless innings, allowing four hits.

A-LEVEL "B'' GAME

Executives, scouts and media crowded around a back field for a rare "B'' game loaded with name players.

De La Rosa looked sharp in his twice-delayed first start. He mixed a variety of pitches, throwing 16 of 24 for strikes. He threw 16 more pitches in the bullpen.

De La Rosa's lone blemish was Arizona slugger Mark Trumbo's double off the wall. The left-hander also struck out former Rockies teammate Jordan Pacheco.

"I felt normal today," De La Rosa said. "My fastball command was really good, except with Trumbo."

De La Rosa expects to go three innings in his next start.

"I've got a lot of time to get ready," he said.

Rockies prospect Eddie Butler struggled, giving up five runs and eights hits in three innings. Closer LaTroy Hawkins allowed an infield hit in a scoreless inning.

The added game allowed Colorado's pitching staff to get its work in ahead of Monday's off day.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Right-hander Luke Hochevar is set for his second appearance Monday in his comeback from elbow-reconstruction surgery.

Rockies: Second baseman Daniel Descalso was a late scratch with a sore oblique.

MORALES IMPRESSES

Left-hander Franklin Morales, who spent last season in Colorado, is helping his chances to make the Royals' roster.

Morales threw two more scoreless innings with a walk and two strikeouts. He hasn't allowed a run in six innings.

"If he can pitch the way that he's pitched against us in the past, he'll benefit our side," manager Ned Yost said. "We're seeing that."

CARGO TO BUNT?

Rockies left-handed slugger Carlos Gonzalez faced what will likely be many defensive shifts Saturday with three infielders on the right side.

"Teams want to shift? We'll take at-bats accordingly," manager Walt Weiss said. "I think you'll see CarGo lay down some bunts to beat the shift.

"We want to put them in position to where they're reacting to us."

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura starts Monday vs. Cleveland.

Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis starts Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels.

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