SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jason Hammel finally got a chance to show off his new, compact delivery and considered it a success.
Hammel allowed one hit over two scoreless innings in his spring debut, Chris Iannetta hit a two-run homer and the Colorado Rockies beat Arizona 7-4 on Tuesday for their third straight victory over the Diamondbacks.
``I'm getting the ball out of my glove faster and I'm very encouraged,' Hammel said. ``I'm still conscious that I have to get it out of my glove and by the beginning of the regular season I want to get it completely out of mind, like it just happens.'
Rockies manager Jim Tracy likes what he sees out of Hammel.
``This guy has tremendous stuff,' Tracy said. ``He's very capable and he's already shown that. He's been a double-digit winner the past two years. The next step is for him to realize that when he hits a trouble spot, he maintains focus and keeps himself involved.'
Hammel worked with Iannetta during the offseason to develop the faster delivery, which he says has helped his changeup and slider as well.
``We were playing long toss for a couple of months and talked about trying something different,' Hammel said. ``I used to have a big arc.'
Ryan Spilborghs, Ty Wigginton and Jordan Pacheco also drove in runs for the Rockies, who hosted their first game at Salt River Fields.
Russell Branyan hit a three-run homer, Stephen Drew had two hits and Gerardo Parra drove in a run for the Diamondbacks.
Hammel, who set a career high for innings pitched (177 2-3) last year, allowed one hit and struck out one.
Diamondbacks left-hander Joe Saunders made it through two innings in his second start of the spring. He allowed two runs and three hits, a better outing than his first appearance when he gave up four runs and four hits in 1 2-3 innings.
``Beside the one bad pitch to Iannetta I was pretty happy with it,' Saunders said. ``I'm still getting a feel for things, but I can't complain. I like where my arm is at compared to other years.'
Saunders continues working on a cutter he played around with throughout his career.
``I hope it develops into a pitch I can use during the regular season,' he said. ``It will come with repetition and confidence. I can't second-guess myself with it.'
Andrew Johnston, who took over for Greg Smith in the fourth, recorded the final two outs of the inning and earned the win. Juan Gutierrez took the loss.
Smith allowed four runs on five hits and two walks in 1 1-3 innings. He struck out one.
Jason Giambi walked to open the fourth. Wigginton doubled, scoring pinch-runner Ben Paulsen. Wigginton eventually scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball.
Iannetta gave the Rockies an early lead with a two-out, two-run homer in the second. Spilborghs added a sacrifice fly.
Branyan's towering drive, which followed singles by Tony Abreu and Drew in the fourth, tied the score.
NOTES: Diamondbacks INF Kelly Johnson had three straight hits, over two games, before flying out in the third. ... Arizona LHP Mike Hampton got two quick outs in the seventh, walked the bases loaded, and then struck out Michael McKenry on three pitches. ... Rockies RHP Aaron Cook will probably not make his scheduled start Saturday. Tracy said Esmil Rogers will get more of a workload as a result. ``It's an opportunity to stretch him out a little bit,' Tracy said. ... Rockies INF Eric Young Jr. has become more involved with infield practice and is beginning to move laterally as he continues rehabbing a stress fracture in his right tibia.
The Associated Press News Service
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