SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jeremy Guthrie is making the adjustment to the National League look easy - even if he says it isn't.
Guthrie allowed an unearned run while pitching into the fifth inning Saturday, leading the Colorado Rockies to an 8-6 victory over a Los Angeles Dodgers split squad.
``My goal is to watch as many National League games as I can, against right-handed pitcher, and see if I can't get a few impression ingrained in my brain,' said Guthrie, who turns 33 on April 6. ``It came to the point in Baltimore where video didn't tell you anything more. I'd see the Yankees 30 times, the Red Sox 25 times . it got to the point where I knew if I threw one pitch, it would get hit here, and if I threw that pitch I had a chance to succeed.
``Now I have to figure it out again, watch hundreds of games and see what I pick up after I've seen (Dodgers center fielder) Matt Kemp bat 450 times against right-handed pitchers,' Guthrie added. ``I've got a long ways to go.'
Tim Wheeler had a game-ending two-run homer after the Dodgers scored four in the top of the ninth off Colorado closer Rafael Betancourt to tie it.
Tyler Colvin Colvin hit a two-run shot in the eighth and Andrew Brown homered and had an RBI double for the Rockies. Tim Federowicz and Jeff Baisley had RBI doubles in the ninth for the Dodgers.
After five years in the AL East, Guthrie has allowed just three earned runs over 11 2-3 innings over three starts so far this spring. He has impressed but not surprised Colorado manager Jim Tracy.
``He's shown up here exactly as advertised,' Tracy said. ``He threw 80 pitches today and it was absolutely the same today as it has been the entire spring. His tempo, his efficiency, his ability to pound the strike zone, his athleticism . exactly what we were expecting.'
He allowed four hits against the Dodgers, including two opposite-field doubles to Andre Ethier.
Whether Guthrie is the Rockies' opening-day starter depends on the schedule, Tracy says.
Guthrie helped his own cause Saturday with an RBI groundout in the fourth inning after attempting a two-out push bunt in the first with runners on second and third. While it wasn't successful, Tracy liked the effort.
``He put the ball in play. It's just the kind of thing we fell short on a year ago,' Tracy said. ``To pick up a run here and there like that makes a difference. In the division we play in and some of the parks that we play in, runs are precious.'
Betancourt blew the four-run cushion in the ninth. ``If it's going to happen, let's let it happen right now,' Tracy said.
Los Angeles starter Nathan Eovaldi tossed three scoreless innings, allowing four hits, all singles. The 22-year-old Eovaldi, who made his major league debut last season, has now thrown six scoreless innings in this two spring starts and has allowed one run in three appearances.
NOTES: Jordan Pacheco, who leads the Rockies with six extra-base hits, hit his fifth double of the spring in the seventh . The crowd of 12,465 fans on a gloomy St. Patrick's Day was a sellout and the most for a Colorado home game this spring.
The Associated Press News Service
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