TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) With Colorado's rotation already locked into place, Rockies pitcher Brian Lawrence knows he won't begin the season as one of the team's five starters.
Lawrence, who missed all of 2006 after surgery on his throwing shoulder, said he is just trying to prove he is healthy enough to throw every five days.
After six strong innings Sunday in which Lawrence allowed three earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts in a 3-2 loss to Arizona, the 30-year-old right hander appears to be well on his way.
``I think they want me to pitch a few more times, every fifth day, before they are assured that the (arm) is where they want it to be,'' said Lawrence, who has won at least 10 games in three of the last four years. ``But as far as I'm concerned I feel awesome. I can't ask for it to feel better than it does.''
Lawrence could live without seeing Arizona outfielder Eric Byrnes, however.
Byrnes led off the game with a solo home run. In his second at-bat, in the top of the third, Byrnes drove another Lawrence offering over the left field wall for his fourth homer of the spring.
``The first (home run), I made a mistake. The ball was supposed to be thrown inside and I just left the ball out over the heart,'' Lawrence said. ``The second one, it was just a situation where it was a 3-ball, 2-strike count and I didn't want to walk him. It turned into a home run.''
Third baseman Chad Tracy's bloop double in the third brought home shortstop Alberto Callaspo for the other Arizona run.
Arizona starter Edgar Gonzalez threw six solid innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits, striking out three and walking one.
Gonzalez is one of the leading candidates to fill the final spot in the Diamondbacks rotation.< ^Notes:@ Sunday afternoon marked Colorado's spring training finale at the Rockies' Cactus League headquarters, Hi Corbett Field. ... Before the game, Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitski was named the winner of the Abby Greer award as the Rockies spring training MVP.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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