Hawpe's ankle healed and ready for opening day

COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) - Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe had to prove himself in an exhibition game against Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday afternoon.

Not in the game itself, but before it began.

Hawpe was put through a battery of tests to see if his tweaked left ankle would be ready for the season opener Monday at Coors Field.

Hawpe took some light batting practice, ran on the treadmill and threw in the outfield grass. He didn't play an inning in the Rockies' 5-3 loss to the Sky Sox.

"He passed all the tests we threw at him," Hurdle said after the game. "He'll be ready to go."

Hawpe grinned as he described his injury that occurred in a spring training practice.

"I just rolled my ankle being clumsy," said Hawpe, who hit .315 and drove in 13 runs this spring.

After the game the Rockies signed outfielder Steve Finley and utility player John Mabry to major league contracts. The team also optioned outfielder Ryan Spilborghs to Colorado Springs and designated outfielder Alexis Gomez for assignment. The Rockies have now filled their 40-man roster.

Spilborghs could've been upset about the demotion after hitting .412 in spring training. But he understood.

"I know I'm good enough to play. I've just got to wait my turn," Spilborghs said. "It's always a tough pill to swallow. But I'm not going to root for injury or someone to fail. I want them to do well. That's part of being around these guys."

The Sky Sox are now 6-2 against the Rockies, including five straight. The Rockies haven't beaten the Sky Sox since 1995.

Colorado Springs scored four of its runs in the fifth inning off Ubaldo Jimenez, who had allowed only one hit until the frame. Alvin Colina hit a solo homer, Clint Barmes had an RBI single and outfielder Seth Smith drove in two runs with a single.

Most of Colorado's starters played only three innings against the Sky Sox, scoring two runs on four hits in the first frame. Garrett Atkins drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Matt Holliday singled in a run. Holliday finished with two hits.

Aaron Cook will be the opening-day pitcher for the Rockies against Arizona on Monday.

"You aren't a baseball person if you can't get excited about opening day," general manager Dan O'Dowd said. "It's a feeling exceeded only by the start of the World Series. I'm looking forward more to this one. I'm interested to see the continuing development of this team."

Notes: The Rockies finished spring training with a winning record (13-12-3) for the third straight season. ... Todd Helton and Atkins tied for the team lead in hits in spring training with 19 each. ... Willy Taveras ranked second in the Cactus League with eight steals this spring. ... The attendance for the exhibition game was 6,181 despite the cool weather. The temperature was 42 degrees.

(Copyright 2007. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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