SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Carlos Gonzalez, who re-signed with the Rockies last week after an offseason during which he was presumed gone, delayed stepping into the box in the first inning against the Angels on Thursday and acknowledged the crowd's applause.But Gonzalez doesn't have much time. His at-bat, an infield single
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Carlos Gonzalez, who re-signed with the Rockies last week after an offseason during which he was presumed gone, delayed stepping into the box in the first inning against the Angels on Thursday and acknowledged the crowd's applause.
But Gonzalez doesn't have much time. His at-bat, an infield single off Andrew Heaney in a lefty-lefty matchup, began an accelerated run-up to the regular season. Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a run scored in the Rockies' 10-8 loss at Salt River Fields for his first Cactus League action in 2018.
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"I didn't do much -- I was trying to concentrate for my at-bat -- but that was really nice, the way that people received me," Gonzalez said. "That was a great ovation. Even coming out of the tunnel to do the stretch before the game, a lot of people were excited to see me wearing the uniform."
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Gonzalez struggled much of last season, but he hit six September home runs to help the Rockies reach the postseason for the first time since 2009 -- his first season in purple pinstripes. He signed for one year and $8 million, played two games on the back fields (and homered off Scott Oberg on Wednesday), and found himself right back in right field.
"When we start playing games in Spring Training, we try to concentrate, see the ball well, make sure your body feels good, your legs feel good," Gonzalez said. "Everything is great. Today was a good day."
Lefty starter Tyler Anderson gave up three home runs -- to Michael Trout, Jefry Marte and Martin Maldonado (the last two consecutively) -- among five runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings. He started well before the homers, pitching two scoreless innings. The first two were hit on changeups, and the last one came on a curveball. Anderson suspected the hitters were sitting offspeed each time. He latched onto positives.
"For me, it's about getting control of your delivery, and today was the best and the right direction in terms of my delivery and how I felt," Anderson said. "There's also not a lot of scouting that goes into these teams, which is a big part of my game."
Rockies manager Bud Black, believing Anderson's critical changeup was not sharp, said, "We'll look at these last couple starts where he'll get hopefully to 90 pitches, with his stuff getting to better locations."
Raimel Tapia, a prime candidate for a reserve outfield role, flashed many of his skills in Wednesday night's 11-6 loss to the Dodgers with a leadoff double, two runs scored, a try for a bunt hit, and a walk.
Black wants Tapia, who hit .288 in 70 games over six callups from Triple-A Albuquerque last season, to consistently act as a sparkplug for the Rockies and a nuisance for opponents.
"You want to see the consistent game that he plays, and that's using the whole field, putting the bat to the ball, getting on base, creating havoc and pressure as a basestealer/baserunner, and make plays in the outfield," Black said. "For the most part this spring, we've seen that type of play out of him."
• David Dahl, who could be a candidate for an outfield job, though he might be sent to Triple-A Albuquerque for regular playing time, hit his fifth spring homer -- off Luke Bard in the sixth.
"The bat speed is improving since the first game of Spring Training," Black said. "The quality and the approach is better the last week than it was the first couple of weeks, and that's a great sign. David just needs repetitions, and we're giving him a ton; he's in there almost every day."
Tom Murphy, competing for catching duty, left after being hit in the helmet-mask on Marte's sixth-inning-swing follow through. It was the first pitch Murphy caught in the game. Black said Murphy "felt a little bit fuzzy," but he thinks he will be fine. Last Spring Training, Murphy suffered broken bones in his right hand and wrist when hit by a follow through from the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo.
Infielder and righty pinch-hitter Pat Valaika went 2-for-4 and played shortstop, first base and third base in a camp game as he continues his return from a left oblique injury.
Watch live on MLB.TV as right-hander German Marquez, whose solid overall spring was interrupted when the Dodgers besieged him for eight runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings in his previous outing, starts at 2:10 p.m. MT on Friday against the Angels -- and Shohei Ohtani -- at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.