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Desmond breaks out with 2 homers in 1 inning

First baseman ignites offense with long ball off Ohtani
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond entered Friday's game against the Angels 3-for-31 this spring. By the time he left the second inning, he had two home runs in the 18-6 win.

In the grand scheme, Desmond's homers go into the same file as his early struggles, which came chock full of strikeouts -- 16. The stats are meaningless; all that matters is Desmond finding comfort in an adjustment -- dropping his hands in his batting stance.

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond entered Friday's game against the Angels 3-for-31 this spring. By the time he left the second inning, he had two home runs in the 18-6 win.

In the grand scheme, Desmond's homers go into the same file as his early struggles, which came chock full of strikeouts -- 16. The stats are meaningless; all that matters is Desmond finding comfort in an adjustment -- dropping his hands in his batting stance.

View Full Game Coverage

"I feel good," Desmond said. "I'm just looking to hit the ball hard on a more consistent basis. Today was a good day."

Video: COL@LAA: Arenado, Desmond talk homering off Ohtani

The first homer led off the inning against Japanese phemon right-hander Shohei Ohtani, who gave up seven runs on seven hits and a hit batsman in the inning, without recording an out until striking out Trevor Story and exiting.

Desmond said he and Ohtani are in the same boat.

"It's Spring Training," Desmond said. "We're all working on stuff. Unfortunately, he's got to do it in front of the whole world. But I'm sure he'll be fine."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Ohtani reached 98 mph twice in the first inning, but couldn't get balls past batters in the second. In fact, Nolan Arenado hacked at a 3-0 pitch, then delivered a three-run homer with the count full.

"I figured he probably doesn't want to walk anyone right here, get bases loaded," Arenado said.

Desmond's second homer greeted Tyler Warmoth and completed an eight-run inning.

One good sign might have been that both homers were pull shots to left field. The adjustment could allow him to reach more balls out front and lift them to take advantage of the way the ball flies at Coors Field. He is using the spring to hone the timing.

Video: COL@LAA: Arenado crushes a three-run homer off Ohtani

Desmond, 32, signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Rockies before last season. However, he was hit on the left hand by a pitch last spring and missed the first month, then went to the disabled list twice with right calf strains. He finished with a .274 batting average with seven homers and 40 RBIs in 95 games.

Manager Bud Black is less concerned with the stats than how the swing progresses.

"With all our guys, we want to see good at-bats, quality at-bats, and as the spring season goes on that they're seeing the ball, taking good swings," Black said. "So guys build confidence and feel good about themselves as we get into the last week of Spring Training."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Ian Desmond