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Veteran Hawkins returns; Bergman to Triple-A

MIAMI -- The Colorado Rockies reinstated right-hander LaTroy Hawkins from the 15-day disabled list, as the veteran rejoined the ballclub with Corey Dickerson for Thursday's 6-0 series-opening loss to the Marlins.

Hawkins pitched a scoreless eighth in his return to the mound. After allowing back-to-back singles to pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki and Adeiny Hechavarria, Hawkins got Martin Prado to line out, Christian Yelich to strike out looking and Giancarlo Stanton to fly out.

Sidelined since April 22 with biceps tendinitis, Hawkins went 1-1 with a 10.50 ERA before the injury. He had pitched just six innings, giving up seven runs on 11 hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Hawkins got a cortisone shot and took a week off from pitching to rest his arm. Surprisingly enough, Hawkins said it marked just the third shot of his 21-year big league career. He also had one in 2007 and '10.

In five rehab appearances with Triple-A Albuquerque, Hawkins allowed four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk over 4 2/3 frames.

"I was working on command of my fastball and some breaking pitches," Hawkins said. "Down there those guys feast on fastballs. Trying to get ahead first-pitch fastball and they're all on top of it. I felt good. I think that was the most important thing. Make sure I felt good, and I felt good."

Unconcerned with what his velocity was during his outings, the 42-year-old righty cared more about his command and that he felt "a lot better than the first go-around."

"I'm going to ease Hawk back in a little bit," manager Walt Weiss said. "I was using him in the sixth, seventh inning before he got hurt. He can pitch in the eighth inning. A lot of it just depends on the status of our bullpen that day. I try not to throw guys right back into the fire when they've missed as much time as he has."

Colorado optioned righty Christian Bergman to Albuquerque as the corresponding roster move. Bergman posted a 2-0 record and 4.18 ERA in 14 games (one start). That leaves the Rockies without a true long reliever.

Weiss praised the job Bergman did in what he called a "tough role" that isn't glorified. He added that Bergman saved the bullpen multiple times this year with his effectiveness throwing strikes.

"The plan is to have him start down there just to keep him lengthened out," Weiss said. "I talk about the design of our roster changing and it evolving as the year goes on, and that's kind of where we're at right now. We don't have a long man out there, but my guess is that we're not going to go real long without having that [long man] out of the bullpen."

Christina De Nicola is a contributor to
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