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Desmond goes oppo for 1st homer of 2018

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

PHOENIX -- First baseman Ian Desmond fell behind early in Spring Training, because he devoted it to changing his hands in his batting stance and didn't focus on his numbers. He received a measure of payoff with a two-run, opposite-field homer to right field off D-backs lefty Robbie Ray in the second inning in Friday night's 9-8 loss.

After Nick Ahmed's three-run homer keyed a five-run first inning for the D-backs against Rockies starter Tyler Anderson, Desmond followed Carlos Gonzalez's walk with a homer on an 0-1 pitch, into the visiting bullpen.

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PHOENIX -- First baseman Ian Desmond fell behind early in Spring Training, because he devoted it to changing his hands in his batting stance and didn't focus on his numbers. He received a measure of payoff with a two-run, opposite-field homer to right field off D-backs lefty Robbie Ray in the second inning in Friday night's 9-8 loss.

After Nick Ahmed's three-run homer keyed a five-run first inning for the D-backs against Rockies starter Tyler Anderson, Desmond followed Carlos Gonzalez's walk with a homer on an 0-1 pitch, into the visiting bullpen.

View Full Game Coverage

Last year was the first of a five-year, $70 million contract for Desmond, and he took three trips to the disabled list (broken left hand, two right calf strains) and finished .274 with seven homers and 40 RBIs in a career-low 95 games.

Tweet from @Rockies: Ian Desmond is a very strong man. That oppo shot left the yard in a hurry! 💪 pic.twitter.com/eqfy4DZREF

He reported to Spring Training this year having lowered his hands, and spent the time working through the adjustment. When the adjustment takes, Desmond hopes he'll reach balls quicker and pull them, which helps at Coors Field. But hitting hard the opposite way has its rewards, as he demonstrated Friday.

He finished Cactus League play with a .200 batting average after a 1-for-22 start.

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

Colorado Rockies, Ian Desmond