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Axford on inactive list to tend to family matter

Rockies closer says son is doing well in recovery from rattlesnake bite

OAKLAND -- The Rockies placed closer John Axford on the temporary inactive list because he needed to take care of a family matter. But manager Walt Weiss said Axford's 3-year-old son -- who has been recovering from a rattlesnake bite he suffered during Spring Training -- is doing well.

"He has some things to take care of at home, some personal things to address," Weiss said. "His son is doing fine. I know that's what people are thinking. But he's getting better and better every day.

"It's been a challenging year for him. But he has to go home and take care of some things."

The Rockies also put reliever Christian Bergman on the 15-day disabled list with right-shoulder fatigue. To fill the roster spots and bullpen roles, they recalled right-hander Justin Miller and left-hander Yohan Flande. Miller, who made five appearances while Rafael Betancourt was on the disabled list (1-0, 2.08 ERA) will be used in a setup role. Flande, who made three early-season appearances (0-0, 7.36) but was sent to Albuquerque as a starter, will pitch in Bergman's long-relief slot.

Worth noting

• In the absence of Axford, who has 13 saves in 14 chances, Weiss said the Rockies could go with veteran LaTroy Hawkins, second-year man Tommy Kahnle or rookie Scott Oberg.

• Early in the season, walks were a major issue for the starting rotation. Now it's home runs -- especially for righties Kyle Kendrick, who has yielded a Majors-leading 23 in 96 1/3 innings, and David Hale, who has given up 11 in 42 1/3

"There are certain times, it seems, in each outing for them -- it's not always," general manager Jeff Bridich said. "David showed last night. It was one inning, and then he pitched six pretty good ones.

"It's not like they can't do it. It's not like they don't have the talent to do it. It's just making quality pitches every inning. When they need to locate down, locate down, and have the ball sink when it's supposed to sink."

Asked what point the Rockies have to make a change, Bridich said, "It's certainly on the radar. I don't think it's lost on anybody around here -- players, staff members, front-office guys. Everybody's well aware of it. We're going to continue to work with our guys and make sure they understand how to make the necessary adjustments."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page.
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