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Morales to step in for De La Rosa vs. Royals

CINCINNATI -- The Rockies have pushed left-hander Jorge De La Rosa's next start to Friday because of lower back spasms, head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said Sunday.

De La Rosa (4-3, 4.81 ERA) was originally scheduled to pitch Tuesday's opener of a two-game road set with the Royals. Lefty Franklin Morales (3-2, 5.18 ERA) will start that one.

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With the Rockies having off-days Monday and Thursday, they were able to move De La Rosa to Friday's game at home against the Padres with little disruption to the rotation.

Dugger said De La Rosa experienced discomfort before his latest outing, when he held the Rangers to two runs and three hits in six innings of a 9-2 road victory on Tuesday night. He felt the spasms while running sprints the following day.

"He probably could make the start if we wanted him to, but it's better that we have him throw a bullpen Tuesday, back him up a couple of days," Dugger said.

After starting 0-3, De La Rosa has won his past four decisions while posting a 2.63 ERA with 16 strikeouts against 11 walks and a .230 opponents' batting average.

The starters in Kansas City will be Morales on Tuesday and righty Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 4.91 ERA) on Wednesday. Both will be working on four days' rest.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.

Colorado Rockies, Franklin Morales, Jorge De La Rosa