CINCINNATI -- Had Saturday's 11-2 victory over the Reds been a closer game, a key play might have been Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's decision to drop a surprise bunt, which went for a hit, with no outs in the third inning.
Tulowitzki's first bunt hit since 2009 advanced Corey Dickerson, who had doubled to lead off the inning. The next hitter, Carlos Gonzalez, grounded into a double play, but Dickerson scored. The bunt assured that Dickerson would be at third, even if Tulowitzki had been thrown out.
It was all part of the team-oriented approach to at-bats that manager Walt Weiss and hitting coach Blake Doyle are pushing. The best way to put it is once a runner is on base, he becomes the most important player on the field as far as the Rockies' offense is concerned.
"We stressed that all spring, how important it is to be able to play team offense," Weiss said. "I compare it to our club last year [74-88, last in the National League West]. Our lineup last year was very talented, but at times we didn't play team offense very well.
"I'm not saying it's because of selfishness. I'm just saying we didn't execute the team offense aspect of our offensive game, so I think this year it's been the extreme the other way. Guys have given themselves up. We have been really good at getting a runner to third when there's a guy at second and nobody out. When there's a guy at third and fewer than two outs, we've done a nice job of scoring that guy."
Barnes' gear raises breast cancer awareness
CINCINNATI -- Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes was happy to honor the women of his life on Mother's Day.
Barnes had a pink bat ready as part of Major League Baseball's effort to assist the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the Going to Bat against Breast Cancer campaign. Instead of his own name, he had on the bat the name of his wife, Shawn, the mother of the couple's two children.
Barnes, who is active in raising money to fight childhood cancer, said fighting breast cancer was personal for his family.
"Breast cancer is big in my family -- my wife's mom passed away from it," Barnes said. "It's another charity that we want to do stuff for. We do the run, the Race for the Cure, in California every year. Any cause like that we look forward to doing something with it."
Barnes said he used pink equipment every year he played in the Minors.
As was the case throughout baseball Sunday, there was a little bit of pink all over the field as the Rockies took on the Reds. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, third baseman Nolan Arenado and first baseman Justin Morneau wore pink shoes, as did outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon. Pink sleeves and shoelaces and neck bands were the norm.
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.
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.
New addition Logan makes impact in Rox 'pen
CINCINNATI -- Left-hander Boone Logan has changed the dynamic of the Rockies' late-innings bullpen, manager Walt Weiss said.
Logan (1-1, 3.75 ERA) gave up two runs in his latest outing, including Joey Votto's ninth-inning homer in a 4-3 loss to the Reds on Friday night. But through Saturday he had nevertheless pitched scoreless ball in 11 of his 14 outings this season. The Rockies have had to work through Rex Brothers' consistency issues, so Logan's role is more important than originally planned.
"Boone has been great for us," Weiss said. "When we signed him, we were looking for another left-hander to pitch late in games with Rex [Brothers]. He's been huge for us. He's changed the dynamic of our bullpen."
Logan had surgery to remove bone chips and correct a bone spur on his left elbow in October, after making 61 appearances last season for the Yankees (5-2, 3.23 ERA). The Rockies were careful with Logan. They slowed down his Spring Training and had him pitch two games with Triple-A Colorado Springs before activating him.
Weiss has been happy with Logan's pitches.
"That would be great if there's another level there," Weiss said, "but if he stays where he is, I'll take that."