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PIT@COL: Matzek shuts out Pirates over seven strong

Rockies rookie left-hander Tyler Matzek said his July 29 emergency relief appearance was similar to a "normal short bullpen [session]" and expected to be "fine" for his next start after it was pushed back two days.

A quick look at his numbers from that outing suggest otherwise.

The Tigers scored on Matzek in each of his four innings, getting to the rookie for a career-high-tying 10 hits and a career-high eight earned runs on Saturday.

"I think his routine got a little out of whack, having to pitch in that 16-inning game," manager Walt Weiss said. "He didn't end up throwing much that night, but it still threw a wrench into his routine."

Matzek will hope for different results when the Rockies open a three-game set against the D-backs at Chase Field on Friday.

Weiss said that Matzek's biggest issue against the Tigers was his location. But with the way he's conducted himself in his short time in the pros, Weiss expects the 23-year-old to look at that outing as a learning experience.

"It's a good lineup, so you don't get away with much against a lineup like the Tigers," Weiss said. "I don't look at it for a step back for Tyler. He's another one that's got a good feel for things. He has a high level of awareness when it comes to the game. He's going to be fine."

Matzek will oppose D-backs rookie Chase Anderson, who is 6-4 with a 3.19 ERA in 13 starts. On June 3, Anderson limited the Rockies to one run on four hits in six innings at Coors Field.

The 26-year-old is just 1-0 in his past four starts, but his ERA is a sparkling 1.80 during that time. One cause for concern is the five-day break between his starts; He's got a 3.99 ERA in the five starts he's made with that long of a rest, compared with 2.25 in four starts on four days' rest and 3.15 in four starts on six-plus days' rest.

Rockies: Tulowitzki must feel confident running before return
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki took his first batting practice Wednesday since suffering a left hip flexor strain on July 19 and has even begun to test his mobility.

But according to manager Walt Weiss, he still has one major step in his rehab process.

"I think it will all come down to how comfortable he is running," Weiss said. "I think that's going to be the biggest hurdle for him. Just running the bases, that's when he's going to feel it. The other stuff, I think he feels pretty good on."

Weiss isn't worried about the side-to-side and lateral movements as much as he is about the "straight ahead running where you have to stride out and lift that leg."

Even if he hasn't been able to go full speed, Weiss has at least been encouraged by the simple striding he's been able to do. Tulowitzki is expected to accompany the team on their upcoming road trip, where he'll start working in additional baseball activities, including fielding ground balls.

Tulowitzki was batting .340 with 21 home runs and 52 RBIs before being placed on the disabled list on July 22.

D-backs: Lamb getting his chance
Arizona called up Jake Lamb, their No. 5 prospect, on Thursday. The third baseman hit .500 (9-for-18) with five RBIs in five games at Triple-A Reno.

"It's the same game," Lamb said. "That's what the older guys here have told me here so far. It's the same game. It might be a little faster up at this level but don't put any extra pressure on yourself."

Roughly a week ago, the franchise had to choose between Lamb (then at Double-A Mobile) and Andy Marte (then at Reno). Marte was sent back down on Thursday to make way for the red-hot Lamb.

Lamb sustained a broken hamate bone in his right hand last year, but that appears to be behind him now.

"My biggest thing this offseason was just getting healthy," Lamb said. "Making sure my hand felt good, and I had a hamstring that was bothering me. That's all 100 percent now. I was in bad shape last year, to my standards at least. I got in a lot better shape for this year, and that helped a lot at the plate and in the field."

Worth noting
• The Rockies recalled right-hander Juan Nicasio from Triple-A Thursday and optioned right-hander Brooks Brown in a corresponding move. After starting 14 games for the Rockies earlier this season, Nicasio will return to a new role as the long-man in the bullpen.

• Anderson has 24 strikeouts against eight walks in his past 25 innings of work.

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