The Colorado Rockies need as much pitching as they can get. That's why having a healthy Shawn Chacon is so important.
After missing nearly a month because of a sore hamstring, Chacon threw four crisp innings to solidify his spot in the rotation and lead Colorado over Greg Maddux and the Chicago Cubs, 7-6, on Saturday in Tucson, Ariz.
"It was good to see him out on the mound, and the ball came out of his hand pretty good," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He threw some good pitches."
An All-Star as a starter two years ago, Chacon struggled miserably after Colorado tried to convert him to closer last year. Now, he's a starter again, joining a young rotation that also includes Jason Jennings, Joe Kennedy and top prospect Jeff Francis.
Chacon pitched poorly in his first outing this spring -- three runs in two innings -- and then missed three starts because of a strained hamstring, putting his spot in the rotation at least a little in doubt. He didn't seem bothered by the layoff, allowing only a second-inning single.
In other spring training games:
Yankees 5, Twins 3
At Fort Myers, Fla., Mike Mussina and Johan Santana locked up in a tight duel. In a rematch of Game 1 of last year's AL division series, Mussina allowed three runs and six hits in six innings for New York. He struck out four.
Indians 7, Tigers 4
At Lakeland, Fla., Ryan Ludwick and Josh Bard homered to lead Cleveland.
Devil Rays 4, Red Sox 0
At St. Petersburg, Fla., Jorge Sosa pitched four perfect innings for Tampa Bay. Boston starter Bronson Arroyo allowed four runs and eight hits in 51/3 innings.
Reds 9, Blue Jays 3
At Sarasota, Fla., Joe Randa had three hits off Toronto starter Josh Towers, who got rocked for 14 hits and seven runs in 41/3 innings. Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer.
Orioles 7, Marlins 3, 71/2 innings
At Jupiter, Fla., Jay Gibbons had two hits and two RBIs for Baltimore. The game was delayed by rain for 2 hours, 50 minutes, and the Orioles used all six pitchers they brought.
Pirates 9, Phillies 7
At Bradenton, Fla., Phillies rookie Gavin Floyd, impressive in camp until now, yielded Jose Castillo's three-run homer while giving up eight runs and nine hits in three innings.
Athletics 6, Angels 2
At Tempe, Ariz., Kirk Saarloos boosted his bid for a spot in Oakland's revamped rotation, allowing only two hits in five scoreless innings. Angels ace Bartolo Colon allowed three runs, two earned, and six hits in 62/3 innings.
Rangers 7, White Sox 2
At Tucson, Ariz., Ryan Drese pitched six strong innings. Hank Blalock homered and drove in three runs for Texas.
Brewers 8, Giants 3
At Phoenix, Lyle Overbay homered and made two spectacular catches in foul territory. Overbay, batting .400 in 50 spring at-bats, hit a two-run shot off Kirk Rueter. Carlos Lee hit his sixth homer of the spring for Milwaukee.
Diamondbacks 11, Padres 2
At Peoria, Ariz., Troy Glaus homered, doubled and drove in five runs.