SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ubaldo Jimenez looks forward to this opening day assignment even more than his first one. This time he'll start at home.
Jimenez showed he's set, pitching six shutout innings as a Colorado Rockies split-squad beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 Sunday."I am 100 percent ready for the season to start," Jimenez said. "I'm happy to be opening at home in front of our fans. We all feel like we have some unfinished business."Jimenez gave up four hits, struck out three and walked none. Four of his five spring starts were scoreless -- he also threw six shutout innings in a minor league game."That was a wonderful way for an opening day starter to finish the spring," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He went out there and pitched. He used all his pitches effectively."Jimenez will start Friday at home against Arizona."We can do it all," Jimenez said. "We have starting pitching, we have a bullpen, we have guys who can play defense and guys who can hit. This year we were working on getting ready for the season. Last year we were working to get hurt."Willy Taveras had three hits, scored twice and showed off a strong arm for the Rockies."This guy had a spectacular spring," Tracy said. "I've seen a better player this spring than what I saw from the other dugout as an opposing manager."Kevin Kouzmanoff had two hits, his third straight multihit game for the A's."Our guys are ready to go," A's manager Bob Geren said. "The pitchers have been great. This is a good note for these guys to leave on."The A's open the annual Bay Bridge exhibition series in San Francisco on Monday night.A's starter Bobby Cramer went two scoreless innings. Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler and Jerry Blevins each pitched a shutout inning.Taveras and Alfredo Amezaga hit back-to-back doubles with two outs in the sixth to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead.The A's had runners on first and third with no outs in the fourth. Jimenez got Mark Ellis to fly out and then induced a double-play comebacker by Conor Jackson."He's the ace of our staff and he's awfully good," Tracy said of Jimenez, 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA last year. "He's become the ace for a reason. He fields his position well."
The A's optioned RHP Joey Devine to Triple-A Sacramento. ... The Rockies optioned RHP Matt Dailey, RHP Greg Reynolds, C Jordan Pacheco and IF Eric Young Jr. to Triple-A Colorado Springs and reassigned LHP Eric Stults and LHP Rex Brothers to their minor league camp. ... A's 1B Daric Barton is 10 for 27 over his last nine games. ... Tracy's son, Mark, drew a walk in his first appearance with the parent club. "That was special," the manager said.