Chris Rusin took a strong first step on Monday night in his bid to rejoin the Rockies active roster. On a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque, Rusin worked a perfect first inning, striking out one of the three batters he faced. Rusin is expected to make several more appearances for the Isotopes to ensure he has overcome the mid-back problems that have sidelined him since March 1.
And he will be joined in his rehab effort on Wednesday by fellow Rockies pitcher Jake McGee, who is working his way back from a sprained left knee. The Rockies have only two other players on the Injured List -- outfielder Noel Cuevas (strained left quadriceps) and left-handed pitcher Harrison Musgrave (left elbow flexor strain).
In Monday's Games:
AAA Albuquerque (17-15) lost 12-8 at Tacoma (Mariners). Evan Grills (1-3, 7.25) took over for Rusin at the start of the second inning, and suffered the loss, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks, striking out two, in four innings. Brendan Rodgers (.339) was 2-for-4 with his seventh home run and three RBI. Sam Hilliard (.232) was 2-for-5 with his ninth home run. Brian Mundell (.362) delivered a grand slam.
AA Hartford (16-15) was off. The Yard Goats open a three-game series at Reading (Phillies) Tuesday night.
High-A Lancaster (16-15) was off. The JetHawks host Stockton (A's) in a three-game series beginning Tuesday night.
Low-A Asheville (10-20) lost 6-1 against Delmarva (Orioles). Grant Lavigne (.247) hit his second home run. Ryan Feltner (1-3, 5.08) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out six in six innings. Delmarva swept all seven games in the season series against Asheville, and over the last two years has won 11 in a row against the Tourists.