SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — After a disappointing end last year, Carlos Gonzalez is hoping 2013 will start well for him — both with the Colorado Rockies and with Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
Gonzalez drove in his first three runs this spring with a homer and double, leading the Rockies over the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Friday.
Gonzalez was 2 for 9 going into the game. He lined a two-run double in the third inning and homered off Ariel Pena in the fifth.
The All-Star outfielder will play one more game with Colorado before going to Florida for the WBC.
Gonzalez is in the third season of a seven-year, $80 million deal. He hit .303 with 22 homers and 85 RBIs last year, but struggled in August and September as injuries to several Rockies regulars such as Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer allowed teams to pitch around him.
Gonzalez says he pressed to perform.
"As a player, it's always tough when things are going bad for the team and you worry so much and we had a lot of guys out. You don't have a Tulowitzki and a Cuddyer hitting behind me, it make a difference," he said. "You put pressure on yourself to do more and make the team better, but one guy doesn't make the team better. The young guys did a good job, but we just couldn't win.
"I feel good right now. I've worked really hard and I take a lot of pride in taking on the responsibilities I have on this team. I'm seeing the ball well and this was a good day. I'm looking forward to going to the WBC and wear the colors of my country," he said.
Jean Segura had two hits and accounted for the first Milwaukee run. He tripled and scored on Logan Schafer's groundout in the fourth.
Lefty Danny Rosenbaum, selected from Boston in December's Rule 5 draft and projected as a long man out of the bullpen, threw two scoreless innings for Colorado.
Continue reading this story on the...