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NEW YORK (AP) — Back from the disabled list, Ian Desmond made an immediate impact for the slumping Colorado Rockies.
Desmond hit a two-run single off Steven Matz with two outs in the first inning Sunday to help the Rockies build a large early lead in a 13-4 victory over the New York Mets.
"That was a big hit, no doubt about it," manager Bud Black said. "That sort of set the tone for the rest of the day."
Reinstated from the 10-day DL before the game, the versatile Desmond played left field and batted fifth. He had been sidelined since July 3 with a strained right calf but returned without a minor league rehab assignment.
Desmond went 2 for 3 with a walk before being lifted for a pinch runner with the Rockies ahead 9-3 in the sixth. They prevented a three-game sweep and won for only the sixth time in 21 games, maintaining their 5½-game lead for the second NL wild card.
"It felt good. I mean, it felt good to win. It felt good to be back out there," Desmond said.
The 31-year-old Desmond is batting .288 with five homers, 28 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in his first season with Colorado after signing a $70 million, five-year contract as a free agent. He missed the first month of the season with a broken left hand.
"He's an integral part of our team in a lot of ways," Black said . "Just his veteran presence, and his talent. We need him in there. And he provides a lot of options and advantages to us as a group because of the type of player he is."
To open a roster spot, the Rockies placed right-hander Tyler Chatwood on the 10-day DL with a right calf strain. A wild Chatwood was removed from Saturday night's start against the Mets after walking three of the five batters he faced and getting only one out. He also gave up Jay Bruce's three-run homer.
The 27-year-old Chatwood said his calf began bothering him while he was warming up in the bullpen, but he tried to pitch through it. He is 6-11 with a 4.74 ERA in 19 starts this season.
Right-hander Antonio Senzatela will be recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to start Tuesday night against San Diego. Rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland will go back into the rotation, likely Friday against Pittsburgh, after throwing three hitless innings Saturday in his first professional relief appearance.
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