Pomeranz exits with hip tightness

Rox prospect spins two perfect frames, leaves with injury

Drew Pomeranz went 2-1 in four Major League starts in 2011. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com | March 13, 2012 3:54 PM ET

Former first-rounder Drew Pomeranz's impressive start to the spring was overshadowed by an injury which forced him to cut his latest outing short.

The left-hander tossed two perfect innings in the Colorado Rockies' 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, but he had to exit the contest early due to tightness in his right hip.

"I started feeling it in the warmup," Pomeranz told MLB.com. "I could have still pitched. It's just an annoying little thing I felt. Usually, I feel it the next day."

Pomeranz (1-0) retired the side in order in the first on two ground balls and a popup. Then the fifth overall pick in the 2010 Draft struck out Andre Ethier and Juan Rivera -- both swinging -- in the second before setting down Jerry Sands on a softly hit line drive to short to complete his outing.

Pomeranz did not allow a ball to leave the infield, but he was kept from returning to the mound for the third as a precaution.

Colorado's No. 2 prospect has yet to be scored upon this spring. He tossed two shutout innings against the D-backs on March 3 and he worked around a pair of hits and a walk in three scoreless innings of work against the Royals on Thursday.

In seven Cactus League innings, Pomeranz -- acquired by the Rockies in the deal that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland last July -- has fanned seven batters and allowed five base-runners.

The Tennessee native went a combined 4-3 with a 1.78 ERA across three levels in 2011 before earning a September callup to Coors Field. In four big league outings, the 6-foot-5 farmhand was 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA.

The Rockies' rotation is far from set in stone, with just three weeks until Opening Day.

With Jimenez now in Cleveland and lefty Jorge De La Rosa still rebounding from Tommy John surgery, Pomeranz is among a handful of players with a shot of cracking the 25-man roster.

Jhoulys Chacin and Jeremy Guthrie are expected to start the first two games of the season, and Pomeranz -- a Futures Game selection last summer -- is likely competing with Guillermo Moscoso, Juan Nicasio, Tyler Chatwood and Josh Outman for one of the final three spots.

On Tuesday, Colorado's top prospect Nolan Arenado went 0-for-4, dropping his spring average to .111. Shortstop Jonathan Herrera was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the victory.

Dodgers starter Chris Capuano (1-1) took the loss, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on two hits and two walks while fanning four batters over 2 2/3 innings. Catcher Tim Federowicz, the Dodgers' No. 14 prospect delivered a pinch-hit RBI double in the losing cause.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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