Daley makes most of bus rides

The Rockies played their last two games in Surprise, Ariz., and Goodyear, Ariz. — the two longest trips from Tucson, Ariz. After Sunday’s game, the Rockies’ bus was stalled in traffic behind a major accident, so the trip was even longer.

Those happened the days second-year right-hander Matt Daley was scheduled to pitch his first back-to-back of the spring.

Daley ended up throwing two perfect innings. He struck out two Sunday in an 11-11 tie with Royals and retired the only two batters he faced after replacing Jorge De La Rosa with one out in the sixth inning of Monday’s 9-1 victory over the Reds.

Daley gave up five hits, three earned runs and a walk in his first two Cactus League games, but has followed that up with five perfect appearances. Efficiency is his key.

“For a middle reliever, coming into jams, you want to get your team back on the bench as soon as possible,” he said.

Manager Jim Tracy said Daley simply needed time. “Finesse guys take longer,” he said.

Maybe the beard is the secret to success. Daley, 27, looks his age. That couldn’t be said last year. He admitted he needed to change something after his bad start.

“I just started growing it after the first two times out,” he said. “I’ve been good since, so I’m not going to get rid of it yet.

“Me and [veteran right-hander Justin] Speier have been joking. He said he’s got to get clean-shaven to look young and I’ve got to grow this to look old.”

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