Holliday comes off disabled list, Tulowitzki, Barmes improving

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies returned some pop to their lineup Tuesday as Matt Holliday was activated off the disabled list.

The All-Star outfielder has been out since straining his left hamstring on May 24 while running out a grounder. To make room for him on the roster, the Rockies optioned outfielder Seth Smith to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

"I'm back and I feel good," said Holliday, who was in the starting lineup Tuesday night in a 10-5 victory over San Francisco.

Holliday, who was greeted by a chorus of cheers his first time up, finished 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch.

Holliday, who finished runner-up to Jimmy Rollins for the NL MVP last season, played three games with the Sky Sox before his return.

"We're real happy to have Matt back in the lineup," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

The defending NL champions are on the mend. The Rockies got back Brad Hawpe last Friday and he promptly delivered two clutch homers in wins over Milwaukee.

The team also received a boost in their bullpen when reliever Luis Vizcaino came back on Saturday after he'd been out since April 4 with a strained right shoulder.

The news on the injury front keeps getting better for Colorado. Troy Tulowitzki was scheduled to leave Tuesday night for a rehab assignment at Class-A Modesto. He's been out since April 29 when he tore a muscle in his left quadriceps charging a groundball against the Giants.

Hurdle didn't have a timetable for the return of his slick-fielding shortstop.

"We prefer to let it start on its own and see where it takes us," Hurdle said.

However, Hurdle said Tulowitzki may make another stop at Colorado Springs before he's activated.

"He actually wasn't on fire when he left," Hurdle said of Tulowitzki, who's hitting just .152. "This will give him the opportunity to re-stabilize himself, get himself in a better position to hit. He wants to do what he needs to do and get back when it's time to get back."

Rockies infielder Clint Barmes tested his sprained right knee by running around the bases Tuesday, and reported no problems. He was placed on the disabled list on May 24.

"I don't feel too far off," said Barmes, who's hitting a team-leading .343 this season.

Barmes said there's even a possibility he may depart for a rehab assignment when the Rockies head off to Chicago for a weekend series with the White Sox.

"I want to get back. But I don't want to push anything and get hurt," Barmes said. "It's never fun sitting and watching, especially if you're feeling good and feel close. I want to get back up there and help the team out."

Holliday knows the feeling.

"I spent a lot of my time chasing balls and hitting," Holliday said of his down time. "It was hard to sit and watch."