Best of MLB: Chad Bettis helps Rockies blank Braves in return from cancer treatment

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Best of MLB: Chad Bettis helps Rockies blank Braves in return from cancer treatment

DENVER -- Chad Bettis drew a standing ovation when he took the mound for the first time since cancer treatment, then threw seven impressive innings Monday night as the Colorado Rockies beat the Atlanta Braves 3-0.

Bettis scattered six hits, walked none and struck out two. He hadn't pitched in the majors since being diagnosed with testicular cancer in November.

Bettis had surgery for the condition, but tests in March showed the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. He later underwent chemotherapy.

The crowd at Coors Field gave Bettis a big cheer as he went out to pitch the first inning. The Braves' best chance to score against him came when Ender Inciarte led off with a triple, but he was thrown out trying to stretch it to an inside-the-park home run.

The 28-year-old Bettis led Colorado in starts (32), wins (14) and innings (186) last season. He left for a pinch-hitter in the seventh with the game still scoreless.

Colorado scored three times in the eighth off Rex Brothers (2-3), who relieved starter Julio Teheran.

Mike Dunn (5-1) got the win and Greg Holland closed for his 35th save (see full recap).

Stanton sets Marlins’ HR record in win over Giants
MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton hit his team-record 43rd home run, connecting in his fifth straight game and sending the Miami Marlins over the San Francisco Giants 8-3 on Monday night.

Stanton broke the club mark of 42 homers set by Gary Sheffield in 1996. Stanton has homered 22 times in his last 34 games.

Stanton set another team record for most consecutive games with a home run when tagged Ty Blach (8-8) for a two-run drive in the first inning. The All-Star slugger later had an RBI single as Miami won its fourth in a row.

Marcell Ozuna also homered for the Marlins. Dee Gordon had three hits, scored twice, and drove in a run to help back Adam Conley (5-5), who allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings (see full recap).

Homers help Yankees rally to beat rival Mets
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit a tying home run in the sixth inning, Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez went deep in the eighth and the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Mets 4-2 Monday night in the first of four Subway Series matchups this week.

Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes homered in the third inning off Luis Cessa to give the Mets a 2-0 lead at Yankee Stadium.

Sanchez started the Yankees' comeback with a sacrifice fly in the fourth against Rafael Montero. Two innings later, Judge hit his AL-leading 36th home run -- just his sixth since the All-Star break. The ball was dropped in the right-center field bleachers by a fan wearing a Judge jersey.

Hicks, who returned last week from an oblique injury, homered against Hansel Robles (7-4) leading off the eighth, his career-best 12th homer. Sanchez homered two batters later against Erik Goeddel. With 20 homers, Sanchez matched his total in his rookie season last year (see full recap).

What's up with Phillies top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez?

Photo: NBCSP

What's up with Phillies top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez?

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Sixto Sanchez, the Phillies' top pitching prospect, has been noticeably absent from game action in minor-league camp.

Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development, says there's nothing to be alarmed about.

"He had the flu and he's over it now," Jordan said. "He's fine now. No issues. He's 100 percent."

Jordan said Sanchez got up to 30 pitches in a bullpen session this week.

"He let it go with all his pitches," Jordan said.

Jordan added that Sanchez would pitch in a game in the next few days. He added that Sanchez would open the season on time with the Clearwater club, though his innings will be watched at the outset until he's fully stretched out.

Sanchez, 19, is a power-armed right-hander with remarkable control. He went 5-7 with 3.03 ERA in 18 starts at Lakewood and Clearwater, both Single A affiliates, last season. He pitched 95 innings, struck out 84, walked 18 and had a WHIP of 0.958.

Phillies take long look at Roman Quinn as potential backup SS

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Phillies take long look at Roman Quinn as potential backup SS


FORT MYERS, Fla. — However the Phillies’ bench shapes up — whether it features four or five men during the first week of the regular season — one thing is a must:

“We need somebody who can play shortstop, absolutely,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

“We need someone who can play multiple positions in the infield on our bench and someone who can play multiple positions in our outfield on the bench. That’s a necessity.”

Kapler has taken a long look at Roman Quinn at shortstop the last two days. Quinn played four innings there Sunday against the Twins. He was there for the entire game Monday against the Red Sox.

Quinn grew up playing shortstop and outfield. He broke into pro ball as a shortstop but moved to center field during the 2014 season, when it became clear that J.P. Crawford was the shortstop of the future. Now, Quinn is relearning the shortstop position so he can potentially serve as a utility man on the Phillies’ bench. He’d be an intriguing talent to have on the bench because he’s a switch-hitter with electrifying speed.

As a shortstop, the Phillies won’t be looking for Quinn to be a Gold Glover. They need someone to make the play on an emergency or fill-in basis. Quinn made three plays in Monday’s game. He short-hopped one throw and Carlos Santana made the pick. He knocked down one ball, recovered and made a strong throw for an out. He made a nice play on a groundball while shifted behind second. It wasn't the prettiest exhibition, but it got the job done.

“The more I play there, the more comfortable I’m getting,” Quinn said. “I’m enjoying it. I’d like to think I can play any position. It’s fun coming in from center field and playing shortstop. I love it.”

Quinn turns 25 in May. Some schools of thought might come down against carrying a player of his potential as a reserve. Certainly, more time in Triple A would not hurt him, especially after missing more than three months with an elbow injury last year. But the Phillies are open to the possibility of carrying Quinn. His shortstop audition the last two days has made that clear.

“Everyday reps at the minor-league level are incredibly valuable,” Kapler said. “However, because a guy is on the bench at the major-league level doesn’t mean his development is stunted. He’s getting a different kind of experience and a really valuable experience.”

Tom Eshelman was charged with four runs in the bottom of the ninth as the Phils squandered a three-run lead and lost, 6-5, to Boston.

Aaron Altherr drove in four runs. He belted a three-run homer in the fifth inning against Boston ace Chris Sale. Cesar Hernandez grinded out a long at-bat before striking out and Santana and Rhys Hoskins both walked before the home run.

“When you have a guy like Sale, making him work is critical,” Kapler said. “Cesar’s punchout was an incredible at-bat. Santana and Hoskins made him work. [Sale] gets a little fatigued and Altherr gets a pitch to whack. So Altherr hitting a home run doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens as a result of team baseball.”