Best of MLB: Nolan Arenado racks up 3 HRs, 7 RBIs in Rockies' win

Best of MLB: Nolan Arenado racks up 3 HRs, 7 RBIs in Rockies' win

DENVER -- Nolan Arenado lined three homers as part of his five-hit afternoon and tied a career-high with seven RBIs, helping the Colorado Rockies complete a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres with an 18-4 victory Wednesday.

Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon also homered on a scorching day when the Rockies had a season-high 21 hits. Gerardo Parra ran his streak of reaching base to 10 straight plate appearances over three games before flying out in the fifth. He finished with four singles.

Arenado had a pair of RBI singles to start the game, followed by solo shots in the fourth and fifth innings, and a three-run homer in the sixth. He had a chance at a fourth homer in the eighth and lined out to left.

Jon Gray (3-1) kept the Padres in check until running out of steam. The right-hander allowed all four of his runs in the sixth -- his last inning of work.

Padres starter Clayton Richard (5-10) lasted just 3 2/3 innings and gave up 11 runs, 10 earned, inflating his ERA from 4.75 to 5.35. He also matched a team record by allowing 14 hits (see full recap).

Posey’s pinch hit lifts Giants over Indians
SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey pinch hit a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Cleveland Indians 5-4 on Wednesday.

Posey, on a scheduled rest day, doubled off the wall on a 3-2 slider on the seventh offering from Indians reliever Bryan Shaw (2-4).

Indians first baseman Carlos Santana booted an infield grounder that figured prominently in the three-run rally.

With two aboard and one out, Conor Gillaspie hit a ground ball that skipped through Santana's legs. Brandon Belt, who drew a one-out walk off Boone Logan, scored and Brandon Crawford went to third.

Posey's hit scored Crawford and Gillaspie to make it 5-4.

The Indians lost for the sixth time in seven games as they concluded a 1-5 West Coast trip. The American League Central front-runners fell to 4-13 in interleague and are winless in six interleague series (see full recap).

Pitcher Montgomery hits 1st HR as Cubs beat Braves 
ATLANTA -- Mike Montgomery hit his first home run and allowed two hits and one run in six innings to lead the streaking Chicago Cubs to an 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

Javier Baez hit a three-run homer in the eighth for Chicago, which stretched its season-best winning streak to six games since the All-Star break. The Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the Braves.

Kris Bryant, the Cubs' 2016 NL MVP, left the game with a sprained left little finger in the first inning. The team said X-rays were negative and his status is day to day.

Tommy La Stella, who replaced Bryant, also homered and Addison Russell drove in two runs with four hits, including two doubles (see full recap).

Phillies' opening day roster decisions not getting any easier

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Phillies' opening day roster decisions not getting any easier


CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Phillies are going down to the wire with their opening day roster decisions.

Manager Gabe Kapler & Co. got another look at pitcher Drew Hutchison and bench candidates Jesmuel Valentin and Roman Quinn on Saturday in a game against the Tigers in Lakeland. None of the three hurt their chances of making the club in a 4-1 win over the Tigers.

Hutchison, a Lakeland native, pitched four scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and survived three walks. He struck out three, including Miguel Cabrera with runners on second and third with one out in the third inning. 

Hutchison, 27, made 74 starts from 2012 to 2016 with the Blue Jays and Pirates. He spent all of last season with the Pirates’ Triple A club and signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies last month. The Phillies have given the right-hander a good look and he has responded well. He has given up 12 hits and six runs in 19 2/3 innings for a 2.75 ERA. However, he has walked eight while registering 17 strikeouts.

Hutchison’s best chance to make the club could be as a long man in the bullpen. Ben Lively is also in the running for that job. Jake Thompson could also be in the picture. He is converting to the bullpen but has built up his pitch counts.

Valentin, a strong candidate for a utility job, started at first base with a borrowed mitt from Rhys Hoskins. Valentin has a first baseman’s mitt and a catcher's mitt on order. He could be the emergency third catcher. Valentin had a good game. He made a nice defensive play and had two hits and a walk. He has played seven positions this spring.

Quinn had two hits, scored a run and swiped three bases. He could open with the big club or be sent to Triple A for playing time. He has impressed Kapler with his electricity and figures to impact the big club at some point, maybe as soon as opening day.

Scott Kingery had two more hits, raising his average to .392 (20 for 51). He will likely open in Triple A but could be up by the third weekend of the season. Delaying his arrival until then would push his potential free agency back until after 2024.

• Rhys Hoskins stayed back in Clearwater and got a bunch of at-bats in a pair of minor-league games. He swatted a pair of opposite-field homers in a Triple A game.

The Phillies host the Orioles on Saturday. Nick Pivetta will start.

Phillies set date for Jake Arrieta's regular season debut

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Phillies set date for Jake Arrieta's regular season debut

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Phillies have announced their plan for Jake Arrieta.

He will make his regular season debut on April 8 at Citizens Bank Park against the Miami Marlins.

That is a Sunday afternoon game.

Arrieta has a career ERA of 3.28 in day games as opposed to 3.77 in night games. Opposing batters have hit just .214 against him over his career in day games.

“He loves pitching in day games,” manager Gabe Kapler said in announcing the plan for Arrieta, who signed a three-year, $75 million contract with the Phillies on March 12.

Even though Arrieta showed up to camp in excellent shape and had been throwing on his own, the Phillies had promised to be cautious in getting him ready for the regular season. Arrieta will start Tuesday in Clearwater then pitch again on April 2, probably against minor leaguers in Clearwater, before his debut against Miami.

Arrieta had hoped to pitch during the first week of the season. The way things line up, he will miss just one start. The Phillies could stash him on the disabled list as he builds arm strength until they activate him before the April 8 game.

“Jake’s on board with this,” Kapler said. “He’s such a competitive dude, he wants to get out there immediately. But he has a strong understanding of the long view and what will keep him healthy and strong over the whole season and through the next three or four years. He understood that the best thing for his body is to build up a little more and get a nice slow, easy ramp and come out firing for us on April 8 against the Marlins.”

Arrieta has made four lifetime starts against Miami. He is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in those games. Over 26 innings, he’s allowed four runs and 16 hits while walking four and striking out 26.

Aaron Nola will start on opening day. The order of the rotation is unclear after that, though the Phillies could get by with four starters until Arrieta is ready. Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez will be in the rotation. Zach Eflin, Ben Lively or Drew Hutchison could round out the rotation during the first seven games. Lively or Hutchison could also work out of the bullpen.

Pivetta will start against the Orioles on Sunday.