Colorado Rockies

MLB Playoffs: Diamondbacks outslug Rockies in NL wild-card game

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MLB Playoffs: Diamondbacks outslug Rockies in NL wild-card game

BOX SCORE

PHOENIX -- Three bags, four times.

And you wouldn't believe who got in on all the fun for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Spirited reliever Archie Bradley hit a stunning triple in the seventh inning, driving in two runs with one of four three-baggers by Arizona that sent the Diamondbacks past the Colorado Rockies 11-8 in the National League wild-card game Wednesday night.

"I think after today, I've pretty much seen everything," first-year Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "This was an incredible game."

As he watched his top reliever rounding second base, Lovullo said he thought, "Please stop. We're fine."

But that's not Bradley.

"That's just kind of who I am," he said. "I don't know any other way to play, so I was going to run as hard as I could until they told me to stop."

Paul Goldschmidt launched an early three-run homer and the Diamondbacks built a 6-0 lead before ace Zack Greinke faltered. Colorado climbed back into it and cut it to 8-7 when Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story hit back-to-back homers in the eighth off Bradley, perhaps exhausted from hustling around the bases and shouting in excitement to giddy teammates.

But then A.J. Pollock knocked in two runs with Arizona's fourth triple, this one off closer Greg Holland, as the Diamondbacks scored three times in their half of the eighth to finally put it away.

"Right away all hell broke loose," Colorado manager Bud Black said, "and from then on it was a heavyweight fight."

Arizona advanced to a best-of-five Division Series against the NL West champion Dodgers, a team the Diamondbacks beat the last six times they played. Game 1 is Friday night in Los Angeles.

The Diamondbacks became the first team with four triples in a postseason game since the Boston Americans (now Red Sox) twice hit five during the first World Series back in 1903 against Pittsburgh.

It was that kind of crazy night in the desert as two NL West foes slugged it out. Daniel Descalso also homered for the Diamondbacks, and Ketel Marte tripled twice.

"That's one of the best games I've ever been a part of, if not the best," Goldschmidt said.

Bradley, a high-energy setup man recruited to play quarterback at Oklahoma, went 1 for 4 at the plate this season to raise his career batting average to .098. With two outs in the seventh, he drove a 3-1 pitch from Pat Neshek to deep left-center to give Arizona an 8-5 cushion. It was his first extra-base hit in the majors and the first triple by a reliever in postseason history.

Already a fan favorite for his bushy beard and late-inning relief work, Bradley regrouped from the two solo homers he gave up to get the final two outs of the eighth with the Diamondbacks clinging to a one-run lead.

Fernando Rodney allowed a run in the ninth before closing out Arizona's first playoff game since 2011.

Jake Lamb tied a Diamondbacks postseason record with four hits, all singles, and scored three times.

Jonathan Lucroy doubled twice, scored two runs and drove in one for the Rockies in their first playoff appearance since 2009.

Marte, who came to Arizona with pitcher Taijuan Walker from Seattle for Jean Segura in an offseason deal, became the first player to triple twice in a postseason game since Mariano Duncan did it for Philadelphia against Atlanta in the 1993 NL Championship Series.

The home team won for just the second time in the six NL wild-card games since the one-game format was adopted in 2012. The hosts hadn't even scored in the last three, but the Diamondbacks ended that before their first out.

Goldschmidt, in an 0-for-17 slump to end the regular season, hit the first pitch he saw from ineffective starter Jon Gray into the left-field seats for a three-run shot.

Greinke blanked the Rockies on one hit through three innings but never made it through the fourth.

Colorado, known for its power at the plate, got back into it with small ball -- five hits, four of them singles. Lucroy's two-out RBI double followed by pinch-hitter Alexi Amarista's run-scoring single made it 6-4, and Greinke was finished. He allowed four runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"We know how tough these guys are. We play `em all the time," Goldschmidt said. "Every time we scored, we just said, `We've got to get more, we've got to get more.'"

Left-hander Robbie Ray, a 15-game winner during the regular season, came on for his first relief appearance in three years and threw two shutout innings before giving up a leadoff double to Lucroy just below the home run line in straightaway center in the seventh. Lucroy went to third on a wild pitch before Ray fanned Ian Desmond.

Lovullo replaced Ray with another lefty, ex-Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, to face NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon, who put down a bunt that brought Lucroy home and cut the lead 6-5.

The 25-year-old Gray was 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in his previous five starts, but the Diamondbacks were up 3-0 on him before a good share of the 48,803 in the stands settled into their seats. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings.

Triple threat
The previous pitcher to hit a postseason triple was Dontrelle Willis for the Marlins in 2003.

Moment of silence
There was a moment of silence for victims of the Las Vegas shooting, and a photo was shown on the big screen of one of them, Christiana Duarte, a University of Arizona graduate and former member of the Diamondbacks front office.

Up next
Rockies: Will be right back in Arizona to open the 2018 season on March 29.

Diamondbacks: The Dodgers had the best record in baseball at 104-58 but went 8-11 against Arizona.

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).

Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis to make 1st start after cancer treatment

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Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis to make 1st start after cancer treatment

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies are thrilled to see Chad Bettis back on the mound after cancer treatment. The prospect of the right-hander helping them in a playoff push, that's a bonus.

Bettis was set to start Monday night at Coors Field in his first major league game since being diagnosed with testicular cancer in November. After undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, he was ready to pitch against Atlanta.

"It's really cool with all the stuff he's been through he's back here and ready to go," teammate Jon Gray said. "I can't wait to see him compete."

The 28-year-old discovered a lump on his testicle last fall and underwent surgery to remove one of his testicles. He passed subsequent follow-up screenings and was healthy enough to report to spring training. But a regular screening on March 10 led to a biopsy being done, which revealed the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes.

Bettis underwent nine weeks of chemotherapy but kept up his conditioning throughout. He was sent on a minor league rehab assignment July 13 and worked his way back to the rotation, much to the pleasure of his team.

"Everyone loves him," third baseman Nolan Arenado said. "He tries to help. I always see him in the video room trying to help the young guys. He's just a great teammate."

Bettis' return is expected to be emotional but the Rockies are hoping he can boost the staff. He led Colorado in starts (32), wins (14) and innings (186) last season. His best outing was a two-hit shutout against San Francisco on Sept. 5, and he was expected to anchor a young rotation this season before being diagnosed with cancer.

He comes back to a team holding onto the second NL wild card spot. Colorado was 21 games above .500 in June but has gone 18-26 since, so getting Bettis back gives the Rockies a chance to strengthen the rotation.

"This is a pitcher, when he's throwing well, will have an impact on the game every time he takes the mound," manager Bud Black said. "He wants to be a part of this and make a contribution."