Chad Bettis was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November, battled through chemotherapy in the spring, and did not miss a beat in his first game back for the Colorado Rockies on Monday.
On the bump against the Atlanta Braves, the right-hander dealt seven shutout innings, scattering six hits, striking out two batters and walking none in Colorado's 3-0 victory.
With the game scoreless, Colorado manager Bud Black pulled Bettis before the eighth, and in the bottom of the inning, the Rockies got three runs home and went on to win.
Bettis took a no-decision, but that did not take away from the 28-year-old's dazzling return.
As solid a performance it was, it seemed someone was watching over Bettis. Ender Inciarte, the first batter he faced, nearly got home on an inside-the-park home run but was thrown out at the plate.
With the win, the Rockies improve to 66-52 to retain their hold on the National League's (NL) first wild-card spot.
Boston Red Sox 3-7 Cleveland Indians
New York Yankees 4-2 New York Mets
Chicago Cubs 15-5 Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies 3-0 Atlanta Braves
Oakland Athletics 2-6 Kansas City Royals
Seattle Mariners 3-11 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Miami Marlins 8-3 San Francisco Giants
Texas Rangers 6-2 Detroit Tigers
Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0 Houston Astros
San Diego Padres 7-4 Philadelphia Phillies
ENCARNACION LIFTS INDIANS
With the game tied 3-3 in the top of the fifth, Indians slugger Edwin Encarnacion smashed a two-run homer off Red Sox starter Doug Fister. In the sixth, with Cleveland up 5-3, Encarnacion took reliever Heath Hembree deep to bust the game open, 7-3. That is the score at which the game finished, as the Tribe snapped Boston's six-game home winning streak.
Manny Machado has a thing for grand slams. As in, he hits a lot of them. With the bases loaded in the top of the second in Seattle, the Orioles third baseman put a Yovani Gallardo pitch into the Safeco Field upper deck for his fifth slam in two years, more than any other player over that stretch. He later added a single as the Orioles cruised to a blowout win.
ROBLES HANDS YANKEES VICTORY
It was not just that Hansel Robles served up the game-winning home run to Yankees centrefielder Aaron Hicks in the bottom of the eighth inning of the first game of this week's Subway Series, it was also that the Mets reliever pointed skyward as if Hicks popped the ball up. The ball actually travelled about 400 feet, and Robles took the loss in the Yankees' victory.
Cubs centrefielder John Jay was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, but he was not about to accomplish the rare feat on Bryan Price's watch. With his Reds trailing 9-2 and Jay up in the seventh inning, the Cincinnati manager ordered Jay to be intentionally walked. The move did not go over well at Wrigley, and as karma would have it, Chicago went on to put up six more runs that inning and win the game.
Astros right fielder Josh Reddick fully extended to rob Diamondbacks outfielder J.D. Martinez of an extra base hit in the second inning of Arizona's victory.
METS AT YANKEES
Yankees fans are still looking for trade deadline acquisition Sonny Gray (6-7, 3.39 ERA) to deliver his first win for the Bombers, and even though it is against the Mets, Tuesday night does not figure to be an easy way for him to snap his two-game losing streak in pinstripes. That is because ace Jacob DeGrom (13-5, 3.21) gets the call for the Mets after shaking off a 99-mph line drive to his right throwing arm on Thursday.