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. The Rockies began the tied with Arizona for the top NL wild-card spot.
Mike Dunn (5-1) got the win, and Greg Holland closed for his 35th save. Holland, who had blown his previous two save chances, gave up a single and walk in the ninth before getting the last out.
Teheran allowed four hits and struck out eight in seven innings.
Charlie Blackmon led off the Colorado eighth with a triple. After an intentional walk, Gerardo Parra singled through the drawn-in infield to put the Rockies ahead.
Carlos Gonzalez’s two-run single off Jason Motte gave Colorado some insurance.
Astros trade for Clippard
CHICAGO — The Houston Astros have acquired reliever Tyler Clippard from the Chicago White Sox for a player to be named or cash considerations.
Clippard was traded from the New York Yankees to Chicago in a seven-player deal on July 18. The 32-year-old right-hander went 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA and two saves in 11 appearances with the rebuilding White Sox.
The Astros lead the American League with a 72-45 record.
Clippard has a 48-41 record with a 3.04 ERA and 59 saves in 11 years in the majors. He made the NL All-Star team with Washington in 2011 and 2014.
The White Sox have the worst record in the AL at 45-70.
Strasburg shinesin rehab start
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Stephen Strasburg didn’t think he needed to go on a rehab start, so he made quick work of his brief trip to the minors.
The Washington Nationals right-hander struck out five and allowed three hits and one walk in a rehab appearance for Class A Potomac on Monday night. Facing the Salem Red Sox, Strasburg showcased good command of his fastball and good movement on his curveball as he allowed one earned run.
Strasburg threw 64 pitches, plus a few more in the bullpen to get up to the 75 the team had prescribed. Afterward, the 29-year-old sounded as if he was eager to get back into major-league action.
“I feel like I was ready to come back before this, but they wanted to be conservative, so hopefully this is enough,” Strasburg said.
Trades save Mets money
NEW YORK — The New York Mets saved $3 million by trading infielder Neil Walker the Milwaukee Brewers and have cut payroll by more than $11.6 million in recent weeks.
As part of Saturday’s trade, the Mets agreed to pay the Brewers $1,699,454 on Sept. 30, according to details obtained by The Associated Press. Walker was owed $4,699,454 of his $17.2 million salary at the time of the deal. He can become a free agent after the World Series.
The 31-year-old had a pair of hits Sunday, starting at third base in his Brewers debut.
New York saved $3,765,027 when it dealt outfielder Jay Bruce to Cleveland last Wednesday. The Indians assumed the remainder of his $13 million salary.
In deals late last month, the Mets cut payroll by $2,614,754 when they traded first baseman Lucas Duda to Tampa Bay on July 27 and $2,262,568 when they sent reliever Addison Reed to Boston four days later. No cash was involved in those deals, so the Rays took on the rest of Duda’s $7.25 mill-ion salary and the Red Sox the remainder of Reed’s $7.75 million pay.
New York began the season with a $156.8 million payroll for its 40-man roster, according to figures compiled by Major League Baseball. The injury-ravaged Mets headed into this week’s Subway Series with a 53-62 record and out of contention for a playoff berth.