Denver—Rockies fans had to pull out the hankies last night to honor the franchise’s first manager, Don Baylor who died last week after a long battle with cancer. Then there were tears of joy as pitcher Chad Bettis returned to the mound for the first time since being diagnosed with testicular cancer last fall. ¬†Bettis was brilliant, pitching 7 innings of shutout ball on his way to a 3-nothing victory over the Atlanta Braves. ¬†The right hander didn’t walk a batter and fanned two in the emotionally-charged win.


Dove Valley—Defensive end Jared Crick has been carted off the Denver Broncos practice field after apparently injuring his right leg during run drills Monday. Crick’s injury comes 48 hours after the Broncos’ other starting defensive end, Derek Wolfe, was carted off the field with a sprained right ankle that could sideline him until the season opener next month.


LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Dodgers are looking to go 50 games above .500 with a win tonight at home against the Chicago White Sox. Alex Wood, who’s 14-and-1, starts for the Dodgers, who are 83-and-34.

NEW YORK (AP) – Maria Sharapova has been granted a wild-card invitation for the U.S. Open’s main draw. Sharapova is among eight women who were given entry into the 128-player field by the U.S. Tennis Association today – and by far the most noteworthy. The former No. 1-ranked player and owner of five major titles, including at the 2006 U.S. Open, will be participating in her first Grand Slam tournament in more than 1 1/2 years. A 15-month ban, stemming from a positive drug test, expired in April.

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) – Miami Dolphins cornerback Tony Lippett will miss the entire season with a torn Achilles tendon, the latest injury for the team during a training camp that has taken a heavy toll. Coach Adam Gase says Lippett will require surgery after being hurt yesterday in practice.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia Eagles have released Ryan Mathews after the former Pro Bowl running back was cleared to return to football activities following neck surgery. Mathews played two seasons with the Eagles after spending his first five years in San Diego. He had 1,200 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns for Philadelphia. The move was expected and saves the Eagles $4 million under the salary cap.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Pacers have signed 37-year-old swingman Damien Wilkins and rookie forward Ben Moore. Wilkins last played in the NBA in 2012-13 with Philadelphia, where he averaged 6.3 points and 2.4 rebounds. Moore averaged 11.4 points and 7.8 rebounds last season as a senior at SMU.

KENT, Ohio (AP) – Kent State’s athletic department says its trainers and coaches followed the right procedures during an offseason workout in June after which a freshman football player died. The school in northeast Ohio did say that it has fired a football strength and conditioning coach who was at the workout because it found he had given false information about his certification.