MLB Wrap: Tempers flare as Rockies top Braves

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MLB Wrap: Tempers flare as Rockies top Braves

DENVER -- Corey Dickerson hit Atlanta catcher Gerald Laird with his backswing and tempers quickly flared, setting off a tense sequence and leading to several ejections Thursday as the Colorado Rockies beat the Braves 10-3.

The Rockies led 8-3 in the eighth when Dickerson knocked off Laird's facemask with his swing -- it appeared accidental.

Laird was down for several minutes before walking off the field on his own and being replaced by Evan Gattis.

With his next pitch, Atlanta reliever David Carpenter hit Dickerson in the thigh and was ejected.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss bolted from the dugout and yelled at Carpenter, as well as in the general direction of Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. Weiss was held back by plate umpire Jordan Baker before being ejected.

In the ninth, Rockies reliever Nick Masset hit Gattis in the hip with a pitch. Both Masset and Rockies bench coach Tom Runnells were tossed (see full recap).

Hudson leads Giants over Nationals
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Hudson threw seven strong innings and left with a major league-best 1.81 ERA as the San Francisco Giants avoided a four-game sweep, beating the Washington Nationals 7-1 on Thursday.

Michael Morse got three hits and scored twice for the Giants, who had a five-game winning streak before Washington came to town.

The Nationals have lost just twice in 10 games.

Hudson (7-2) allowed one unearned run and six hits. He walked two, struck out five and improved to 3-0 in his last five starts, which includes a suspended game. The Giants are 7-0 in games Hudson has started at home.

Blake Treinen (0-3) remained winless at the major league level despite a 2.08 ERA (see full recap).

Frazier HR sparks Reds' win
CINCINNATI -- Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer off Zack Greinke, who lost his perfect record at Great American Ball Park, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 on Thursday afternoon for a split of their four-game series.

The Reds won the last two games to finish a 5-5 homestand that left them stuck closer to the bottom of the NL Central than the top.

Alfredo Simon (9-3) gave up seven singles in eight innings, joining the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright as the NL's nine-game winners.

Greinke (8-3) had been 4-0 in five games at Great American. A slow start cost him his perfect mark. Skip Schumaker opened the Reds' first with a single, and Frazier followed with his team-high 14th homer on Greinke's fifth pitch of the game. Joey Votto doubled on the next pitch as well.

Cincinnati would get only one more hit off Greinke, who went six innings before leaving for a pinch-hitter (see full recap).

Phillies 10, Blue Jays 3: Jeremy Hellickson limbers up, offense continues to hit

Phillies 10, Blue Jays 3: Jeremy Hellickson limbers up, offense continues to hit

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Jeremy Hellickson did not shine in his spring debut Sunday, but he didn’t have to.

Hellickson projects to be the Phillies' opening day starter for the second straight year, but with five weeks to go before it all starts for real in Cincinnati, he has plenty of time to put a coat of polish on his game.

The right-hander knocked off some wintertime rust with two innings of work against the Toronto Blue Jays. He gave up four hits and two runs, walked one and did not strike out a batter.

"I felt great," Hellickson said. "I wasn't really commanding the fastball like I wanted, but my arm and my body felt good."

Hellickson went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts for the Phillies last season and could have opted for free agency in the offseason. However, he surveyed the marketplace and determined he'd be better off taking the Phillies' qualifying offer of $17.2 million for 2017 and trying his luck on the free-agent market next season.

So he's betting on himself.

"That's kind of how I'm looking at it," he said. "It was easy to do that just with the way I felt last year. I think I can definitely repeat or exceed what I did last year."

The Phillies can't give Hellickson another qualifying offer after this season so it's quite possible they will look to deal him in July. But that won't necessarily be easy. The Phils had talks with a number of teams about Hellickson last July and were unable to consummate a deal. It will be tougher this July as Hellickson’s salary has jumped by $10 million. The Phillies may have to eat some of that salary to get a deal they like.

Hellickson was asked if he was ready for another summer of trade rumors.

"No," he said with a wry smile. "But I know it's coming."

He's holding out hope that the Phillies will play their way into contention and the front office keeps the rotation together. He believes it's possible.

"I think we have a really good team here," he said. "Hopefully we're the ones trading for guys at the deadline.

"I've been reading some stuff saying (Aaron) Nola is a No. 5 guy. If Nola's your No. 5 guy, you have a pretty good rotation. I definitely think one through five we can give six, seven, eight strong innings every time out. Then with the guys, we signed for the back of our bullpen, it'll make our jobs that much easier. The days we don't have it, I feel like we can hand it off to those guys after five or six. We're in pretty good shape."

The game
The Phillies beat the Jays, 10-3, on the strength of 13 hits and three Toronto errors. The Phils had eight hits in Saturday’s win over the Yankees.

Cam Perkins, Pedro Florimon and Daniel Nava all had two hits. Rhys Hoskins and Ryan Hanigan both walked twice. Andres Blanco homered. Brock Stassi doubled. Nick Williams had a hit, two RBIs and a walk. Power-hitting rightfielder Dylan Cozens stole two bases.

Cozens is a legitimate stolen-base threat. In addition to belting 40 homers at Double A Reading last season, he swiped 21 bags and was only caught once.

"You've got to like his tools," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's really an athletic guy. He's got good hands at the plate. I think he's going to hit because he doesn't have a lot of excess body movement. He hits a lot with his hands and I think in time he'll cut down on the strikeouts and he'll be an even better player. He looks like a solid defender, good hitting ability, a lot of power and some speed."

On the mound
Ben Lively and Alberto Tirado both pitched two scoreless innings and Pat Neshek and Michael Mariot had one each.

Up next
Jerad Eikchoff makes his spring debut when the Phillies host the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday afternoon.

Clay Buchholz will get the start Tuesday against Baltimore.

Phillies prospect Nick Pivetta has long-awaited meeting with Roy Halladay

Phillies prospect Nick Pivetta has long-awaited meeting with Roy Halladay

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies pitching prospect Nick Pivetta had one of those pinch-me moments Saturday.

He met his boyhood idol, Roy Halladay, at a charity event.

Someone had filled in Halladay that Pivetta had grown up in Canada and had regularly watched Toronto Blue Jays games on television. Pivetta loved watching Halladay pitch, as he talked about a few weeks ago here.

"I got to briefly shake his hand," Pivetta said Sunday morning. "He knew I was like a stalker. He said, 'Oh, right, you're the guy from British Columbia.'"

Halladay, who pitched for the Phils from 2010 to 2013, lives in the Clearwater area. Pivetta said he expected to speak more with Halladay in the coming days.

Halladay was honored at the 44th annual Clearwater For Youth banquet and Pivetta attended with a number of his teammates and Phillies officials. Phillies chairman David Montgomery and his wife Lyn were also honored for their charitable works.

Pivetta will pitch for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic in March.