Bettis becomes dad, helps Gray from afar

Bettis becomes dad, helps Gray from afar

MILWAUKEE -- The Rockies left their hearts in Scottsdale, Ariz., with pitcher Chad Bettis, who is undergoing chemotherapy for testicular cancer. He returned the gesture with wonderful news.

Bettis announced on social media Tuesday that he and his wife, Kristina, welcomed their first child, a daughter named Everliegh Rae (7 pounds, 14 ounces), last Wednesday. The Instagram update, accompanied by a family picture, read:

"Life is beautiful with these ladies! Love my girls! Week 3 in the books! Let's keep pushing forward! You are the best @kristinagabrielle."

Bettis also found time to help right-hander Jon Gray review his Opening Day outing in a 7-5 Rockies victory. Gray struck out seven and held the Brewers scoreless in the first four innings, then gave up five runs without managing an out in the fifth.

Gray strikes out Villar

Gray's postgame assessment was that he was too predictable when he was trying to induce a double play grounder. He went to Bettis for guidance.

"Chad said when I was going real good, I was elevating a lot of balls," Gray said. "It's tough to hit the next one down when you elevate."

Gray stopped going up in the zone, and the Brewers caught on. So did Bettis.

Worth noting

• Rockies manager Bud Black is managing with a four-man bench after having five options with the Padres from 2007-15. Because of Coors Field, the Rockies carry an extra pitcher.

It worked for him in two ways in the opener: Stephen Cardullo went from a 1-2 count to draw a walk against Jhan Marinez during the game-winning, seventh-inning rally. Alexi Amarista -- more a defensive replacement than a pinch-hitter for Black with the Padres -- delivered an RBI double for an insurance run in the ninth.

Amarista's RBI double

• Converted infielder Tony Wolters made a strong throw for a strikeout-caught stealing double play in the seventh on Monday. Wolters is a bit unorthodox, and bench coach/catching instructor Mike Redmond has been working with him. But they don't want to take away his athleticism.

Rockies turn two to end the 7th

"With Tony, we work on those things to try to get him a fundamental base to throw, but it's so instinctual for him to catch and sort of turn back into a middle infielder," Black said. "It worked yesterday. But if you would ask Tony, he's working on traditional footwork and separation and release."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.