Rockies working on deal with Rafael Betancourt

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Rafael Betancourt underwent Tommy John elbow surgery last August and will miss at least the first half of the 2014 season. When the free agent right-hander does finally return to the big league stage, it will almost certainly be with the Colorado Rockies.

“I can’t see myself anywhere else at this point in my career,” Betancourt told Denver Post beat writer Troy Renck earlier this month. And now Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish is hearing from insider sources that the two sides are “in talks” on a new contract.

Betancourt has an excellent 3.08 ERA (150 ERA+) and 10.5 K/9 in 264 relief appearances since joining the Rockies in 2009. He drew some interest from the Dodgers earlier this offseason, but the 38-year-old seems to want to retire in Colorado.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.

Bryce Harper sets April record for runs scored

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With four runs scored during Sunday’s 23-5 drubbing of the Mets, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper set a new April record for runs scored at 32, MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin reports. The record was previously held by Larry Walker, who scored 29 runs for the Rockies in April 1997.

Harper finished 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and a solo home run (off of Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki) on the afternoon. He’s now hitting .391/.509/.772 with nine home runs and 26 RBI on the year.