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With added rest, Anderson polishes off Rockies

Chase Anderson tied a season-high eight strikeouts with a 6-2 win over Colorado Sunday.
Chase Anderson tied a season-high eight strikeouts with a 6-2 win over Colorado Sunday.
Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

It’s been a while but Chase Anderson is a patient man.

With only one victory in his last seven starts, Anderson came into his start against Colorado Sunday on a bit of a downer. Giving up a total of 13 earned runs in his last three starts, Anderson’s luster dimmed considerably since his 6-0 start in May and early June. Still, Anderson maintained his optimism and enthusiasm, and for good reason.

The Diamondbacks’ organization altered Anderson’s work load and extended time between starts. The result gave more life to his arm and more strength in the velocity. The effort Sunday was telling.

Turning his back on recent history, Anderson regained early season form, found renewed vigor, pitched six creditable innings and came away with a 6-2 victory over the Rockies before 22,948 Sunday afternoon in Chase Field.

The victory enabled the Diamondbacks to take the weekend set from Colorado and that represented the 12th series-win this season.

For Anderson, the past few months has been an education and despite his encouraging beginning, the rookie from Wichita Falls, Tex. remains a work on progress.

Still, the game represented one of Anderson’s best efforts of the season and the only blemish was a fourth inning home run off the bat of Charlie Blackmon, the Rockies’ lead-off hitter.

For his effort, Anderson displayed an usually quick fast ball and tied his season-high with eight strikeouts. While racking up Ks, Anderson was blowing hitters away with fast ball reaching 93 to 95 miles per hour. Reason for his increased velocity was clear.

“I had an extra day off between starts and I felt stronger,” Anderson said. “I attacked hitters with the fast ball and pounded the strike zone. Plus, I‘m doing less between starts and that‘s help to keep my strength up. Right now, I feel great.”

To complement Anderson’s solid performance, two, key extra bases hits were instrumental in the victory.

With the Diamondbacks up 1-0 in the third, Aaron Hill tripled to right center with two out. After Mark Trumbo walked, Jordan Pacheco singled sharply to right and Hill scored. Later in the seventh, Nolan Reimold slammed his first career pinch-hit home with one aboard and that give the Diamondbacks a 4-1 advantage late in the game.

From there, the bullpen of Will Harris and Matt Stites shut down the Rockies over the final two innings, Anderson improved to 8-6 and lowered his ERA from 3.90 at the start of the game to his present 3.75.

“Nice to score some runs and win the series,” said Hill, who picked up his first RBI since Aug. 15 with a first inning single to score Ender Inciatre. “Baseball is a game of momentum. Now, we go on the last big, road trip of the season and hope to keep it going.”

Anderson’s strong effort complemented Josh Collmenter and Vidal Nuno, the previous two starters in the Colorado series. Each give up one run or less and walked no hitters in their individual starts, and that was the second time in franchise history this was accomplished. The previous effort by Elmer Dessens, Brian Anderson and Amaury Telemaco took place between September 2 and 4, 1998.

ANOTHER CYCLE?

Second baseball Aaron Hill fell a home run away from his third career cycle.

With a single in the first, triple in the third and double in the seventh, Hill finished the day with a 3-for-4 afternoon, two RBIs and two runs scored. In the fifth inning, Hill flied to center and Hill did not come to bat in the eighth.

In 2012, Hill hit for the cycle on June 18 against the Mariners and again in June 29 against the Brewers. He became only the second player in the modern era to hit for the cycle twice in the same season.

PITCHING MATCH-UP FOR SAN DIEGO

Immediately after the game, the Diamondbacks left for San Diego to open a 10-game road trip.

Against the Padres, manager Kirk Gibson will send Trevor Cahill (3-9, 4.98 ERA) on Monday afternoon (1:10 p.m.), Wade Miley (7-10, 4.30) for a 7:10 p. m. start Tuesday night, Josh Collmenter (9-7, 3.94) on Wednesday night (7:10 p.m.) and Vidal Nuno (0-4, 3.23) for the 7:10 p.m. start on Thursday night.

Then, stops in Los Angeles for three with the Dodgers and three with the Giants in San Francisco conclude this trip.

Now in September, the Diamondbacks have only nine games left in Chase Field of their remaining 26 contests on the schedule.