Anderson impresses on mound and in batter's box
PEORIA, Ariz. -- A working man's hands tell a story. Now Rockies pitcher Brett Anderson can tell a tale of hitting, and he's got the blister on his left hand, high on the palm, at a spot between the inner knuckles of his index and middle fingers, to vouch for what he says.
The most important story was Anderson's six-inning performance -- five runs, three earned, but Xavier Nady's two-run homer was the only hit that was simultaneously solid and damaging. Anderson's work, which also included five strikeouts and no walks, was good enough for the win in the Rockies' 9-7 victory over the Padres.
However, the more interesting story came from his single in the sixth.
Anderson, obtained from the Athletics during the offseason to add front-end talent to the Rockies' rotation, was 0-for-4 in his career. A look at his Minor League hitting stats says he never had as much as an at-bat. But now he has a Spring Training hit, one that bounced off the glove of Padres relief pitcher Matt Wisler.
"I got a blister from hitting -- kind of flared up -- which is new to me," Anderson said. "A not-very-hard base hit."
"This was my first professional hit. A rocket back to the pitcher."
There's more to the story. Behind him, Drew Stubbs popped a bunt. There was Anderson, trapped between first and second. It was an easy double play.
"I made a pretty bad baserunning error," Anderson said. "I was just excited to be on base I guess."
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said from seeing Anderson he'd never guessed he was such a neophyte with the bat.
"He's handled the bat really well this spring, for a guy that has little or no experience in the box," Weiss said. "He's gotten bunts down. He's shown a good swing. I've been impressed with that."
But Anderson's ability as a batsman wasn't the reason Rockies sent pitchers Drew Pomeranz and Chris Jensen to the Athletics for him.
The first two runs were courtesy of a two-out throwing error in the fourth by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, playing for the first time since being hit on the left calf by a pitch from the D-backs' Wade Miley on Wednesday night. He left a changeup in a poor location that Nady swatted over the left-center field wall.
Anderson displayed a lively fastball and slider, and had some good changeups. He gave up three runs in the fifth. But two were ground-ball singles, and Everth Cabrera poked a ball off the foul line in right for a triple. Cabrera would score on a groundout.
"Minus the horrendous pitch to Xavier Nady, it was pretty good," Anderson said. "It was pretty much like my last outing. I got a lot of ground balls  again. Hopefully, I can continue that trend. I got through six innings, didn't walk anybody."