Season-best night furthers Anderson's point
MIAMI -- Following the Dodgers' 7-1 win on Friday at Marlins Park, starter Brett Anderson claimed his pitches were as good as they've been all season. His final pitching line certainly backed that up.
Earning his fourth win of the year, Anderson went seven innings as he allowed just one run on five hits while striking out a season-high 10 batters.
"My stuff was probably the best overall that it's been with the sinker, and I got some strikeouts with the slider, which hasn't really quite been there," he said. "I keep telling people that I think I'm a good pitcher and I know I'm a good pitcher. If I can just go out there and stay healthy ... it's kind of proven me right to this point."
Anderson (4-4, 3.13 ERA) went into the contest with a Major League-leading groundball ratio of 67.3 percent, and he stuck to that tune. He didn't allow a flyball until the Marlins' 22nd batter of the game, and he has now surrendered two runs or fewer in nine of his past 11 starts.
"Brett had a huge outing for us after the last couple of games in Chicago, where we taxed the 'pen pretty good," manager Don Mattingly said. "He pitches down and has a breaking ball that has bite. He can move the ball to both sides of the plate with the fastball, and it's always moving down."
After Anderson allowed a first-inning run, the Dodgers' offense jumped ahead 6-1 after five innings with Anderson contributing an RBI single in the fourth for his first career single. He cruised along from there on out, striking out four in a row to end his night with 113 pitches.
"He got stronger tonight as the game went on," said catcher A.J. Ellis. "He was really impressive and that was great to see. He really finished his outing extremely well with striking out the last four guys. It was really impressive and his stuff was really sharp at the end."
After Anderson exited, Adam Liberatore and Pedro Baez picked up right where he left off. Liberatore struck out the side in the eighth, before Baez -- just off the 15-day disabled list for his first outing since May 13 -- struck out the side in the ninth. It added up to 10 straight Marlins striking out to end the contest, while Dodgers pitchers collected 16 strikeouts on the night.
"It comes down to guys executing and knowing how to finish guys off," Ellis said. "We talk about it all the time -- where we want to go with two strikes -- and I think it's evident with the 10 strikeouts that we were able to execute everything I asked them to do."
Quipped Mattingly: "I didn't even notice it until right at the end of the game that we didn't need fielders."