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Anderson relieved to deliver solid spring start

Left-hander allows two runs over five innings in tie against Brewers
Special to MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Bud Black wasn't speaking specifically about Tyler Anderson when he laid out where he wants all his pitchers to be with roughly 10 days to go until the regular season starts. But the Rockies manager might as well have been.

"There's certain things I want to see the last 10 days or so," Black said.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Bud Black wasn't speaking specifically about Tyler Anderson when he laid out where he wants all his pitchers to be with roughly 10 days to go until the regular season starts. But the Rockies manager might as well have been.

"There's certain things I want to see the last 10 days or so," Black said.

After back-to-back rough outings in his previous two Cactus League starts, Anderson showed Black exactly what the manager wanted to see.

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The left-hander didn't dominate the Brewers in what ended in a 4-4 tie at Salt River Fields, but it was a vast improvement from the 11 hits, nine runs and four walks he'd allowed in his previous 6 2/3 innings.

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"It's easy to get caught in the trap of early in spring just going out there and working on things," said Anderson, slated to start the season as the Rockies' No. 2 starter behind Jon Gray. "But as spring progresses and we get closer to games now, we're going to be in real games here soon, and you want to make sure it's now more compete mode. You've worked on what you needed to work on, and now it's time to go compete with what you've got.

"Today was a much better example of that."

The left-hander scattered seven hits, allowing two runs and striking out five across five innings and 95 pitches.

"That was a good game for him," Black said. "He'd had a couple rough ones prior to today, so this is a good building block for him. I liked the first couple innings where he beat some bats with his fastball. We've seen that from Tyler when he's at his best."

Anderson, working with new catcher Chris Iannetta, credited his ability to better establish his fastball as a major factor for the improvement. It also helped in accumulating the strikeouts at opportune times.

"That's a plus any day, if you have runners on and you can kind of keep them at bay like that. They did a good job of getting guys on and creating traffic, so at that point, you have to battle, and if you end up with a strikeout, that's the best-case scenario."

Anderson also got back on track against a Brewers lineup that looked very close to the one they will feature on Opening Day, a challenge he welcomed as opposed to facing guys who likely will start the season in the Minor Leagues.

"I would prefer that," Anderson said. "For me, that's a big part of my game: Knowing who we're going to face and how to pitch those guys. So today was a better example to being able to see guys and set up a real plan, as opposed to just going in and throwing things."

Chris Gabel is a contributor to MLB.com.

Colorado Rockies, Tyler Anderson