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Iannetta's HR decides rare pitchers' duel at Coors

Anderson tosses 8 scoreless innings as Rockies sweep Giants
MLB.com

DENVER -- Giants catcher Buster Posey threw his hands down and shook his head at the ball Chris Iannetta launched right inside the left-field foul pole. Iannetta's solo home run in the seventh inning ended a rare pitchers' duel at Coors Field on Wednesday night as the Rockies beat the Giants, 1-0, to complete a three-game sweep.

It was only the 10th 1-0 game in Coors Field history, and the first since a Rockies win over the Blue Jays on June 12, 2010. It was the fourth 1-0 game at Coors Field with a home run, and the first since a Rockies win over the Padres on Sept. 17, 2008 -- which was the only previous time the Rockies won a 1-0 home game with a homer.

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DENVER -- Giants catcher Buster Posey threw his hands down and shook his head at the ball Chris Iannetta launched right inside the left-field foul pole. Iannetta's solo home run in the seventh inning ended a rare pitchers' duel at Coors Field on Wednesday night as the Rockies beat the Giants, 1-0, to complete a three-game sweep.

It was only the 10th 1-0 game in Coors Field history, and the first since a Rockies win over the Blue Jays on June 12, 2010. It was the fourth 1-0 game at Coors Field with a home run, and the first since a Rockies win over the Padres on Sept. 17, 2008 -- which was the only previous time the Rockies won a 1-0 home game with a homer.

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Colorado (44-43) moved one game above .500 and has won six of its last seven, with this victory taking a brief 2 hours, 15 minutes (after a 17-minute delay).

"It's huge for us to play well right now, especially at home, where we haven't played as good," Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said. "It was a big series win. It would have been tough to lose a game like that after the way Tyler [Anderson] pitched."

Video: SF@COL: Arenado pounces on a bunt to start a DP

Anderson (6-3) twirled his second straight gem, following his eight scoreless innings against the Dodgers on June 29. This time, he did the same, allowing two hits in eight scoreless frames and striking out nine.

Anderson threw 93 pitches, 74 of which were fastballs, and his fastball-cutter combo worked well. He threw 34 four-seam fastballs and 30 cutters.

"I think it was just helpful because I've faced those guys a lot, and a lot of the times, I've thrown them changeups," Anderson said. "So if they want to sit on changeups, then it kind of helps to balance it out."

Video: SF@COL: Anderson K's 9 in 8 shutout innings

The Rockies' rotation has found some consistency in the last nine games, as the starters have posted a 1.88 ERA since June 26.

In the series opener against the Giants, Kyle Freeland pitched seven innings of two-run ball and retired the last 13 batters he faced on Monday. Then on Tuesday, Antonio Senzatela gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings. After Anderson's outing, Rockies starters are 5-0 in the last nine games.

Video: SF@COL: Black talks Anderson's outing, 1-0 victory

Rockies manager Bud Black said that pitching can be cyclical, going up and down as the Rockies have this year. In May, they rode a six-game winning streak to a 15-11 month, before flipping in June and going 11-16.

"You'd like to get them longer stretches," Black said. "The good rotations do it the whole year, with a couple hiccups here and there. ... We'll see. But I think these guys physically are in a good spot. Mentally, they're in a good spot. The offense is back. There's a little bit of mojo there. Let's keep it going."

Video: SF@COL: Iannetta, Anderson talk 1-0 win over Giants

Anderson wasn't the only pitcher dealing. Giants left-hander Andrew Suarez went six scoreless before giving up Iannetta's 453-foot homer that landed on the concourse. Suarez allowed five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

Iannetta said that Suarez was in command of his fastball and cutter, like Anderson, but during Iannetta's at-bat in the seventh, Suarez started with a changeup. The count went full before Iannetta launched the ball just fair, which stood after a replay review.

"I knew I hit it fair, and then [third-base umpire] Angel [Hernandez] -- I was waiting for him to call it -- called it fair, so I was like, 'OK, that's good,'" Iannetta said. "I knew they were going to review it because it was so close, but not enough to overturn the fair call, one of those things. But I was happy."

DAVIS CLOSES THE DOOR
Rockies closer Wade Davis made the sellout crowd at Coors Field hold their breath, allowing two runners to reach in the ninth before getting Brandon Crawford to fly out to right field to end it.

Davis converted 32-of-33 regular-season save opportunities for the Cubs last season and signed a three-year, $52 million contract with the Rockies this past winter. Nonetheless, it was part of a decline. According to Statcast™, his four-seamer went from an average of 95.4 mph in 2015 and 94.3 in '16 with the Royals to 92.8 last year.

This year, Davis' average is 94.2 mph, as he diagnosed the decline in velocity as a symptom of delivery problems that have cost him consistency and led to four blown saves this season.

"I haven't had to work on my delivery in four or five years, where I created bad habits," Davis said. "I definitely had some bad habits earlier this year -- getting across my body. I was getting away with it, but I started losing the feel of where the ball should end up."

Video: SF@COL: Davis shuts the door for the save

Davis gave up an Andrew McCutchen single and walked Buster Posey with two outs. Still, Davis' average four-seam velocity continues to climb, and he believes more improvement is possible as he hones a more direct stride and cleaner arm path.

"The fastball is getting better, and the other stuff is getting better," Davis said. "I've always gotten stronger during the course of the season. I knew that would happen. But even last year, I never really hit a good gear, because I had some bad habits. But things were working. Now my fastball is a better fastball, and my cutter is getting harder and shorter."

SOUND SMART
Anderson joined Jason Marquis (2009) and Ubaldo Jimenez (2010) as the only pitchers in Rockies history to pitch consecutive outings of eight scoreless innings.

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Crew chief Bill Miller initiated a replay review for Iannetta's towering homer, which landed on the concourse behind the left-field foul pole. After a 34-second deliberation, the call stood.

Video: SF@COL: Iannetta homers, call stands after review

UP NEXT
The Rockies head to Seattle for an Interleague series against the Mariners, starting Friday at 8:10 p.m. MT. Right-hander German Marquez (6-8, 5.14 ERA) will face righty Felix Hernandez (8-6, 5.11). Marquez's 2.76 road ERA ranks fourth in the National League. In his last start, he fanned nine in a career-high eight innings in a road win over the Dodgers on June 30. This will be Marquez's first career start against the Mariners and his first Interleague start of the season.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow her on Twitter at @anne__rogers.

Colorado Rockies, Tyler Anderson, Chris Iannetta