LOS ANGELES -- Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson made himself at home at Dodger Stadium on Friday night -- much the way he has on the road this season.Anderson pitched a career-best eight innings and struck out eight to lead the Rockies to their second straight victory, 3-1 win over the
LOS ANGELES -- Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson made himself at home at Dodger Stadium on Friday night -- much the way he has on the road this season.
Anderson pitched a career-best eight innings and struck out eight to lead the Rockies to their second straight victory, 3-1 win over the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game National League West set.
All the runs in the Rockies' second straight win came on solo homers. Pat Valaika's first of the season came in the fifth off starter Rich Hill, Nolan Arenado parked his 20th -- to tie the Nationals' Bryce Harper for the NL lead -- in the eighth off Scott Alexander and Chris Iannetta led off the ninth vs. Yimi Garcia with his sixth.
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But Anderson overshadowed the offense by holding the Dodgers to four hits and no runs.
"I'm very proud of him," Arenado said. "He just pitched a great game. He was hitting spot. He was just locked in."
The Dodgers ended the Rockies' shutout bid with Justin Turner's ninth-inning, two-out homer off Wade Davis, who nonetheless earned his 23rd save.
Anderson (5-3), who also had two of the Rockies' nine hits, didn't yield a baserunner until Turner's two-out single in the fourth. His full pitch mix -- fastball, cutter, changeup and curve -- to forced weak contact, or none at all.
"It's been a while since everything has really been on, but my last couple of starts were pretty close," Anderson said. "I felt my command was there. My pitches were there. Everything was close, but I just made a couple of mistakes. I felt like tonight I was able to limit the mistakes."
Iannetta, Anderson's catcher, was impressed by the game-long consistency.
"When he starts off strong, he's strong for a while, then he lets things taper where he has tough innings, falls behind a couple of guys," Iannetta said. "He didn't do that at all today."
In Anderson's last nine road starts, he is 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA and the Rockies are 7-2. But the last two starts Anderson was referring to were losses to the Mets and the Marlins -- at home, where Anderson is 1-3 with a 5.26 ERA. But since they're not at Coors Field, it's more the gnat at the picnic than the elephant in the room.
Anderson forced two double-play grounders, including one after issuing his only walk -- to Yasiel Puig to open the eighth. But he also got 11 outs in the air. Considering that Turner's homer extended the Dodgers' Major League-leading June home run total to 54, it was clear the hitters' plan was to keep the ball off the ground. The first-inning leadoff fly ball from Chris Taylor took Noel Cuevas to the right-field wall, but no other fly ball carried that far.
"He threw as well in the eighth as he did in the first," Rockies manager Bud Black said.
Anderson's start was the longest for a Rockies pitcher this season. Chad Bettis went 7 1/3 innings in a 2-0 win at Pittsburgh on April 17.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rockies call on closer: Anderson wanted the complete game. Deep down, Black wanted it for him. But Iannetta's ninth-inning homer meant Anderson's spot would come up and Black had to make a decision.
Anderson wished it would have been a different choice than to have Carlos Gonzalez hit for him.
"Of course, you want to go back out there," Anderson said. "The pitch count  was in a reasonable range to go back out. If we could save our bullpen the entire day, that would be awesome. Of course you wanted to, but I understand his thinking there."
Looking at Taylor, Kiké Hernandez and Turner looming in the bottom of the inning led Black to turn to his closer.
"I thought it was important to potentially get another run, it was the fourth time coming back to Taylor, Hernandez and Turner, who lifetime had pretty good numbers against Andy -- even though he handled them tonight with six strikeouts," Black said. "If something like a blooper or a walk happened, then I'd go to Wade with some traffic. I just wanted to give Wade a clean inning."
While the Rockies have been giving Tom Murphy regular starts at catcher since calling him up June 12, Black has made it a point not to forget Iannetta. With semi-regular starts and plentiful off-the-bench opportunities, Iannetta has hit .314 with two home runs, eight RBIs, four doubles and a .947 OPS in his last 21 games.
HE SAID IT
"It felt real good to put a barrel on the ball in a real game -- a big league game." -- Valaika, who was the Rockies' main pinch-hitter last year but has spent much of the year at Triple-A Albuquerque searching for his swing
German Marquez (5-8, 5.53 ERA) hopes to continue his solid road work on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. MT against the Dodgers and right-hander Kenta Maeda (5-4, 3.44). While Marquez has struggled at home, he has worked five or more innings every road start. The righty pitched the Rockies to a 2-1 win at Dodger Stadium on May 21, allowing two hits over seven innings.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.