DENVER (AP) – Brett Anderson left Friday night’s game before he wanted to. Still, he was a winner for the first time in 15 months.
Anderson pitched effectively into the seventh inning before a blister ended his night and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1.
“It’s good. Your goal when you pitch is to win the ballgame and it’s been a while,” he said. “It’s pretty satisfying, especially my first win in the National League. Hopefully I’ll get on a roll here.”
The Rockies are 16-40 since May 20 but they cooled off the Pirates, who entered Friday 44-29 since starting the season 10-18.
Not every Colorado player left Coors Field in a good mood.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado was removed from the game after he failed to run hard to first on a grounder to the mound in the fourth. Pirates starter Charlie Morton bobbled the ball but was able to get Arenado, who jogged at the start before hustling to try and beat the throw.
“We talk a lot about playing the game hard, playing the game right and how important that is, especially when you’ve been getting your (butt) kicked for a while. It’s even more important. It’s imperative,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “I just felt Nolan didn’t meet that standard at that point. Nolan’s a great kid. He’s a great player. That’s how I saw it.”
Anderson (1-3) had not won since beating Houston on April 7, 2013, in his last start for Oakland. He spent four months on the disabled list and moved to the A’s bullpen when he returned.
He was winless in three April starts for Colorado before a broken left index finger put him on the shelf for 81 games. Friday was his third start since coming back and he allowed just two hits in 6 1-3 innings before a blister began to develop on his left index finger
“I noticed it in the bottom of the sixth and then I started throwing some breaking balls there in the seventh and it kind of caught,” Anderson said. “Hopefully got it before thing (turns) major. It didn’t break open and they drained it. I don’t foresee it being a problem.”
He left the game with a 1-0 lead after walking Russell Martin for the third time.
“My stuff is getting better and better and my velocity is coming back,” Anderson said. “… The offense showed up tremendously.”
Tommy Kahnle came on and got the last two outs of the seventh and the Rockies broke it open in the bottom of the inning off Morton (5-10).
Ben Paulsen and Wilin Rosario led off with consecutive doubles and DJ LeMahieu singled. Ernesto Frieri relieved Morton and pinch-hitter Drew Stubbs bounced a grounder over the pulled-in infield for an RBI double. An intentional walk to Charlie Blackmon loaded the bases and Rutledge cleared them with a double to center.
“He pitched a good ballgame through six and the seventh got away from him,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Morton. “Frieri came in and wasn’t able to quite execute the pitches he needed to so they piled up seven on us.”
One out later Gonzalez hit his 10th homer of the season to make it 8-0.
“It was nice to see our offense but it was even better to see the way we pitched tonight,” Gonzalez said. “Anderson gives us a big shot to win this game.”
The Rockies nearly pulled off a triple play in the fifth after Neil Walker led off the inning with Pittsburgh’s first hit of the game.
With runners on first and second, Jordy Mercer hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Charlie Culberson, who stepped on the bag but his throw to second pulled Rutledge’s foot off the base. Rutledge’s relay to first got Mercer, and after a 3-minute, 16-second review the call at second was confirmed.
NOTES: Walker has reached base in 22 straight games. It’s the longest active streak in the majors. … Members of the Manchester United Football Club visited with Rockies players during batting practice. … Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez was not in the starting lineup for the third straight game because of left knee discomfort. He pinch-hit in the seventh and stayed in the game. … Rockies RHP Christian Bergman (broken left hand) will pitch in a rehab start in Double-A Tulsa on Tuesday. … Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) will start at Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. … Rockies manager Walt Weiss said LHP Franklin Morales will get the start Sunday.
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