DENVER (AP) – Tyler Anderson has a deceptive leg kick to go with an even more misleading array of pitches.
It all added up to a frustrating night for Miami and a fruitful one for Colorado.
Anderson allowed four hits over seven superb innings, Trevor Story hit a three-run homer and the Rockies beat the Marlins 6-0 on Tuesday to maintain their slim lead for the second NL wild card.
“That’s what we want – we want big games,” Anderson said.
The Rockies notched their first win over the Marlins in five tries this season and stayed 1Â½ games ahead of Milwaukee, which beat Cincinnati earlier in the evening. St. Louis remained 2 1/2 back after knocking off the Chicago Cubs.
Nothing rattled Anderson. He even stayed cool after he thought he had Giancarlo Stanton struck out, but the pitch was called a ball. Anderson calmly retired the Marlins’ slugger moments later.
“That says a lot about his mentality,” Rockies catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “He’s a lot of fun to catch.”
Anderson (6-6) faced the minimum through five innings courtesy of two double plays. He has a 1.19 ERA in four appearances since coming back from knee surgery.
“Against that lineup? Pretty good,” Colorado manager Bud Black said.
The Marlins will vouch for that.
“He kept the ball down in the zone and he had a good game plan against us,” second baseman Dee Gordon said. “He kept the ball off the plate and didn’t give us much to hit.”
The Rockies’ bullpen was equally adept, with Chris Rusin pitching a perfect eighth and Mike Dunn working around a two-out double by Stanton in the ninth. Stanton finished 1 for 4 and remained at 57 homers.
“We’re just trying to mix on him and not be predictable,” Lucroy explained.
Story had the big blow in a four-run first inning and Nolan Arenado added a two-run homer in the fifth as the Rockies chase their first playoff berth since 2009.
It was a shaky outing for reliable Miami starter Jose Urena (14-7), who yielded six runs over five innings. The right-hander allowed a total of six runs in four previous starts this month.
“I know to get good results you have to keep the breaking ball down,” said Urena, who had a towel over his left hand after getting hit by a ball during the game. “You have to have a little patience with your breaking ball.”
Before the game, Carlos Gonzalez likened the Rockies’ struggles with runners in scoring position to having the flu.
“We’re sick right now,” he said.
But this helped make them well – going 2 for 6 with runners in scoring position Tuesday. They were hitting .215 in September entering the game.
“Right now, we have that flu,” said Gonzalez, who finished 3 for 4 with a double. “But we’re taking medicine to get rid of it and get back to normal.”
Marlins: Manager Don Mattingly said LHP Wei-Yin Chen (arm fatigue) is done for the season. “He will have a full winter to build and strengthen the arm,” Mattingly said. … RHP Nick Wittgren underwent surgery to remove a bone chip in his elbow. “The fact that we were able to find it now, we think he will be able to have a full throwing program before spring training,” Mattingly said. “We expect him to be 100 percent by spring training.”
THIS & THAT
Marlins 1B Justin Bour lost control of his bat and it twirled to the side of the pitcher’s mound in the second. Anderson retrieved it for him and then got Bour to roll into a double play. … Arenado’s homer gave him 182 hits this season, which ties a career high. … OF Charlie Blackmon was on base four times, including a single and three walks (one intentional).
“You have to resist trying so hard because you want something so badly.” – Black, on not pressing at the plate in the heat of a playoff chase.
Marlins: LHP Adam Conley (7-7, 5.74 ERA) tries to bounce back from a rough start last week, when he allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings at Arizona.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (9-4, 3.62) is 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA at home since returning from a broken bone in his left foot in late June.
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