7/26/2014 1:23 A.M. ET
Anderson exits with blister, expects to make next start
By Thomas Harding and Cody Ulm / MLB.com
DENVER -- Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson bordered on dominant Friday night against the Pirates until leaving in the seventh with a blister on his left index finger. Still, Anderson pitched long enough and well enough to grab his first Rockies win as the Rockies prevailed, 8-1, at Coors field.
In his third start since missing 16 starts after breaking the index finger, Anderson held the Pirates scoreless for 6 1/3 inning, on two hits and four walks. Anderson gave up five runs in the first inning of his return game on July 13 against the Twins, but since then he has been outstanding -- two runs in 18 1/3 innings pitched. He held the Pirates to one run and four hits in seven innings at PNC Park on Saturday, and left with a 1-0 lead before bullpen struggles led to a 3-2, 11-inning loss.
The best news is Anderson does not expect the blister to affect his next start.
"It started bothering me in the bottom of the sixth, and then I started throwing some breaking balls in the seventh and it kind of caught," Anderson said. "I hopefully got it before anything major. They drained it and I don't foresee it being any kind of a problem."
Anderson left after walking Russell Martin for the third time in the game, with the Rockies leading, 1-0. He might not have pitched much longer, anyhow, since he was at 102 pitches when he was pulled.
Tommy Kahnle completed the seventh by forcing a Jordy Mercer fly ball and striking out Pedro Alvarez. The Rockies scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Anderson retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced before Neil Walker singled to lead off the fifth. Two batters later, he forced a Mercer double-play grounder -- a replay challenge tried to make it a triple play, but was unsuccessful.
In his first outing at Coors, the Twins game, Anderson said pitching at Coors Field was an adjustment. Call it an adjustment made.
"I was down in the zone, my stuff was getting crisper -- better and better -- and my velocity is coming back," Anderson said. "Apparently, I hate strikeouts [he had one] and I'm scared of Russell Martin. Other than that, it was pretty good."
Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario said, "He threw a lot of strikes -- so many strikes, sometimes I need balls and he's still throwing strikes. I'm enjoying catching him. I feel fresh, like I could go catch again. It was a fun, quick tempo."
Anderson can strike out hitters if called upon to do so. He fanned eight the last time he faced the Pirates.
"I'm glad we don't have to see him anymore," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's been as effective as any pitcher we've seen this season."
Anderson's two stellar starts against the Pirates came on the heels of strong work by lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who held the Pirates to one run in six innings last Friday in a game the Rockies lost, and struck out 11 in 7 1/3 innings of a win against the Nationals on Wednesday.
The Rockies acquired Anderson, 26, from the Athletics during the winter in hopes he could provide front-end talent to the rotation. He broke his index finger in his third start of the year. But if Anderson can stay healthy -- Friday was his first win since last April 7, before foot and ankle injuries hampered his season with the A's -- he gives the Rockies another lefty stalwart at the top of the rotation.
Although De La Rosa and Anderson -- De La Rosa more prominently -- have been mentioned in reports of possible trades, the Rockies could easily have both back next season. De La Rosa will be a free agent, but the club could use a $14 million qualifying offer, which would ensure Draft pick compensation if he were to leave, as the basis for a new deal. The club has a $12 million option on Anderson.
Arenado benched after not hustling to first
DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado began a frustrated, head-down jog out after he bounced hard to Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton in the bottom of the fourth Friday night. But by the time he returned to the bench, after his lack of haste cost the team a baserunner, manager Walt Weiss made it clear frustration is no excuse to not hustle.
Weiss sent Charlie Culberson to play third in the top of the fifth. Arenado had to watch as the Rockies raced to an 8-1 victory at Coors Field.
Morton did not field Arenado's bouncer cleanly. But because of the batsman's non-hustling start, Morton's throw beat Arenado at first on a close play.
"We've talked a lot about playing the game hard and playing the game right, and how important that is," Weiss said. "Especially when you've been getting your [butt] kicked for a while, it's even more important. It's imperative. So I just felt like Nolan didn't meet that standard at that point.
"Now, Nolan's a great kid. He's a great player. That's how I saw it."
Weiss said after the game he had not talked with Arenado, who was 0-for-2 at the time of the benching and saw his hit streak end at five games.
Arenado won a Rawlings Gold Glove Award last season as a rookie -- the first National League rookie third baseman and second overall at his position to win the award -- and set a club record with a 28-game hit streak earlier this year. But Arenado also missed 37 games in May and June with a fractured left middle finger, and has just recently been regaining his timing at the plate.
Arenado was not available after the game, but apologized through a club official and said he would address the incident Saturday.
Lyles set for first rehab start on Saturday
DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles is scheduled to throw 60 pitches Saturday for Class A Modesto in his first injury rehab start. Lyles sustained a broken left hand on June 4.
"This is new territory, my first rehab stint," said Lyles (5-1, 3.52 ERA in 12 starts). "It's been a while since I've been out there. I've been on the mound just a couple times between when I got hurt and now. It'll be exciting to be out there, facing people and getting back to working on my pitches."
Lyles is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 4, which would have him in line to start at home against the Cubs Aug. 5. That means he'll make at least two rehab starts, although they could give him another if he needs it. Lyles said he will try to use a somewhat normal pitching plan during his rehab start Saturday.
"I'll throw everything, but maybe not as many sliders and cutters while I work on a curveball and changeup," Lyles said.
Lyles has been able to keep throwing because the injury was to his non-throwing hand.
Bergman throws live batting practice, feels strong
DENVER -- Rockies rookie right-hander Christian Bergman reported feeling strong Friday while throwing 50 pitches in a live batting practice session -- his first time facing hitters since suffering a broken left hand when he was hit by a line drive June 20.
The cast was removed Friday before the session. Almost as important as throwing, Bergman (0-2, 7.20 ERA in three starts) felt good catching return throws from the catcher.
The plan is for Bergman to begin an injury rehab assignment next week for Double-A Tulsa. He expects to do some fielding practice before then to test the left hand.
With numerous injuries to the rotation, Bergman, 26, earned a promotion from Triple-A Colorado Springs and at times looked better than his stats would indicate. A 24th-round Draft pick in 2010 who has met tests at each Minor League level, Bergman hopes to have a chance to prove he is part of the Rockies' pitching future.
"It was frustrating having to shut it down, because I felt I was starting to get comfortable in this environment," Bergman said. "I'm ready to build off that."
PLAY Campaign makes stop at Coors Field
DENVER -- The Professional Baseball Athletic Trainer Society's PLAY Campaign stopped at Coors Field Friday morning, allowing Rockies players to help teach children with intellectual and developmental disabilities the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.
The PLAY Campaign teamed up with The Arc, an advocacy organization for I/DD youths, to provide children served by The Arc of Colorado, The Arc of Pikes Peak, the Arc of Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, the Arc of Larimer County and the Arc of Jefferson, Clear Creek & Gilpin Counties with this unique opportunity.
Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer and right-handers Jhoulys Chacin and Jordan Lyles guided participants through a series of pitching and hitting activities before giving the children a tour of the Rockies' clubhouse.
"The players were unbelievable," The Arc communications manager Suniti Bal said. "They were so good and so hands on."
Lyles and Chacin ran the accuracy practice portion of the process while Cuddyer lead the children in hitting off a tee against a giant, point-based target on the right-field, out-of-town scoreboard. Afterwards, the children were taught the importance of proper hygiene and other benefits of a healthy life.
"Physical activity and healthy living habits are critical for all children, including those with significant disabilities," said executive director of the Arc of Colorado Marijo Rymer. "We are thankful that the Colorado Rockies and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society have chosen to include the Arc in this year's program."
PLAY, standing for Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth, is a national public awareness campaign of PBATS in conjunction with MLB Charities and the Taylor Hooton Foundation. The PLAY campaign will host events in all 30 Major-League ballparks this season with the next stop being the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field on Saturday.
For more information on how you can get involved with the Arc foundation, visit TheArc.org.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.