The Arizona Diamondbacks were without their best two players on Tuesday, when they sent a rookie to the mound to face Colorado Rockies ace Jorge De La Rosa.
But Chris Owings, Chase Anderson and Nick Evans had fans thinking about more than the absence of Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock — more than the absence of experience in the lineup.
A three-run fourth inning, which featured back-to-back solo home runs by Evans and Owings, gave them the edge late — helping Anderson to make history.
The Diamondbacks’ starter was sharp out of the gate. And, once again, the run support only helped his cause.
Anderson is now undefeated in four career starts, becoming one of just a handful of pitchers in the last 16 years to accomplish the feat.
Evan Marshall, Brad Ziegler and Addison Reed were efficient in the latter innings, allowing three hits and a run to preserve Anderson’s win, 4-2.
Here’s a look at the win, by the numbers:
Cody Ross’ troubles continued on Tuesday, when he went 0-for-3 at the plate and his average dipped to .179 on the year. Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told Burns & Gambo before the game that the team needed Ross, an 11-year veteran, to step up.” He ended innings in his first two at-bats, stranding runners in both the first and the third innings.
Diamondbacks hitters combined to strike out just once on the night. The team leader in strikeouts, Paul Goldschmidt, had the night off.
Owings led the way Tuesday, going 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, a home run and two RBI. He was a single shy of hitting for the cycle.
Anderson became just the fifth starting pitcher since 1998 to win each of his first four starts, joining Jered Weaver, Kazuhisa Ishii, Gerrit Cole and Scott Lewis.
Anderson’s six innings were the most he’s lasted in any of his four starts. He previously tossed 5.1 innings and 5.0 innings twice. He was lifted with a pitch count of 99 Tuesday.
After serving up a solo home run to Troy Tulowitzki to begin the Rockies’ half of the 9th, Reed’s seven home runs surrendered on the year became the most among major relief pitchers.
The Diamondbacks improved to 13-8 when their starter throw a quality start. They are 10-4 when starters through a quality start on the road.
Reed collected his 15th save of the season, striking out two of the batters he faced and needing just 17 pitches, though giving up a home run and a single in the frame.
Diamondbacks hitters have scored 39 total runs in the four games that Anderson has started this season — working out to 9.75 per game on average. Their four on Tuesday were the fewest they’ve ever scored behind the pitcher.
Starting first baseman Nick Evans hit his first home run since Sept. 3, 2011 when he got the Diamondbacks on the board with a solo shot in the fourth inning.