Aaron Hill was not going to let an Arizona Diamondbacks drought drag on any longer.
Arizona was shut out Saturday night by the Colorado Rockies, but Hill quickly got his team on the board Sunday with a single to left-center that scored leadoff man Ender Inciarte.
For the second day in a row, Arizona benefited from some excellent starting pitching. Rookie Chase Anderson was coming off a rough couple of starts, but he had his best stuff going in the finale with the Rockies.
The 26-year-old right-hander struck out eight over six innings, and he held Colorado to five hits over that span and just one run (a Charlie Blackmon solo homer) while not walking a single batter.
The Diamondbacks had a 2-1 lead when Anderson left the game, and they later added some cushion with a big seventh inning. Newcomer Nolan Reimold smacked a pinch-hit two-run homer in the frame, and Hill and Mark Trumbo later drove in runs with a double and a single, respectively.
Colorado would add a run in the ninth inning, but it was far too little, as Arizona took the game and the three-game series with a 6-2 victory. Anderson picked up the win, improving to 8-6 in his rookie year, and Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa dropped to 13-10 with the loss. Anderson’s ERA dropped to 3.75 after the strong performance.
Arizona (57-79) moved to three games ahead of the Rockies (54-82) in the NL West, although both teams are last in the division.
Here’s a look at Sunday’s contest by the numbers:
Arizona reliever Matt Stites again worked the ninth inning for the second day in a row. In both situations, he gave up one run and one hit. Whereas Colorado’s run came on a solo home run Saturday, Stites walked Corey Dickerson on Sunday, who then advanced to third on a Brandon Barnes double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Charlie Culberson — on which Inciarte made a nice diving catch for the second out. Stites got out of the inning with Jackson William’s groundout to second.
Sunday marked Anderson’s third career appearance against the Rockies. In 18 total innings, he’s allowed just three runs — good for a stellar 1.50 ERA.
Between the second and third innings, Anderson struck out five batters in a row, tying him with Dellin Betances and Yordano Ventura for the second-longest streak by a rookie in 2014.
Anderson tied a career high with eight punchouts on the afternoon. He also reached the feat on three prior occasions — June 8, July 7 and July 28.
Trumbo has looked far more comfortable at the plate lately. He reached base Sunday with a single in the third and an RBI single in the seventh. The D-backs oufielder has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games at Chase Field.
Blackmon’s solo shot in the fourth inning was his 14th of the campaign, including his second in as many days. The round-tripper gave him 64 RBI for the season. Of those 64 RBI, nine have been recorded against Arizona — 14 percent of his total production.
Jordan Pacheco’s RBI single off of Jorge De La Rosa was his first since Aug. 3 — a span of 17 appearances.
Hill recorded his fourth multi-hit performance of the month, collecting an RBI single in the first, a triple in the fourth and an RBI double in the seventh. The veteran’s triple was the 40th of the season for Arizona, which leads the National League teams in that category.
Hill’s single in the opening frame plated center fielder Inciarte. For Inciarte, the run was his 43rd of the season — good for second in the National League among rookies (Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton has 70).
With his eight-strikeout performance, Anderson increased his season total to 89. Only New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom has more (106) among all NL rookies.