PHOENIX — As
In what Anderson envisioned as the first of 30 or more starts this season, he received a no-decision but pitched six innings in a 10-inning, 4-3 loss to the
"For the first time out, I'll take it," Anderson said. "Hopefully, it will progress from here."
Now, if only he can stay on the field.
Anderson made only 19 starts over the previous three seasons. Last year, he made eight. The year before that, five.
If Anderson was encouraged by how he felt in an injury-free exhibition season, his first regular-season start offered him something on which he could work — namely, keeping the ball down.
A ground-ball machine in
The stadium's retractable roof was open and Anderson thought that was a factor.
"It's tough to make the ball sink," he said.
The innings leading up to the home run were telling.
In the first, A.J. Pollock drove a ball to the warning track in right field.
An inning later,
That set the stage for Goldschmidt to pounce on a first-pitch fastball and send it over the wall in right-center field.
"It was kind of frustrating having one of the better hitters in the
"I was trying to throw a sinker and get a ground ball, but it stayed over the middle and didn't sink too much. He was trying to go the other way to drive in a run and he's one of the handful of guys in the big leagues who has enough power to drive it that way with authority and carry it."
If there was a benefit to the home run, it was that it calmed down Anderson. He didn't allow a run over the next three innings. Only one Diamondbacks player,
"Brett was really good," Manager Don Mattingly said.
As for Gonzalez, he was largely silent. The Diamondbacks wanted it like that, as they walked him twice, once intentionally.
Gonzalez, who made major league history by homering five times in the Dodgers' first three games, singled to left field off Diamondbacks starter Chase Anderson in the first inning.
He was walked by Anderson in the fourth and again in the fifth. The second walk was intentional, when he came to the plate with two outs and
Gonzalez grounded out in the eighth inning, which ended a streak of 10 consecutive plate appearances in which he reached base. In his final at-bat, in the 10th inning, he grounded into a double play.
Including the final two games of last season, Gonzalez had homered in his last five regular-season games.