Tyler Anderson pitches a gem for Rockies in huge victory over Marlins

Carlos Gonzalez was asked how he thought the Rockies would respond to the mounting pressure to clinch a playoff berth.

“I guess we’ll see, won’t we?” the Rockies right fielder said before Tuesday night’s game, flashing a knowing grin.

Psychic? Nope, just confident that his team would pull out of its recent funk and take care of business with a possible trip to the playoffs near the tipping point.

And that’s exactly what the Rockies did, combining a stellar seven-inning start from left-hander Tyler Anderson and uplifting home runs from Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado to beat Miami 6-0 at chilly Coors Field.

It was Colorado’s seventh shutout at home this season, a new franchise record.

With four games remaining in the regular season, the Rockies (85-73) still have a lot of work to do, and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is four. They hold a 1½-game lead over Milwaukee, which beat Cincinnati 7-6, in the race for the National League’s second wild card and are 2 ½ in front of St. Louis, which beat the Cubs 8-7.

Anderson was brilliant, and not just because he negated Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton three times. Stanton, still sitting on 57 home runs, is 1-for-9 thus far in the series.

Anderson allowed just four hits, whiffed five and walked none. He masterfully mixed his fastball, cutter and changeup.

“The big (thing) today was that this was a game we needed to win,” Anderson said. “And you know going into a game at Coors Field that you can’t walk anybody. So the whole goal tonight was not to walk anybody, and we did that.”

He induced key double plays in the second and third innings, but he had to stare down big trouble only once.

Brian Anderson and Miguel Rojas opened the sixth with back-to-back singles, but Anderson never got rattled. He struck out pinch-hitter A.J. Ellis looking at a fastball that nipped the inside corner. Then Anderson got Dee Gordon to fly out to left field and got Stanton on a comebacker to the mound.

“We talk all of the time about the importance of starting pitching and our guy did an outstanding job tonight,” manager Bud Black said. “It was well-executed all the way through. I thought he and Jon (catcher Jonathan Lucroy) did an excellent job attacking their lineup.”

Since returning from knee surgery and coming off the disabled list Sept. 10, Anderson has shut down hitters to the tune of a 1.19 ERA over four appearances, including three starts.

What’s more, Anderson is emerging as a young pitcher who thrives at Coors Field. Through 20 career appearances (19 starts) at the mile-high ballpark, his 3.39 ERA is the best in franchise history among pitchers with more than 100 innings pitched.

The Rockies’ frequently stalled offense received an immediate jump-start when Charlie Blackmon led off the first with a walk and DJ LeMahieu followed with a single. Gonzalez grounded into a double play, but he managed to knock in Blackmon for a 1-0 lead.

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