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Colorado Rockies rookie battery shines in 8-3 win over Phillies

Tyler Anderson and Tony Wolters combined on both sides of the ball to propel the Rockies to a win.

Philadelphia Phillies v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

DENVER — As the old saying goes, if you want the job done right, do it yourself, which was the approach Rockies rookie starter Tyler Anderson took to kickstarting the team’s offense in an 8-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

Trailing 2-0 with Tony Wolters on first base and two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Anderson lined Jerad Eickhoff’s first pitch over the out-of-town scoreboard in right field to even the score. It was Anderson’s first professional home run.

“He probably doesn’t want to throw a ball to the pitcher on the first pitch,” Anderson said. “The first pitch before (in the third inning) he threw me a fastball down the middle, it was a good pitch, it was in, so I was hoping he’d do that again.”

Anderson registered the first hit of his big league career, a single to right, in his previous at bat.

It was a bold decision for Rockies manager Walt Weiss to allow Anderson to bat in the fifth, as he had thrown 93 pitches in his first five innings of work. Weiss said he nearly pulled the trigger on a pinch hitter in that spot.

“We needed some length (from Anderson) tonight, that was part of it, the fact that we didn’t have a runner in scoring position, that was a factor, it was one of those tough ones,” Weiss said.

Anderson completed his outing on the mound after the home run by retiring the Phillies with just a dozen pitches in the top of the sixth. He allowed just two runs and scattered nine hits with no walks and six strikeouts on the night, despite a self-professed lack of command. Anderson gave Wolters a lot of credit for helping him get through the outing with his work behind the plate.

“I was really struggling with command of all of my pitches and nothing really seemed to be working right, made a lot of balls hard for him, but Tony helped calm me down and keep me in the game,” Anderson said.

For his part, Wolters gave Anderson credit for being well-prepared going into the game.

“Anderson’s been studying this team for about four days,” Wolters said. “His plan was unbelievable. Sometimes you go on the mound and the timing and stuff isn’t there, but that’s how you know he’s a big league pitcher; he got through a game with zero of his pitches, no command whatsoever, but he got through, he grinded.”

In addition to the role he played defensively, Wolters added a pair of key hits for the Rockies’ offense. In addition to the two-out single that preceded Anderson’s home run in the fifth, Wolters delivered the big blow in a six-run sixth inning for the Rockies with a bases loaded triple that chased Eickhoff from the game.

“That was cool,” Wolters said of his triple. “Help the team, get some insurance runs, got a win, tonight’s a good night.”

The Rockies were already leading 4-2 when Wolters stepped to the plate after Carlos Gonzalez brought home DJ LeMahieu with an RBI groundout and Mark Reynolds drew a bases loaded walk, with Wolters’ triple giving his team a 7-2 lead that stretched to 8-2 when he scored on Brandon Barnes’ double.

The Rockies needed just one man out of the bullpen to finish the game as freshly-minted reliever Jordan Lyles allowed a run on four hits in the final three innings, picking up his second career save. Lyles has a 3.72 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 9 2/3 innings and six appearances since being moved to the bullpen and said he is adjusting well to his new role.

“It’s different,” Lyles said. “The whole process will take its time and I’ll be better throughout the rest of the season.”

The Rockies will look to win the four-game set against Philadelphia tomorrow with Tyler Chatwood on the mound against Zach Eflin, first pitch is at 2:10 p.m.

“It’s not a chance (to win the series), we’re gonna do it,” Wolters said.