SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's not a "stretch" to say that Rockies lefthander Tyler Anderson got a lot out of his six-inning, five-run effort in the Rockies' 8-7 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Salt River Fields on Wednesday night.
Struggles in the early innings when he had go to the stretch -- particularly in the Royals four-run fourth -- prompted Anderson to work completely out of the stretch in his final two innings.
"I just didn't feel comfortable in the stretch," said Anderson. "Out of the windup I was making quality pitches. With runners on I was not throwing good pitches."
After Aldabeto Mondesi led off the fourth with a single the problems began.
Anderson hit Alex Gordon with a 1-1 pitch, and as Jorge Soler struck out, Mondesi and Gordon pulled off a double steal. Frank Schwindel followed with a sacrifice fly. Chris Owings walked on four pitches, and Hunter Dozier hit a three-run home run on a 2-0 pitch. He threw 19 pitches, 11 for balls, and allowed four runs, cutting a 6-1 Rockies lead to 6-5.
The good news in his final two innings, throwing every pitch out of the stretch, Anderson threw 16 of 23 pitches for strikes.
"I thought five of his six innings were outstanding," said manager Bud Black. "
-- DJ Johnson allowed his first run of the spring in the eighth inning, and was charged with the loss. It happened quickly. Brian Goodwin led off with a triple, and Schwindel followed with his second sacrifice fly of the game. Johnson has worked 8 2/3 innings in nine appearances.
-- Nolan Arenado continued on his recent hot streak. Hitting .154 on March 10, he's now hitting .333 after going 2-for-2 with a home run on Wednesday. Arenado is 8-for-11 in his last four games, and 12-for-20 in the last seven.
--Daniel Murphy hit his third home run of the spring on Wednesday, one in each of his last three games. Chris Iannetta also hit his first home run of the spring, only his fourth hit in 31 spring at-bats. Ian Desmond added two RBI and went 3-for-4, raising his average to .314.