TORONTO — Chase Anderson began pitching well in the second half of last season but it was still nearly impossible for him to get through six innings without his pitch count sending him from the game.
Anderson reported to the Milwaukee Brewers’ spring camp this spring vowing to attack the strike zone and stop falling behind in the counts so often. Through his first two starts of the season, the 29-year-old right-hander has done exactly that.
Anderson was masterful Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, blanking the Toronto Blue Jays for seven innings on three hits. He walked two and struck out seven, throwing 59 of 89 pitches for strikes.
The Brewers used that effort to squeeze past Toronto, 2-0, and sweep the two-game interleague series. Afterward, Anderson had every reason to feel great about the way he has begun the 2017 season.
In his two starts, Anderson has pitched 13 innings and allowed only six hits and one run (0.69 earned run average). He has issued four walks and logged 11 strikeouts.
With WBC hero Marcus Stroman on the mound for the Blue Jays, the Brewers knew they had their work cut out. They parlayed opposite-field doubles by Domingo Santana and Keon Broxton in the second inning into the first run of the game.
Stroman and Anderson then settled into an impressive pitching duel. Stroman had retired eight in a row when Jonathan Villar stepped to the plate to open the sixth inning and crushed a 417-foot home run to right-center, giving the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
After Anderson put down the first 10 hitters of the game, the Blue Jays tried to muster a rally against him. With one down in the fourth, Jose Bautista finally provided a base runner with a single to left and Josh Donaldson followed with a walk.
Kendry Morales hit a soft liner toward second base that Villar tried to snare with a diving effort but it eluded him long enough for the runners to advance before he threw to first for the out. The dangerous Troy Tulowitzki drew a walk to load the bases before Russell Martin took a called third strike on a pitch a bit off the plate.
Anderson then settled back down, retiring seven of the next eight hitters. That spell ended when Martin, who was 0 for 20 for the season, belted a double to right-center with two down in the seventh but Anderson retired Steve Pearce on a long fly to center to maintain the 2-0 lead.
Stroman ended up going the full nine innings, allowing seven hits. He fell to 1-1 on the season and still owns the only victory for the Blue Jays (1-7).
After Anderson departed, Corey Knebel pitched a scoreless eighth and Neftali Feliz took care of the ninth, recording his second save.
©2017 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Visit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at www.jsonline.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.