The Arizona Diamondbacks had the worst ERA of any starting rotation through mid-May and were searching for someone to provide a spark when they promoted Chase Anderson from the minors.
It may only be a coincidence that the staff has improved greatly since his call-up, but Anderson has continued to impress.
The right-hander takes the mound Wednesday night as Arizona looks to deal the visiting Cleveland Indians a fifth straight defeat.
Diamondbacks' starters had a 5.57 ERA through May 10, one day before Anderson (5-2, 3.18 ERA) made his major league debut. The rotation has a respectable 4.12 ERA since, in part because of Anderson's efforts.
The rookie has taken the loss in his last two starts, but he pitched nearly as well as he did while winning the first five of his career. He gave up two runs in five innings of a 4-3 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 13 before allowing three runs -- two earned -- in six innings of Thursday's 4-1 loss to Milwaukee.
Anderson has allowed two or fewer earned runs six times.
"(Thursday) was one of the better days I've felt out there," Anderson said. "It's frustrating because I try to go out there and not give up any runs. You have to go out and just keep it at the minimum."
Anderson will be looking for another solid outing against the Indians (37-40), who will counter with Corey Kluber as he looks to build off a solid outing.
Kluber (6-5, 3.30) went 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA over his previous three starts before allowing two runs in seven innings of Friday's 6-4 loss to Detroit. He received no run support and has gotten just one run from his offense in 17 1/3 innings over his last three outings, though he blames himself for a costly pitch that resulted in a two-run homer against the Tigers.
"For the most part, I was able to pound the strike zone and work ahead of guys," Kluber said. "Unfortunately, the mistake I made to Victor (Martinez) ended up being a big one."
The right-hander was forced to pinch-hit in Tuesday's series opener that needed 19 pitchers to complete a marathon of over five hours that Arizona finally won 9-8 in 14 innings.
"It felt like seven (hours)," Arizona's Miguel Montero said. "The game was slow anyway. Through seven it was like a three-hour game already. We had to play the extra innings and that made it longer. If we have to play 10 hours just to get the win, we will take it."
Aaron Hill singled over the drawn-in outfield in his eighth at-bat of the night to drive in Gerardo Parra, who went 5 for 7 after going 4 for 33 over his previous eight.
The Diamondbacks (33-47), who went 7 for 24 with runners in scoring position, have gone just 3-5 on their homestand that ends with this contest. Their 15 home wins are the fewest in the majors.
"Guys just kept battling," Hill said. "It's a complete team effort and it's fun to come out on top in this one."
Cleveland had plenty of chances to pick up a victory in the opener of an eight-game road trip. It led 4-1 in the second inning and took the lead back in the 11th on Carlos Santana's two-run homer.
The Indians also got the leadoff hitter on base in the 12th and 14th.
Cleveland has been outscored 41-25 while dropping five of its last seven on the road.
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