In his fourth start of what so far is a lackluster season, Colorado Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson will try to take a step forward Wednesday.
The Rockies will attempt beat Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for the second time in 11 days when the teams conclude their two-game series at Dodger Stadium.
The Rockies also will be trying to finish their six-game road trip with a fifth victory while sending the Dodgers to a fourth straight loss and beating them for the fourth time in five games this season.
Anderson is 1-2 with an 8.59 ERA in three games, including an April 9 start against the Dodgers at Coors Field. In that outing, Anderson took the loss in a 10-6 drubbing, allowing five hits, including a two-run homer to Corey Seager, and five runs in five innings. Anderson yielded two runs in each of the first two innings, including Seager's homer in the second.
Anderson, who is 2-1 with a 3.28 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers, has yet to pitch six innings in a start this year and has allowed four homers in 14 2/3 innings, an average of 2.45 homers per nine innings. That is far worse than last year, when Anderson made his major league debut in June and in 114 1/3 innings allowed an average of 0.94 home runs per nine innings.
He yielded two homers in a season-low four innings in his last start, losing 8-2 at San Francisco on Friday.
Manager Bud Black said he, pitching coach Steve Foster and bullpen coach Darren Holmes spoke with Anderson about a needed mechanical adjustment to get a better downward plane on his pitches in order to induce the weak contact he got so often last year.
Black told MLB.com, "(We) identified some things we want to put into play physically. Stand a little taller, shorten his stride just a touch and create a little more angle, which I think the guys said he had a little bit more of last year. Over time, his stride has lengthened."
Anderson will be taking the rotation turn that belonged to Jon Gray. The right-hander came out of his last start Thursday with a stress fracture in his left foot and will miss about a month, but because the Rockies were off Monday -- their first off day after opening the season with 14 games in 14 days -- they can start Anderson on regular rest.
Kershaw is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA, having allowed one walk while striking out 22 in 2 1/3 innings. The loss came April 8 at Coors Field when Kershaw gave up back-to-back homers for the first time in his career -- to Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra in the sixth. In six innings, he allowed four runs on eight hits, including three home runs, with no walks and six strikeouts.
He rebounded in his last start, Friday against Arizona, allowing four hits and one run in 8 1/3 innings during a 7-1 win.
Kershaw is 18-6 with a 3.17 ERA in 33 career starts against the Rockies. In his last 10 games at Dodger Stadium, Kershaw is 9-0 with a 0.47 ERA, five walks and 86 strikeouts while limiting opponents to a .129 average.
The Dodgers might be short-handed behind Kershaw. The team will learn the severity of second baseman Logan Forsythe's toe injury when he is re-examined Wednesday morning. Forsythe sustained a right big toe contusion when he was hit on the foot by a Kyle Freeland pitch in the first inning Tuesday. He left the game after the second. X-rays were inconclusive.
"It just hurts," Forsythe said after the Dodgers' 4-3 loss. "I hope it's not (broken), but I guess we'll get that news (Wednesday)."
Rockies aim to end road swing with win over Dodgers