Anderson unleashed a flurry of fastballs during his 60-pitch outing, and the results were almost exactly what he wanted. The fact that his final pitching line in the 6-1 losshad more crooked numbers than zeroes was of little importance.
"I'm just working on pounding the ball down in the zone," Anderson said. "As soon as I get that, it allows me to do other things. First and foremost, I was trying to get the ball down. I wasn't too worried about locating to each side of the plate. I'm just trying to cut the plate in half and trying to throw down in the zone."
Anderson gave up back-to-back singles to Daniel Descalso and Rafael Ynoa to start the third inning. Descalso scored on ground ball by Charlie Blackmon to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead. The Rockies tagged Anderson for another run in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Brandon Barnes.
Overall, Anderson was charged with two runs on five hits in four innings against the Rockies. He threw 40 strikes.
"This kid has worked his rear-end off," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He's completely changed his body, and because of that, his delivery is better and he's able to execute pitches he couldn't two years ago. He should be excited. We are proud of him."
The 25-year-old Anderson, who is competing with Josh Tomlin and TJ House for a spot in the starting rotation behind Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer, threw two perfect innings against the Reds in his first Cactus League start of spring. He allowed two runs on three hits with three strikeouts in two innings against the Brewers in relief in his second appearance.
"I really tried to get to two strikes without throwing my changeup as much," Anderson said. "I throw that a lot and worked on trying to save it for situations when I get in jams. That really helps me with my other stuff, too, because you can't always be a two-pitch pitcher, and I'm trying to learn how to be a four-pitch pitcher."
Anderson started last season at Double-A, going 3-2 with a 1.73 ERA in 10 starts. He posted a 7-3 record and 3.05 ERA in 15 starts, a span of 91 1/3 innings, for the Indians in 2015.
Infielder Jose Ramirez was hit in left shoulder with a line drive during Thursday's game against the Padres but said he's fine. He participated in all normal activities Friday and expects to be back in the lineup Saturday.