"I felt good coming out of the bullpen, so I knew it was going to be a good night from the get-go," Anderson said.
The Cardinals' trio of first-inning runs were unearned because of a two-out throwing error charged to third baseman Colin Walsh, who struggled in his first Major League start. Randal Grichuk cashed in with a two-run double for a 2-1 Cardinals lead, and Yadier Molina added an RBI single against Anderson, who lamented "trying to do too much" after the error.
He surrendered only one more Cardinals hit through the sixth.
It's a turnaround from Spring Training, when Anderson, assured a spot in a Major League starting rotation for the first time, tinkered with his curveball at the expense of results. He surrendered five home runs in 14 2/3 Cactus League innings and posted a 9.82 Arizona ERA.
"I know in Spring Training he was working on some stuff, and now you see it [coming to] fruition," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "You've got a guy who can pretty much throw any pitch in any count, any time he wants. When you have a guy like that, you're going to have a long night [as a hitter]."
Said Anderson: "Stuff-wise [the is no change]. Conviction to pitches and execution, that's different, for sure. When games start, the adrenaline gets flowing and you get more focused. You do your scouting reports before the game and you get locked in. It counts against our record now, so it's more meaningful."
Does his spotless ERA after two outings qualify as a surprise?
"I wouldn't say that," manager Craig Counsell said. "If you look at his track record with Arizona, this guy gets outs."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.