Anderson exits season debut after one inning

Dodgers starter gives up five runs, sustains mild left wrist sprain

Anderson exits season debut after one inning

LOS ANGELES -- The hits just keep coming for the Dodgers' rotation.

Brett Anderson left after the first inning of Sunday's 11-3 loss to the Pirates due to a mild left wrist sprain, cutting short his first start with Los Angeles since undergoing back surgery in March.

It is not known if he will have to miss his next start, as the team is waiting to see how his wrist feels Monday before making the call. An X-ray and examination from team doctors revealed no significant problems and the southpaw doesn't expect to need an MRI.

Anderson sustained the injury when he landed awkwardly on his wrist while lunging for an infield single hit by Adam Frazier. After a visit from the trainer and two practice pitches, Anderson finished his inning with a lineout from Chad Kuhl.

"It was just stiff. I threw the warmup pitches and they were OK," Anderson said. "Then I said if I can't get the pitcher out regardless, I shouldn't be out here. Then in the dugout between innings, it stiffened up and I wasn't able to get the same range of motion."

Anderson is of course no stranger to health problems. Before 2015, his healthiest season since 2009, his career was a collection of injury woes: a fractured foot, fractured finger, Tommy John surgery, and another back operation. He was forced to miss five months this season when a herniated disk necessitated surgery in Spring Training.

The awkward lunge and ensuing stiffness ended what had been a miserable return to the mound. The Pirates had five hits, two of them homers, and five earned runs against Anderson, who threw 30 pitches, 19 for strikes, in a single inning.

"Offspeed was OK, fastball when he did throw it, sinker was elevated and he was working behind," manager Dave Roberts said. "Brett, as I've seen in the past, works with good tempo and works to get ground balls, I think I recall one ground ball to the shortstop. Getting behind and leaving fastballs up, that's just not his game."

Brock Stewart, whom Roberts said was called up to the bullpen for coverage in case Anderson's start went south, came in to replace Anderson. The rookie walked four and allowed one run in three innings.

Between Brandon McCarthy's 1 2/3 innings pitched Saturday and Anderson's abbreviated start Sunday, the Dodgers' bullpen was forced to throw more than 15 innings this weekend. They will get at least get some respite with an off-day Monday before heading to Philadelphia.

If Anderson is forced to miss another start or go on the DL, that would only further stress a Dodgers' rotation that has two healthy starters: Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda. Ross Stripling, Julio Urias, and Stewart are all in the bullpen and could present fill-in options for the team's road trip. Even if nothing but misery came after, Anderson did at least see some silver lining in making his way back from back surgery.

"Up until the dive, it was obviously going terrible, but I was at least out there participating. So it was exciting and I was just happy to be on the mound in a big league game. Except, you know, the rockets that were being hit."

Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.