PHOENIX — Chase Anderson appears to have his fast start in the proper perspective.
Anderson became the third pitcher since 1998 to win his first five major league starts when the Diamondbacks would not let him leave a 6-5 victory over Atlanta without a rousing sendoff, continuing the support they have shown him all season.
Two-run homers by David Peralta, Anderson’s teammate at Double-A Mobile a month ago, and Paul Goldschmidt gave the Diamondbacks a 6-2 lead in the seventh inning, when Anderson was removed for a pinch-hitter.
He joined Jered Weaver and Kaz Ishii as the only pitchers to win their first five. The Angels’ Weaver got to 7-0 in 2006. The Dodgers’ Ishii was 6-0 in 2002.
"Words don’t describe that," Anderson said of his start. "I just want to go 1-0, 2-0. Each time I go out, just tying to give the team a chance to win. Five-and-oh feels amazing."
"I don’t play much attention to that," Anderson said.
"I didn’t even know that. I just try to go out each time and be consistent and give the team a chance to win. It turned out good. It’s for the team. That’s what matters."
The D-backs, who have won five of their last six games and are within single-digits of .500 for the first time since April 18, have done some of their best offensive work behind Anderson.
In three starts since Anderson’s debut 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on May 11, the D-backs followed that with an 18-7 victory over the Dodgers, a 12-6 victory over San Diego and a 4-2 victory over Colorado on the days he has worked. He has received 31 of those runs while still in the game.
"That’s like a football score," he said. "When you get that kind of run support, it is not hard to go out there and win games."
It seems axiomatic that a few guys on each staff get good run support and others do not, and that is happening here. Randy Johnson once was the National League pitcher of the month despite recording only one victory because his teammates did not score behind him.
"It’s happened many, many years in this game, that certain guys get run support," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson.
"He keeps the guys in the game. They play well behind him. He gets after the (hitters). That’s one of the things that when you locate, you can pitch some to contact. It keeps everybody in the game. It’s one of those things."
Anderson struck out a career-high eight while working a career-high seven innings. His only blemish was a two-run home run by Justin Upton with two outs in the sixth inning, which gave Atlanta a temporary 2-0 lead.
Anderson had his best fastball command of the season, and catcher Miguel Montero also said his velocity was up. Anderson did not use his changeup much but got a handful of bad swings on his curveball.
"His fastball was the best I have seen it so far this year," catcher Miguel Montero said. "A lot of life on it. His secondary stuff, he was throwing for strikes.
"Obviously I don’t want to anticipate anything, but so far he’s been doing a good job."
Evan Marshall went slider, slider, slider, slider, fastball, fastball, slider, slider to strike out Gerald Laird with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning, maintaining the D-backs’ 6-4 lead.
5 — multi-hit games for Peralta, who has hit safely in all seven of his games. He is the first D-back player to hit in seven straight to begin his career.
* Brad Ziegler said he was told about five minutes before the game that he would be the closer if the D-backs needed one, even though he had pitched in four of the previous five games. Closer Addison Reed was "hanging," Gibson said. "We had to make our choice today. You could tell he’s been used. But he got real smart and kept the ball down." Reed has "a tired arm," Gibson said. "It is nothing more serious than that." Reed had pitched five times in the last nine days and was heated up in the bullpen at least one other time. There is no closer controversy.
* Justin Upton received a mixed response on his weekend visit, and that did not sit well with Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez. "I love the kid. I hate for him to get booed here," Gonzalez said. "He didn’t leave. He got traded. The kid was an All-Star here a couple of times. He is a terrific player. I thought he had a great series and gave us some great at-bats." Upton’s sixth-inning homer broke a 10-game scoreless drought. Valley residents Upton and Brandon McCarthy have become friends, and the two hung out at Upton’s house after Saturday’s game.
* Josh Collmenter, who is to start against Houston on Monday, is 4-0 with a 3.31 ERA in his last eight starts, including a three-hit shutout of Cincinnati on May 29 in which he faced the minimum 27 batters. Collmenter entered the rotation in mid-April after RHP Randall Delgado got off to a slow start.
* Mark Trumbo is anxious to return from the stress fracture in his right foot, but it appears he will need longer than the original estimate of 6-to-8 weeks. Gibson was asked if the All-Star break was a good guess. "The timetable has yet to be defined," Gibson said. "You never really know. In general, the player wants to push. Medically with that type of injury, that is not something you push, because you don’t want to get going the wrong way on that again. They know that from case history." Trumbo has been on the disabled list since April 24.
Anderson knows the damage Peralta can do. Intimately. The players’ parking lot in Mobile is about 20 feet behind the right-field fence, and Peralta found Anderson’s truck during batting practice on the last day Anderson was in town. "It had all my stuff in it, packed up, ready to ship out the next day," Anderson said. "He broke the back window out my truck out. That’s his power."