Brewers' Anderson, D-backs' Ray to square off (Jun 11, 2017)

BY AP • June 11, 2017

PHOENIX -- Two rising pitchers, perhaps All-Star Game candidates, face off Sunday afternoon as the Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks finish their three-game series.

Milwaukee will go with Chase Anderson (5-1, 2.94 ERA), who has turned a higher velocity and greater assortment of effective pitches into a 21 2/3-inning scoreless streak.

Arizona counters with Robbie Ray (6-3, 2.85), who has gone on a spectacular run the past month. He has allowed one run in his last 30 1/3 innings while going 4-0. He ranks among National League leaders in opponents' batting average (.188, second) and strikeouts (95, sixth).

Anderson, a former D-backs' pitcher, will make his 13th start this season and second against Arizona. He started Tuesday against San Francisco and earned the win, allowing no runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings.

In addition to adding a few miles per hour to his fastball, Anderson has a more effective curveball than the one he possessed when he pitched for Arizona, manager Craig Counsell said.

"He's added a cutter," Counsell said. "He's really a four-pitch pitcher right now. Early in his career, his changeup was his go-to pitch, his bread and butter. (Today) He's got other stuff he can lean on if that's not his No. 1 pitch that day.

"Couple with a little uptick in his velocity and you've got a pretty good pitcher, one that's tough for hitters to handle."

Anderson is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in three career starts against the D-backs, including a 6-1 win May 27 at Miller Park. In that game, he pitched seven innings, allowing one hit and no runs while striking out 11 and walking three.

Ray is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA against the Brewers, including 1-0, 0.00 ERA this season (seven shutout innings on May 25).

Thought his first couple of starts this season "weren't perfect," manager Torrey Lovullo said, "But he got through them. And the past month has been a tremendous run for him."

Watching Ray pitch this season, "I've learned he can make adjustments; he's got tremendous aptitude,'' Lovullo said. "He's one to listen to make improvements and apply things. The fact that it's translated (to his pitching) is a credit to him."

The teams split the first two games of the series. In fact, they've split their entire history against each other; they are 69-69 all time.

This season, the Diamondbacks have been on a roll at home. They have gone 10-1 over their last 11 games at Chase Field and are 13-3 over their last 16.

Their 25-9 start at home is a franchise best through 34 games. They earned their 25th home win last year on Aug. 28.



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