Tyler Anderson’s first 14 innings with the Tri-City Dust Devils were what you might expect from the Colorado Rockies’ first-round draft pick in 2011.
It’s Anderson’s final inning of his last start with the Dust Devils he’d probably like to forget.
Anderson, in town to strengthen a strained rotator cuff, made his final rehabilitation start in Tri-City but committed two errors that cost the Dust Devils in a 4-3 loss to the Emeralds on Thursday night at Gesa Stadium.
Tri-City made things interesting late in the game, nearly erasing a 4-0 deficit after a three-run, eighth-inning double by Michael Benjamin cut the lead to 4-3. But Sean Dwyer struck out with Benjamin on third to end the frame.
Anderson cruised through the first five innings, allowing just one hit. But the former University of Oregon star walked Anthony Torres to lead off the sixth, then dropped the ball — error No. 1 — trying to field a sacrifice bunt by Ronnie Richardson putting runners on first and second with no outs.
He could have pitched out of that mess, but the bad breaks kept coming.
Michael Bass laid down another sacrifice bunt in front of the mound. Anderson and Chris O’Dowd both backed off the ball, thinking the other would field it, and Bass was safe at first to load the bases. After Anderson struck out Hunter Renfroe, Michael Miller laid down another bunt in front of the mound, scoring Torres.
But Anderson’s throw to first bounced off Miller and squirted away, allowing Richardson, making it 2-0 Eugene. Anderson was charged with another error on the play.
He compounded those mistakes with a wild pitch to Ryan Miller, scoring Bass to make it 3-0.
The Ems tacked on another run, which turned out to be the difference-maker, in the top of the eighth. Jason Vargas walked Richardson to lead off the inning. Richardson promptly stole second and scored after O’Dowd’s throw sailed over second base and into center field for Tri-City’s third error of the day.
Anderson (1-1) took the loss, but his ERA did not suffer because of the errors. All three runs he surrendered were unearned, and he will head back to Modesto, the Rockies’ advanced-A affiliate in the California League, with a 0.60 ERA in three NWL starts.
Kyle Lloyd (3-1), who relieved Eugene starter Erik Schoenrock, picked up the win with four scoreless innings of relief while striking out six batters.
Adam Cimber earned his sixth save of the season, allowing a run on one hit in 1 2/3 innings.
The Dust Devils (4-6, second half, 23-25 overall), fell three games behind Everett (7-3, 30-18), which beat Boise 5-1. Luckily, Tri-City is still tied for second in the North Division standings after losses by Spokane (4-6, 24-24) and Vancouver (4-6, 26-22).
Notes: Tri-City had a pair of nice defensive plays on the night. The first was 3B Benjamin, who backhanded Ryan Miller’s hard grounder, planted and threw to get Miller at first. Two innings later, LF Wilson Soriano sprinted to his left and reached over his shoulder to glove Hunter Renfroe’s line drive to left. ... Former Tri-City LHP Chad Bettis made his major league debut in the Rockies’ 11-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Bettis started the game and allowed five runs on six hits in five innings, taking the loss, before being replaced by Manny Corpas, another former Dust Devil, in the sixth inning. ... Dust Devils OF Sean Dwyer will participate in the NWL Home Run Derby in addition to representing Tri-City in the NWL All-Star Game on Aug. 6 at Memorial Stadium in Everett. Dwyer, who has one home run this season, will compete against Yasiek Balaguert (5 home runs) of Boise, Kevin Torres (3) of Spokane, L.B. Dantzler (7) of Vancouver, Trae Santos (3) of Eugene, Yogey Perez-Ramos (0) of Hillsboro, Sam Eberle (5) of Salem-Keizer, and Justin Seager (3) and Phillips Castillo (4) of Everett.