A bad start at Gesa Stadium can often lead to a bad finish.
Tri-City Dust Devils starter Tyler Gagnon allowed five runs — four earned — on nine hits, spotting the Eugene Emeralds an early advantage in a 6-1 loss Saturday in front of 3,022 at Gesa Stadium.
Gagnon, a two-time Northwest League pitcher of the week with Tri-City in 2011, looked shaky from the start, walking two and uncorking three wild pitches in the first inning. An RBI double by Trae Santos made it 2-0 Eugene.
The Emeralds got three more in the second, loading the bases with nobody out. A throwing error by Tri-City third baseman Josh Fuentes pulled catcher Robert Perkins off home plate, plating a run and keeping the inning alive. Franchy Cordero made the Dust Devils pay, grounding a two-run single back up the middle for a 5-0 lead.
Eugene added another run in the sixth, an RBI single by Trae Turner, to make it 6-0.
Gagnon (0-1) took the loss as the Dust Devils dropped their second in a row at home.
One bright spot for Tri-City was the effort from relievers Dylan Thompson, Carlos Yan and Josh Michalec, who combined to give up just one run on four hits over the final 42⁄3 innings.
Thompson, who earned his first professional victory Thursday, gave up a run in 22⁄3 innings. Yan and Michalec, the Big Ten’s career leader in saves, each tossed a scoreless frame.
Eugene starter Griffin Russell tossed four scoreless innings, but Wilson Santos (1-0) got the win for the Ems, who won their fourth consecutive game and first of the season on the road.
Turner was one of five Eugene players with two hits, as the Ems had 13 in all.
The Dust Devils, who were held to a season-low one run, got two hits apiece from Mike Tauchman and Fuentes.
Tri-City (3-6) did turn three double plays, which limited the damage in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
w Jack Millikin; 582-1406; firstname.lastname@example.org