Canadians’ Anderson uses changeup to perplex Indians
Kyle Anderson has worn a Spokane uniform before, but on Tuesday he just wore out the Spokane Indians.
Anderson, a 6-foot-2 left-hander, baffled the Indians for six shutout innings as the Vancouver Canadians opened a three-game series at Avista Stadium with a 4-0 decision that ended Spokane’s four-game winning streak.
After playing for 11 innings and 3 hours and 59 minutes on Monday, the Indians were done in 2:18.
Calling upon an effective changeup, Anderson (1-0) threw 50 of his 68 pitches for strikes. He allowed two hits, both singles, struck out three and walked none. Relievers Alvido Jimenez, Tim Brechbuehler and Chuck Ghysels pitched one shutout inning apiece in a game in which no Indians reached third base.
“(The changeup has) kind of been my best pitch ever since college and that’s what I use, my bread and butter,” Anderson said. “I was locating it well today and when you locate a good changeup, it comes out looking like your fastball.”
“We didn’t make adjustments at all to the left-hander,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. … “We made it easy for him tonight. He was using his fastball for show and throwing a lot of changeups — probably two, sometimes three, to a hitter.”
Vancouver (7-5) kept the Indians (5-7) from creating a tie for second place in the Northwest League’s North Division. Spokane, shut out for the first time this season, was aiming for its first five-game winning streak since June 2011.
Anderson, who was born in Woodinville, Wash., pitched for the Spokane RiverHawks of the West Coast League in 2009. He graduated from Aptos (Calif.) High, near San Jose, and pitched four years for Cal Poly of San Luis Obispo until last spring.
The Toronto Blue Jays signed Anderson as a nondrafted free agent last summer and sent him briefly to the Gulf Coast League. He started eight games and went 4-2 for the Canadians during their NWL championship season in 2012.
“I got a ring in Spring Training, which is always nice,” Anderson said. “We kind of got hot in the playoffs and got hot down the stretch.”
Anderson retired 11 consecutive batters after Roberto Duran’s one-out single in the third.
Spokane’s Eric Brooks relieved Alex Gonzalez (0-3) in the third and retired 14 consecutive batters. Vancouver nicked Brooks for a run and a 2-0 lead in the seventh with two singles and a balk.
Kyle Castro was supposed to pitch instead of Brooks, but the Indians left him off the official game roster.
“(Castro) inadvertently got left off, but ‘Brooksy’ came in and did a fantastic job,” Hulett said. “That’s the best he’s thrown all year for us. … I think he’s just down there in the bullpen, ‘chillaxing,’ and then all of a sudden, man, he’s in the game.”
Indians second baseman Evan Van Hoosier was sidelined for the fourth consecutive game with a tweaked back. Van Hoosier is hitting .333 (6 for 18) with three doubles. … Indians catcher Joe Jackson (broken finger) hopes to return within two weeks. Jackson, a fifth-round selection out of The Citadel, was hurt on the first day of minicamp.