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Minor League Notebooks

Oakland A’s Minor League Notebook: Late-inning drama

Three of four Oakland A’s affiliates saw games decided in the winning team’s final at-bat. We review the night’s drama in this edition of Oakland A’s Minor League Notebook…

Richie Martin / Photo by Kimberly Contreras

Sounds blank River Cats in A’s return to Sacramento

The Nashville Sounds shutout the Sacramento River Cats in the Oakland A’s first game in Sacramento since 2015. The Sounds scored twice in the first and four times in the fourth in the win over the A’s former Triple-A affiliate.

Renato Nunez got the game off to a rousing start with a two-run homerun in the top of the first inning. The homer was his team-leading 11th of the year. Ryan Lavarnway added a three-run shot in the fourth, his fourth homer of the season. Jaycob Brugman added an RBI single in the fourth to close out the Sounds’ scoring.

Nashville didn’t need much offense on Friday night thanks to starter Paul Blackburn. The Bay Area native cruised through six shutout innings. He allowed only two hits and two walks and he struck-out six. Tucker Healy, the only member of the Sounds’ roster to play for Sacramento as a member of the A’s, threw two scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.13. Tyler Sturdevant threw a scoreless ninth to close out the game.

The Sounds are now back to .500 at 19-19.

Martin, RockHounds walk-off San Antonio

Richie Martin lined a single to center to drive home Tyler Marincov and lift the Midland RockHounds over the San Antonio Missions, 6-5.

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, the RockHounds scored five times to take a seemingly commanding lead. J.P. Sportman, Viosergy Rosa, Marincov and Brett Vertigan all drove home runs in that sixth inning. Midland saw its lead shrink to 5-3 in the seventh when the Missions scored two unearned runs off Joel Seddon. Lou Trivino had a rare rough outing in the eighth and he was charged with two runs allowed in 1.1 innings.

With the game tied 5-5 in the ninth, Marincov led off with a walk. With Vertigan at the plate, Marincov stole second and then took third on a wild throw. After Vertigan walked, Martin connected on the game-winning hit.

Kyle Finnegan earned the win with 1.1 scoreless innings in relief. He allowed an inherited runner to score in the eighth but worked a perfect ninth and struck-out two. Cody Stull went 3.1 innings in an emergency start. The lefty allowed one run on four hits. James Naile, the scheduled starter, was a late scratch. Seddon threw three innings in relief of Stull. He allowed just those two unearned runs and he struck-out five.

Sportman had two hits to bring his average to .302 on the year. Martin is batting .333/.444/.389 in 13 games in May.

Stockton falls in extras

Two outs away from a 4-1 win, the Stockton Ports coughed up three runs in the top of the ninth and fell in extra-innings, 9-4, to the Lake Elsinore Storm.

The Ports appeared in control of the game when they scored four times in the sixth to take a 4-1 lead. That score held until the top of the ninth, when Trey Cochran-Gill allowed a one-out RBI single and then a two-out, two-RBI single to blow a save. It was Cochran-Gill’s first outing of the season after starting the year in Extended Spring Training.

After Joey Wagman threw 1.1 scoreless innings in his return to the Ports’ active roster to get the game into the 11th inning. After that, the Ports ran out of pitchers and a string of position players took over. Second baseman Josh Vidales threw a scoreless 11th, but he ran into a buzzsaw in the 12th. He allowed five runs and left with one out in the inning. First baseman Chris Iriart took over for Vidales and left after facing one batter with an apparent injury. Outfielder Seth Brown finished off the inning.

Starter Casey Meisner had a solid outing. He allowed a run on six hits and two walks in five innings. He struck-out six and has now allowed just seven runs over his last 24.1 innings. His season K:BB is 39:8 in 36 innings.

Mikey White had three hits and Tyler Ramirez collected two hits and two walks.

Before the game, the Ports added Wagman and Cochran-Gill to the roster and placed reliever Matthew Sergey on the disabled list.

Beloit goes extras again, fishes out a win

One night after losing a heartbreaker in 15 innings, the Beloit Snappers went into extras again, this time with a different result. A Trace Loehr sacrifice bunt in the top of the 12th scored JaVon Shelby to give the Snappers’ a 2-1 lead over the Peoria Chiefs. Out of pitchers after two straight marathons, Beloit turned to first baseman Kyle Nowlin to pitch the bottom of the 12th. After allowing a lead-off single, Nowlin recorded three flyouts to earn his first professional save.

During regulation, the Snappers managed only a solo homerun from Miguel Mercedes in the seventh. That blast tied the game at 1. The Snappers’ pitching staff was outstanding, allowing just a solo homerun in 12 innings. Dalton Sawyer allowed that run on two hits and two walks in five innings. He struck-out eight. The lefty lowered his ERA to 1.85 on the year.

Heath Bowers took over in the sixth and he threw 3.1 scoreless innings in relief of Sawyer. Bowers struck-out two. Sam Sheehan took the baton from Bowers and took the game through the 11th with 2.2 scoreless frames. He earned the win.

The Snappers had 10 hits in the game. Luis Barrera had three hits and a walk to raise his average to .299. He has a seven-game hitting streak. Edwin Diaz had two hits.

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