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Oakland A’s Minor League Notebook: Snappers bust out

Luke Persico, Evan Manarino, Tyler Marincov and Tyler Ramirez had nights to remember on Thursday night. We detail all of the night’s action in this edition of Oakland A’s Minor League Notebook.

Luke Persico / Photo by David Malamut
Luke Persico had four hits to pace a 15-hit Beloit attack. / Photo by David Malamut

Snappers rout Timber Rattlers

The Beloit Snappers brought out the big bats on Thursday night, crushing the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers by a score of 15-2. The Snappers had 17 hits — including seven extra-base hits — and seven walks.

Luke Persico had a career night, collecting four hits and five RBI. Two of his four hits were doubles. The UCLA alum was the A’s 12th-round pick last season. He began the year at Extended Spring Training but joined the Snappers’ roster on day two of the season when Mike Martin landed on the DL. Since then, Persico has been one of the top hitters in the Midwest League. In 37 games, he is batting .311/.366/.480 with 17 extra-base hits. A corner infielder in college, Persico moved to the outfield after turning pro and he has played mostly corner outfield this season, with a few games at first base mixed in. Persico is a player the A’s scouted during his high school days in Southern California and they felt he had more potential than his 727 career OPS at UCLA would have indicated.

Several Beloit hitters had big games at the plate, including Nate Mondou, who raised his average to .321 with a three-hit night. He has a five-game hitting streak. Edwin Diaz also had three hits and he is batting .394 over his last 10 games. The talented defensive infielder has a .263/.355/.447 line for the year.

Collin Theroux and Jason Goldstein had big games at the bottom of the Snappers’ line-up. Both had two hits and two walks each and they scored five runs between the two of them. Luis Barrera (2) and Miguel Mercedes (8) each homered. Barrera has homered in two of his last three games, and his lead-off homer set the tone for the game. Mercedes’ homer was a three-run blast.

Dalton Sawyer, who has quietly been the Snappers’ ace this season, worked six innings to earn the win. He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks. Sawyer struck-out seven. He has been so good this season that his ERA went up despite the quality start. His ERA is now 2.00 for the year. Sawyer’s six innings were a career-high.

Seth Martinez earned his second career save and first of the season with three scoreless innings to close out the game. The Arizona State alum allowed only one hit and one walk and he struck-out one. Martinez has given up just one earned run in 8.1 innings since joining the Snappers in mid-May from Extended Spring Training.

The Snappers are now back to .500 at 23-23 on the season.

Marincov powers RockHounds to victory over Travelers

Tyler Marincov had a homer, a triple and five RBI in the Midland RockHounds 8-1 win over the Arkansas Travelers. Grant Holmes and Kyle Friedrichs combined to stifle the Arkansas offense, while the RockHounds used two four-run innings to give Holmes and Friedrichs plenty of cushion.

Midland hung a four spot on the Travelers in the first inning. Brett VertiganYairo Munoz and B.J. Boyd all singled to start the first inning, with Vertigan scoring on Boyd’s base-hit. Marincov then tripled into the right field corner to score two. He would later score the inning’s fourth run on a J.P. Sportman RBI groundout. In the fourth, Marincov hit a one-out, three-run homerun to give the RockHounds an 8-0 lead.

Midland didn’t score after the fourth, but they didn’t need it. Holmes had one of his best starts of the season. The hard-throwing 21-year-old right-hander went a season-high six innings. He allowed only two hits and one earned run. Holmes struck-out six and walked three. He has 47 strike-outs and 22 walks in 42.2 innings this season. Friedrichs earned his first save of the season with three scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit and he struck-out two.

Marincov’s homer was his seventh of the season. He has reached double-digits in homers in each of his three previous full minor league seasons. Munoz also had a two-hit night and he is batting .282 over his last 10 games. After a slow start, he has brought his average up to .266.

Midland is now five games above the .500 mark at 26-21. Before the game, the RockHounds said good-bye to two of the stalwarts on their pitching staff: right-handers Corey Walter and Jake Sanchez. Walter and Sanchez were both promoted to Triple-A Nashville. They were two of the prospects that we featured were overdue for a promotion in an article on May 16.

Manarino, Ramirez carry Ports to victory

Evan Manarino threw seven scoreless innings and Tyler Ramirez homered twice for a 2-0 Stockton Ports’ win over the Visalia Rawhide.

Manarino became the first Stockton pitcher to throw seven innings this season in his best start of the season. The left-hander scattered six hits and he didn’t walk anyone. He struck-out six and lowered his ERA to 3.21. Cody Stull earned a save with a two-inning appearance. It was his first outing since re-joining the Ports from Midland. He retired all six batters he faced, striking out two.

Ramirez was all the offense Manarino and Stull would need. The left-fielder homered in the fourth and then again in the ninth to provide Stockton all of its offense for the night. The homers were his fourth and fifth of the year. He had three hits total in the game and is batting .308 with an 843 OPS for the year. Sean Murphy also had a three-hit game, raising his average and OPS to .263 and 810 OPS, respectively.

The Ports are now 23-25 on the year.

Sounds’ winning streak ends at four

Matt Chapman and Joey Wendle both homered, but the Nashville Sounds fell to the Omaha Storm Chasers, 8-4.

Chapman’s homer was his 11th of the season, all of them coming in the month of May. He also had a single and a walk and he raised his OPS to 943. Wendle homered for the third time in his last five games. He has five homers on the season. Matt Olson continued his hot hitting with two hits in five at-bats. The first of his two singles was a bunt to the left side of the infield to beat the shift. He is batting .289 with a 940 OPS for the season.

Raul Alcantara — pitching in the spot in the rotation that had been filled by Chris Bassitt — had an uneven start. In four innings, he allowed three runs on six hits and one walk. He struck-out two. Bassitt is expected to get extra time before his next start after experiencing soreness during his last rehab start, which came on Saturday (read our report on the start).

Felix Doubront made his 2017 debut when he came on in relief of Alcantara in the fifth inning. He allowed three runs in one inning, only one earned. Doubront gave up two hits and one walk. He struck-out one. Doubront had Tommy John surgery last April. He is looking to make his return to the big leagues as a reliever this season.

Tyler Sturdevant saved the Sounds’ bullpen, throwing four innings. He allowed two unearned runs on one hit and three walks.

The Sounds are 23-21 on the year.

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