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Oakland A’s Minor League Notebook: Sounds zeroing in

Every Oakland A’s affiliate found itself in the win column on Wednesday night. We dive into the night’s action.

Starter Paul Blackburn. / Photo by Chris Lockard
Nashville starter Paul Blackburn put together his second scoreless start. / Photo by Chris Lockard

Sounds toss second straight shutout

The Nashville Sounds are hot at the plate, and they may be even hotter on the mound. Three Nashville pitchers combined on the team’s third shutout in four games in a 4-0 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers on Wednesday night. Only a two-out ninth inning rally by the Sacramento River Cats on Monday stands between Nashville and four consecutive shutouts.

Paul Blackburn threw his second straight scoreless outing, going seven strong innings. He scattered five hits and two walks and he struck-out six. Blackburn also picked off former A’s outfielder Billy Burns twice (once at first and once at second). Burns was also caught stealing in the game. Blackburn has thrown 13 scoreless innings over his last two starts. His ERA is down to 3.33 and PCL batters are hitting only .221 against him.

Tucker Healy and Simon Castro each threw a scoreless inning to nail down the shutout. Healy’s ERA is 1.06 and he hasn’t allowed a run over his last eight outings.

Nashville managed only five hits off of the Storm Chasers, but they walked 10 times. Matt Olson continued his torrid streak at the plate with a double, a single and a walk in three official at-bats. He has a nine-game hitting streak and is now batting .286 with a 944 OPS. Jaycob Brugman and Melvin Mercedes each reached base three times, with Brugman walking all three times and Mercedes collecting a single and two walks. Franklin Barreto added a double in four at-bats.

The Sounds are now 23-20 on the season.

Midland outlasts Arkansas in back-and-forth affair

In a game that saw four lead changes, the Midland RockHounds scored last to earn a 7-5 win over the Arkansas Travelers. Lou Trivino and Kyle Finnegan combined to throw 4.2 scoreless innings to give Midland the win.

The RockHounds were the first to strike, scoring single runs in the first and second innings. Midland starter Joel Seddon ran into trouble in the third and fourth innings, however, giving up three runs in the third and two in the fourth. The RockHounds tied the game with a three-run rally in the fifth and then took the lead for good in the seventh on a rally started by a triple from Yairo Munoz.

The game-winning rally came with a painful price for the Travelers, who lost prospect Ian Miller to an injury after he went after Munoz’s drive unsuccessfully. After Munoz tripled, Miller left the game, which caused four different players to move positions for Arkansas. The RockHounds quickly took the lead after the injury delay, when Richie Martin singled home Munoz. Martin was only in the game after taking over for Max Schrock, who left after scoring a run in the fifth inning. Martin would come around to score on a J.P. Sportman double to give the RockHounds their final margin of victory.

Schrock, Munoz, B.J. Boyd and Tyler Marincov each had two-hit games. Viosergy Rosa walked three times. The RockHounds had 11 hits and eight walks in the game. Martin had two at-bats after entering mid-game and he had the game-winning hit and a walk.

Trivino got the win with 2.2 scoreless innings in relief of Seddon. Trivino struck-out three, walked one and allowed two hits. Finnegan earned his sixth save with two scoreless innings. He struck-out three.

Midland is now four over the .500 mark at 25-21, a game back of first-place San Antonio.

Meisner shines again in Stockton win

Stockton Ports’ starter Casey Meisner threw 6.2 strong innings in a 7-3 Stockton win over the Visalia Rawhide. Meisner has allowed just six earned runs over his last 24.1 innings (2.22 ERA).

The Ports got homers from Skye Bolt (4), Brett Siddall (5) and Trent Gilbert (3). Siddall’s homer was a two-out, three-run blast in the sixth that doubled Stockton’s lead from 3-0 to 6-0. The Ports had 11 hits on the night, including two from Gilbert, Josh Vidales and Seth BrownMikey White had a hit and a walk. He has seven walks over his last nine games.

Meisner threw a season-high 6.2 innings to earn the win. He was charged with three runs (two earned) on eight hits and two walks. He struck-out seven. Meisner lowered his season ERA from 5.50 to 5.06. He has a 46:9 K:BB in 42.2 innings this season. Chris Jensen took over for Meisner in the seventh. Jensen allowed an inherited runner to score, but threw 2.1 hitless innings. He struck-out three.

With the win, the Ports moved to 22-25 on the year.

Beloit splits a double-header

The Beloit Snappers split their double-header with the Wisconsin TimberRattlers on Wednesday night, winning game one on a walk-off and losing game two despite a final at-bat rally.

In game one, pitching dominated, as neither team scored until the bottom of the sixth, when Luis Barrera hit a sacrifice fly to give the Snappers a one-run lead. After the TimberRattlers tied the game on back-to-back doubles off of Heath Bowers in the top of the seventh, the Snappers rallied to load the bases for Nate Mondou, who promptly hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to give Beloit the walk-off, 2-1 win.

Brandon Bailey tossed four scoreless innings as the starter in game one. He allowed three hits and one walk and he struck-out five. Bailey hasn’t allowed a run since April 24 and is riding a 21 inning scoreless streak. He has a 2.32 ERA and a 34:8 K:BB in 31 innings.

Bowers got the win after allowing one run in three innings. He didn’t walk or strike-out a batter and he allowed two hits.

In the night cap, Wisconsin scored twice in the second and twice more in the third off of starter Matthew Milburn to take a 4-0 lead. The Snappers got one back in the bottom of the third and didn’t score again until their last at-bat in the seventh, when they scored twice but fell just short of tying or winning the game when Mondou flew out with the bases loaded to end the game.

Milburn was charged with four runs (three earned) in five innings. He struck-out seven and walked two. Sam Sheehan threw two scoreless innings in relief of Milburn. He struck-out two and allowed just one hit.

The Snappers are 22-23 on the year.

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