— Right-handers Norge Ruiz and Brandon Bailey joined the Stockton Ports’ pitching staff on Saturday. Ruiz came to Stockton from the Arizona Rookie League, while Bailey moved up from Low-A Beloit. Bailey had a 2.68 ERA in 57 innings for the Snappers. He struck-out 73 and walked 21. In college, Bailey once had a 17-strikeout game in a WCC tournament game at Banner Island Ballpark, the home of the Ports. Ruiz makes the jump to full-season ball after five starts with the A’s Rookie level squads. The native of Cuba signed a seven-figure deal with the A’s this off-season but was held back in the Dominican Republic at the start of the season thanks to visa issues.
— The Ports bid adieu to one of their top offensive performers this season, OF Tyler Ramirez, who moved up to Double-A Midland on Saturday. Ramirez hit .301/.399/.434 with seven homers and 45 walks in 76 games for Stockton. He was a mid-season California League All-Star. Ramirez joins A.J. Puk and Sean Murphy as members of the A’s 2016 draft class to reach Double-A.
— On Friday, the Ports placed Chris Iriart on the seven-day disabled list and LHP Cody Stull was promoted to Double-A Midland. In addition, RHP Ben Bracewell was promoted from Midland to Triple-A Nashville. Bracewell took the rotation spot of Paul Blackburn, who made his major league debut on Saturday.
— To make room for Blackburn on the A’s roster, Oakland optioned reliever Josh Smith to Triple-A. Smith has a 6.75 ERA in 24 innings for the A’s this season.
A’s agree to terms with four remaining top-10 round picks
The Oakland A’s officially signed their last four remaining top-10 round picks on Saturday: Greg Deichmann (second round), Nick Allen (third round), Brian Howard (eighth round) and Jared Poche (ninth round). Deichmann signed for $1.7 million, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. Allen signed for $2 million, according to team sources. Poche and Howard each signed for $40,000, according to Callis. The A’s have signed 35 of their 41 selections. Only Garrett Mitchell remains unsigned from the A’s top-20 round selections. The Southern California outfielder is expected to honor his commitment to UCLA.
— Marcus Semien made a significant impact in his first rehab game with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. Semien had two hits, including a walk-off, two-run single that gave the Sounds a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Bracewell got the start in the place of Blackburn, and Bracewell gave the Sounds four solid innings. He allowed two runs on six hits and two walks. He struck-out three. Jake Sanchez threw two scoreless innings in relief of Bracewell, allowing just two hits and striking out two. His ERA with Nashville is down to 1.69. After Felix Doubront allowed two runs in two innings of relief, Simon Castro threw a scoreless ninth to give the Sounds a chance to make a comeback. With one-out, Yairo Munoz singled to start the rally. Kenny Wilson then doubled Munoz to third and Semien ended the game with a line-drive into the gap. Munoz went 3-4 and Wilson had two hits. Beau Taylor doubled and walked. He is 6-15 with three walks since joining the Sounds. The Nashville pitching staff held Dodgers’ prospect Alex Verdugo without a hit, snapping his 20-game hitting streak.
— The Vermont Lake Monsters also had a walk-off win on Saturday. Pinch-hitter Jarrett Costa singled home Jack Meggs in the bottom of the 10th to give Vermont a 3-2 win. Bryce Conley and Michael Danielak each threw two scoreless innings in their Lake Monsters’ debuts. Oscar Tover took over in the fifth and threw five innings, allowing two runs on three hits and four walks. He struck-out two. Branden Kelliher got the win with a scoreless top of the 10th inning. Aaron Arruda had two hits and a walk to pace the Vermont offense. Kevin Merrell collected his first professional triple. Ryan Gridley and Lana Akau each had two-hit games. Both of Gridley’s hits were doubles, his first two doubles of his career.
— A wild pitch sent home Brett Siddall with two-outs in the bottom of the eighth, breaking a 4-4 tie. The Stockton Ports would hold on to earn a 5-4 win over Visalia. Norge Ruiz got the start for the Ports, but it was Brendan Butler who put on a show on the mound. Taking over for Ruiz in the fifth, Butler threw five scoreless innings to earn the win. He struck-out six, walked two and allowed just three hits. Ruiz was charged with four runs on six hits and a walk in his Stockton debut. He struck-out one in four innings of work. Skye Bolt homered, singled and walked to ignite the Ports’ offense. Sandber Pimentel had two doubles and Seth Brown had two hits. Matt Chapman, playing DH, went 0-4 in his rehab appearance for the Ports.
— Dustin Hurlbutt struggled with his command in his Double-A debut, and the Midland RockHounds fell to the Springfield Cardinals, 4-3. Hurlbutt was uncharacteristically wild, walking six in 4.1 innings. He allowed four runs on four hits and he struck-out two. Sam Bragg (2.2 innings) and Carlos Navas (2 innings) combined to keep the Cardinals off of the scoreboard after the fifth inning. Jordan Tarsovich had three hits and B.J. Boyd and Max Schrock each had two hits to pace the Midland offense. Sean Murphy had a double in four at-bats. He has seven hits over his first three games in Double-A.
— Miguel Romero threw two innings in his Beloit Snappers’ debut. The native of Cuba allowed two runs on two hits, walking one and striking out two. Seth Martinez took over from there and was brilliant but earned a tough-luck loss. Martinez allowed just one hit in six innings. He struck-out seven and walked one, but he was charged with two runs (one earned). Martinez has a 1.98 ERA in 36.1 innings for Beloit and Vermont this season. John Gorman finished off the game with a scoreless inning. The Snappers managed just five hits in the game, two of them coming from Luke Persico. Eric Marinez hit his third homerun of the season, a solo shot.
— A late comeback fell short for the AZL A’s, who lost to the AZL Giants, 9-8. Nick Allen made his professional debut in the game, entering in place of Yerdel Vargas midway through the game. Allen went 0-2 with two strike-outs. Logan Farrar had three hits, including two doubles, to raise his average to .619. Hunter Hargrove had four hits, including his first double. Mickey McDonald had two hits and scored three runs and Vargas reached twice with a hit and a walk. Lazaro Armenteros had a single in five at-bats. Osvaldo Berrios made his professional debut. He allowed three runs on five hits in 1.2 innings as the starter. Caleb Evans threw 2.1 scoreless innings in relief, his second two-inning scoreless appearance. Heath Donica allowed five runs (three earned) in 1.1 innings. Carlos Sanchez allowed a run in 2.2 innings and Brandon Marsonek threw a scoreless ninth. He struck-out two.
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