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Oakland Athletics Minor League Notebook: Down day for pitching

Several of the Oakland A’s top pitching prospects were on the mound on Tuesday. Things did not go according to plan.

A.J. Puk / Photo by Chris Lockard
A.J. Puk had a poor start for Midland. / Photo by Chris Lockard

Puk struggles in Midland loss

A.J. Puk lasted only one inning in a rough outing against the San Antonio Missions. Puk had two strikes on four batters that reached base safely in a five-run first inning that featured four hits, two walks and 44 pitches thrown (27 strikes). Puk’s second start for Midland also came against San Antonio and had similar results (0.1 innings, 3 H, 4 R, 3 BB).

The RockHounds struggled to get out of the early hole in the 11-3 loss. Cody Stull had a strong relief outing, allowing a run in three innings. Brandon Mann threw two scoreless innings in relief, as well.

Midland had eight hits, with two coming from J.P. Sportman and two from B.J. Boyd. Boyd has a seven-game hitting streak. He has 14 hits in his last 31 at-bats. He’s batting .312 on the season. Sportman had two doubles and extended his hitting streak to seven games, as well. Five of the seven games have been multi-hit games. He is batting .292.

Ruiz, Romero struggle in Ports’ marathon loss

Norge Ruiz and Miguel Romero — both signed by the A’s as free agents out of Cuba this off-season — struggled in the Stockton Ports’ 12-10 loss to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

The Ports staked Ruiz to a 6-0 lead in the second inning, but Ruiz wasn’t able to hold the lead. He allowed three runs in the second and four more in the third and left with the game tied, 7-7. Three of the runs scored off of Ruiz were unearned. Ruiz allowed seven hits, including three homeruns. He walked one and struck-out four.

Jared Lyons threw two scoreless innings in relief of Ruiz. Romero, who was added to the Ports’ roster from Low-A Beloit earlier this week, made his Stockton debut in the sixth with the Ports leading 10-7. Romero allowed three runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh. He took the loss. Romero allowed six hits, including two homeruns, and one walk. He struck-out three.

On the offensive-side, Eli White had a game to remember. White went 4-for-5. He scored three times and stole three bases. Luis Barrera had three hits, including his second homer since joining the Ports on July 12. He is batting .308 in seven High-A games. Seth Brown also homered, his 14th of the season.

Mendoza’s scoreless streak snapped in Vermont loss

Abdiel Mendoza‘s 16-inning scoreless streak came to an end in the second inning of his start on Tuesday. The 18-year-old right-hander allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits in 4.2 innings. He walked one and struck-out one. Mendoza was coming off of two straight seven-inning starts in which he didn’t allow a run.

Vermont had eight hits, three of them coming from Anthony Churlin. Two of Churlin’s hits were doubles. He upped his average to .265 and he is five-for-his-last-seven. Greg Deichmann had another good game, collecting two hits. He is batting .355. Jordan Devencenzi reached base three times with a hit and two walks. The East Bay native has 12 walks in 20 games and he has struck-out just five times.

Jean Ruiz had a strong relief appearance, lowering his ERA to 1.96 with three scoreless innings. The 20-year-old has a 16:3 K:BB in 18.1 innings.

Sounds routed in Iowa

Ben Bracewell had a night to forget in the Nashville Sounds’ 16-7 loss to the Iowa Cubs. In 2.2 innings, Bracewell allowed 10 runs (eight earned) on 13 hits. He walked one and struck-out three.

Kyle Finnegan worked 3.1 scoreless innings in relief of Bracewell, but Tucker Healy struggled in his one inning, allowing four runs. Ryan Lavarnway became the eighth position player to pitch for Nashville this season. He allowed two runs on three hits.

Yairo Munoz had a good night at the plate. He had three hits, including a homer. Renato Nunez also had a three-hit game. Two of his three hits were doubles. Mark Canha and Joey Wendle had two-hit games.

Chad Pinder had a hit in five at-bats in his first rehab game. He was in the line-up as a DH. The A’s announced before the game that Kendall Graveman would start Wednesday’s game in his first rehab appearance since injuring his shoulder. Jharel Cotton, who is working his way back from a blister issue, will appear in the game in relief.

DSL A’s drop a pitcher’s duel

The A’s got one good minor league staff pitching performance on Tuesday, but it came in a losing effort. The DSL A’s dropped a 1-0 game to the DSL Royals.

After Miguel Alvarez threw a scoreless first inning, Dennis Herrera allowed a run in five innings. He struck-out five and didn’t walk a batter but got the tough-luck loss. David Montilla threw two scoreless innings to finish off the game.

The A’s had only three hits, and two of them came from wunderkid Iraj Serrano. He is batting .455 and he has a 12-game hitting streak. He has a .556 OBP.


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