Playing short-handed thanks to an injury to Tyler Marincov and the promotion of outfielder Kenny Wilson, the Midland RockHounds still managed a 6-0 win over the first-half division-winning San Antonio Missions thanks to a dominant effort by Heath Fillmyer.
Fillmyer had the best start of his season, and arguably his professional career. The right-hander threw 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and two walks. He struck-out seven and lowered his ERA to 3.24. Sam Bragg finished off the shutout with 1.2 scoreless frames.
Fillmyer threw exactly 100 pitches to get through his outing, 69 for strikes. He induced seven groundouts and three flyouts. He has allowed one run over his last 19 innings (three starts).
The RockHounds had an unusual defensive alignment on Friday night, with Brett Vertigan (normally a centerfielder) at first base and Yairo Munoz (normally an infielder) in centerfield. Despite the unusual arrangement, the RockHounds played error-free ball. It was Munoz’s first career game in the outfield. Vertigan hadn’t been at first base since 2014 with Vermont.
Munoz and Vertigan also had strong games at the plate. Munoz had two hits, including a double, and he was hit by a pitch. He is now batting .316 on the year. Vertigan went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice. J.P. Sportman also added a hit, a walk and a stolen base. Sportman is batting .280 on the year. He played right field in the place of Marincov, who will be out for awhile after breaking his hand on Thursday.
Before the game, right-hander Ben Bracewell was promoted to Triple-A Nashville. Bracewell has a 6.30 ERA in 50 innings this season, but he had a 2.14 ERA for Midland in 88.1 innings last season.
— Trace Loehr led off the game with a homerun and ignited an offensive outburst from the Beloit Snappers, who earned an 8-1 win over the Clinton LumberKings. Loehr finished the game with two hits and a walk and two RBI. Eric Marinez also homered and had three hits and three RBI, while Nate Mondou, Luis Barrera and Jean Carlo Rodriguez each had two-hit games. Matthew Milburn threw seven outstanding innings, allowing just one run on three hits. He walked one and struck-out a career-high 12 batters. Sam Sheehan struck-out three in his two innings of work to give the Snappers’ 15 strike-outs total for the game.
— The Vermont Lake Monsters built an early 5-0 lead and then held on for a 5-4 win over the Brooklyn Cyclones on Friday. Mike Martin and Roger Gonzalez each drove-in two runs in the win. Ivan Andueza had a solid start, allowing two unearned runs in 5.2 innings. He struck-out four and walked one. Jean Ruiz threw a scoreless seventh and eighth, but ran into trouble in the ninth. He allowed a run and left with one run in and two on after allowing the first three runners to reach base safely. Jose Mora allowed one of the two runners to score but shut the door for his first professional save. The 19-year-old Mora allowed five runs in 1.2 innings in his Vermont debut, so this was a nice redemption outing. Mora struck-out two.
— Brett Siddall homered for the third time in two days, but it wasn’t enough in the Stockton Ports’ 5-3 loss to the Modesto Nuts. Marcus Semien had his first rehab outing for Stockton. He collected a double in three at-bats and he helped turn two double-plays. Siddall had two hits and now has six hits in eight at-bats since the start of the second half. He has his average up to .285 on the year and he has 10 homeruns. Dalton Sawyer got the loss but had a solid start. He allowed two runs in five innings, striking out five. He did walk three.
— The Nashville Sounds dropped under the .500 mark for the first time in more than a month after losing a 4-2 decision to the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Renato Nunez and Joey Wendle each had two hits on a quiet night for the Nashville offense. Franklin Barreto had a hit in five at-bats to extend his hitting streak to five games. Zach Neal was stuck with the tough-luck loss, allowing two runs in five innings. Jake Sanchez threw 1.2 scoreless innings in relief, striking out three. Sanchez has 12 strike-outs in 12 innings since being promoted from Double-A. Former A’s utilityman Max Muncy had a hit and two walks. He is batting .338/.425/.558 for OKC.
— There wasn’t much doing for the DSL A’s on Friday, as they lost to the DSL Red Sox, 7-1. The A’s managed just five hits and an unearned run. Dennis Herrera threw two scoreless innings to start the game. The 18-year-old (no relation to the SF City Attorney) has allowed three runs in 12.1 innings with 16 strikeouts and four walks.
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An interview with Oakland A's 2019 23rd-round pick Jack Cushing.
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Oakland A's affiliates went 3-1 on Opening Night.
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The Oakland A's released several minor league pitchers this week.