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Oakland Athletics Minor League Notebook: Lake Monsters rolling

The Vermont Lake Monsters extended their pitching staff scoreless streak to 34 innings and the AZL A’s broke out offensively in an otherwise down night in the Oakland Athletics system.

Argenis Blanco / Photo by Kimberly Contreras
Argenis Blanco had a strong start for Vermont. / Photo by Kimberly Contreras

The Vermont Lake Monsters’ pitching staff tossed its third straight shutout and the Lake Monsters won for the fifth straight game, defeating the Hudson Valley Renegades, 7-0, on Saturday night.

Anthony Churlin the first home run of his professional career, a three-run shot in the sixth inning that blew open the game for the Lake Monsters. Every Vermont hitter had a hit, with Lana Akau leading the way with two hits. Jack Meggs singled to extend his hitting streak to six games.

Argenis Blanco had an outstanding outing as the Lake Monsters’ starter. The 21-year-old right-hander allowed just three hits and two walks in six innings. He struck-out eight in his best start of the season thus far. Malik Jones, in his Vermont debut, threw two one-hit innings, striking out two. Michael Danielak worked a one-two-three ninth to preserve the shutout.

The Vermont pitching staff hasn’t allowed a run in 34 straight innings. Vermont is now 12-6 on the season and in first place in the Stedler division by three games.

Other Notes:

— The A’s optioned Franklin Barreto to Triple-A Nashville on Saturday to make room on the 25-man roster for RHP Chris Smith, who got the start for the A’s against Seattle. Barreto returns to Nashville having .190/.261/.381 with two homers and two stolen bases in 11 games in his first stint in the big leagues. Smith threw six innings for the A’s on Saturday night in the first major league start of his career. He allowed three runs on six hits and one walk, striking out four. Smith earned a no-decision in the A’s 4-3 win over Seattle.

— The A’s also activated Josh Phegley off of the paternity leave list and designated catcher Ryan Lavarnway for assignment. If Lavarnway clears waivers, he is expected to return to Nashville. He made one start for the A’s while Phegley was on leave.

— Austin BeckNick Allen and Skyler Weber each tripled and the AZL A’s cruised to a 9-3 win over the AZL White Sox. Hunter Hargrove had three hits — including two doubles — to raise his average to .313. Allen, Mickey McDonald and Enrry Pantoja each had two-hit games. Adrian Spitz picked up his first pro hit and first pro RBI with a pinch-hit single in the seventh. Pat Krall (2.1 innings) and Caleb Evans (2 innings) each had scoreless relief outings.

— Josh Smith allowed two runs in the top of the ninth and the Nashville Sounds suffered a tough 3-2 defeat to the Memphis Redbirds on Saturday. Frankie Montas had his best start for Nashville, tossing four scoreless innings. He allowed only one hit and two walks and he struck-out five. Joey Wendle and Jaff Decker each had two-hit games.

— Grant Holmes had his first poor start in more than three weeks and the Midland RockHounds were blown out by the Tulsa Drillers, 13-2. Holmes allowed four homeruns and was charged with eight runs on eight hits in four innings. He walked four and struck-out five. J.P. SportmanJordan Tarsovich and Viosergy Rosa each had two-hit games. Andy Paz, a catcher, threw the eighth inning for Midland. He was charged with two unearned runs on three hits.

— Angel Duno allowed six runs (three earned) in four innings in a 7-3 loss to the Lancaster JetHawks. Santiago Chavez had two doubles and Sandber Pimentel had two hits to pace the Ports’ offense.

— Matthew Milburn had another solid start, but the Beloit Snappers lost to the Kane County Cougars, 2-1. Milburn allowed two runs on four hits in five innings. He struck-out six. The right-hander has allowed just four runs over his last four starts (25 innings). Milburn has struck-out 32 and has walked three during that span. Heath Bowers threw three shutout innings in relief of Milburn to lower his ERA to 2.17. The Snappers had just eight hits, with three coming off the bat of Edwin Diaz. One of Diaz’s hits was a triple. Mike Martin had two hits.

— The DSL A’s dropped a 4-2 decision to the DSL Red Sox. Kevin Richards doubled and tripled and Rafioby Urena had two hits in the loss. Angello Infante allowed a run on three hits in 4.1 innings of relief. He struck-out two. Infante has a 1.48 ERA and a 21:4 K:BB in 29.1 innings this season.

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