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Oakland Athletics Minor League Notebook: Lake Monsters split a pair

It was a light schedule for Oakland Athletics minor league affiliates, but we still have you covered with tidbits on Kevin Merrell, Greg Deichmann, Logan Shore, Daniel Mengden, Brett Graves and more…

Kevin Merrell / Photo by Greg Bessette
Kevin Merrell had a productive double-header. / Photo by Greg Bessette

The Oakland Athletics had a light slate of minor league games on Tuesday night, as many leagues had off-days for the MLB All-Star game. One league that was active was the New York-Penn League, and the Vermont Lake Monsters made up for the light schedule by playing two games. Vermont saw its six-game winning streak snapped in the first game, but the Lake Monsters picked up a win in game two to continue their strong season.

Playing on the road against the Staten Island Yankees, the Lake Monsters didn’t manage much offense in game one, a 3-1 loss. Ivan Andueza threw a six-inning complete game, but he was the tough-luck loser. He allowed three runs on eight hits and one walk. The lefty struck-out two. He has a 2.57 ERA on the season for Vermont.

Kevin Merrell provided most of the offense in game one. He went 3-3 and stole two bases. He also drove-in the Lake Monsters’ only run of the game.

In game two, Vermont’s bats came out swinging. Vermont scored four times in the top of the first and never looked back in a 6-1 win. Brian Howard (3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K), Branden Kelliher (2 IP, 0 H, 1 BB) and Wandisson Charles (2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K) combined to two-hit the Yankees.

Merrell followed up his three-hit game with a 1-4 performance. He is batting .357 with four stolen bases in 10 games for Vermont. Greg Deichmann made his pro debut in game one, going 0-3, but he had a big game two, going 2-3 with a walk. One of the hits was a triple and he had two RBI. Payton Squier had a double, two RBI and an outfield assist. Javier Godard added a two-hit night and Jesus Lage collected a triple.

Howard has allowed only two hits in five innings over his first two pro appearances. He hasn’t walked a batter and he has struck-out four. Kelliher hasn’t allowed a run over his last five appearances, a span of 8.2 innings. Charles now has 11 strike-outs in eight innings pitched this season.

Other News

— Yonder Alonso had an impressive All-Star game debut in front of friends and family, going 2-2 with two singles. He also stole a base in the ninth inning for good measure. Alonso is the first A’s hitter to collect two hits in an All-Star game since Rickey Henderson in 1982. The AL won the game, 2-1, in 10 innings thanks to a Robinson Cano homer off of Wade Davis in the top of the ninth.

— Logan Shore may be close to returning to the Stockton Ports’ rotation. Shore threw three perfect innings in an AZL A’s game on Monday. It was his second rehab appearance as he returns from a lat injury sustained on May 14. According to A’s Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman, Shore will throw again for the AZL A’s in five days. “He says he feels good. If all goes well in his next outing without soreness or setback then we would be comfortable in considering sending him back to Stockton,” Lieppman said. “We tend to err on the side of conservatism when so much time and effort has been put into rehabbing. He would be a candidate for Instructional League or the AFL so no need to force the issue.”

— Lieppman also said that right-hander Daniel Mengden is in a throwing progression in Mesa and that Brett Graves recently arrived at the A’s minor league complex to work on his recovery from a lower leg issue. Graves is still not pain-free and is in a walking boot, according to Lieppman.

— The A’s promoted infielder Jesus Lopez from short-season Vermont to Low-A Beloit on Tuesday. Lopez played in 89 games for the Snappers last season, hitting .202. He was batting .227 in 12 games with Vermont this year.

— The DSL A’s got back to the .500 mark with a 7-5 win over the DSL Marlins on Tuesday. The A’s had 12 hits, including three from Kevin Richards and three from Luis AlmanzarIraj Serrano had two hits, giving him four two-hit games in his last five played. Dennis Herrera got the win in relief, allowing a run on three hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. He struck-out three and lowered his ERA to 1.80.

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