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Oakland Athletics Minor League Notebook: Matthew Milburn, Heath Bowers spin a gem

The Beloit Snappers spun a shutout, the Nashville Sounds won a slugfest, several more prospects were on the move, Chris Bassitt returned to the mound and much more in this edition of Oakland A’s MLN.

Heath Bowers / Photo by David Malamut
Heath Bowers worked three scoreless innings to earn a save. / Photo by David Malamut

Beloit shuts out Peoria

Matthew Milburn and Heath Bowers combined to three-hit the Peoria Chiefs in a 3-0 Beloit Snappers victory.

Milburn allowed just a hit and a walk over six frames. He struck-out eight. The right-hander has allowed two runs on four hits over his last two starts (13 innings). He has 20 strike-outs during that stretch.

Bowers, a Midwest League All-Star, allowed two hits and a walk in his three frames. He struck-out two and earned his second save of the season. The right-hander’s ERA is down to 2.42 in 43 innings for the season.

JaVon Shelby accounted for two-thirds of the Snappers’ offense, connecting on his sixth and seventh homeruns of the season. Luke Persico drove home the other Snappers’ run and he had two hits. Edwin DiazKyle Nowlin and Mike Martin also had two-hit games.

A’s make more prospect moves

The A’s continued their mid-season prospect shuffle on Wednesday. Below is a summary of the transactions:

— The A’s sent reliever Aaron Kurcz from Triple-A Nashville to Double-A Midland. Kurcz had a 7.24 ERA for Nashville despite a 28:9 K:BB in 27.1 innings for the Sounds.

— Oakland promoted catcher Sean Murphy and shortstop Branden Cogswell from High-A Stockton to Midland. Murphy hit .297 with a 870 OPS for Stockton while throwing out a third of all would-be base-stealers. Cogswell hit .260 with a .332 OBP in 54 games for the Ports. He missed all of last season with injury.

— Coming back to Stockton from Midland were catcher Argenis Raga and pitchers Evan Manarino and Kyle Friedrichs. Raga hit .200 in 28 games for the RockHounds. Manarino struggled in his Double-A stint after starring for Stockton earlier in the season. He had an 8.10 ERA in five starts for the RockHounds. Manarino had a 3.21 ERA in 47.2 innings earlier in the season for Stockton. Friedrichs also struggled in Double-A. He had a 6.00 ERA in 51 innings for the RockHounds. Friedrichs spent much of last season with the Ports.

— The Beloit Snappers added two players to their roster on Wednesday: right-hander Miguel Romero (who made his US debut on Monday) from the AZL A’s and outfielder Mike Martin (who began the year in Beloit) from short-season Vermont.

— The Vermont Lake Monsters continue to add members of the A’s 2017 draft class. Draft picks Parker DunsheeMichael DanielakBryce Conley and Logan Salow joined the roster. Christopher QuintinCarlos Sanchez and Jhenderson Hurtado were sent back to the AZL A’s.

Nashville wins a slugfest

The Nashville Sounds put their recent offensive struggles behind them on Wednesday in an 11-9 win over the Round Rock Express.

After falling behind 5-0 in the fourth, the Sounds answered with eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Nashville added three more insurance runs in the sixth and held on for the win.

All-Star Renato Nunez hit his 21st homer of the season, a three-run shot. He also had a single. Yairo Munoz had a three-run double and he walked twice in his best game at the plate since being promoted to Triple-A. In his Triple-A debut, Beau Taylor collected three hits and two RBI. Joey Wendle had three hits and a walk. He also made his first start of the regular season at shortstop. Wendle made one throwing error. Ryan LavarnwayMark Canha and Jaff Decker had two-hit games.

Frankie Montas got the start and he was hit hard, allowing four runs on five hits in three innings. He struck-out four and walked one. Montas’ fastball sat 98-100 MPH. Chris Jensen got the win despite allowing five runs (four earned) in 3.1 innings. Felix Doubront (1.1 innings) and Tucker Healy (1.1 innings) made sure the Sounds’ two-run advantage held up. Healy earned his first save of the season and he lowered his ERA to 2.59.

Vermont blows late lead, loses in extras

The Vermont Lake Monsters blew a one-run lead in the ninth and dropped a 5-4 decision to the Staten Island Yankees in 10 innings.

Jack Meggs had a huge game at the plate for Vermont, collecting three hits and finishing just a triple short of the cycle. He drove-in three of the Lake Monsters’ four runs. Payton Squier had a two-hit game and Jesus Lage drove-in the Lake Monsters’ other run.

Argenis Blanco got the start and he allowed three runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He struck-out five and walked just one. Jean Ruiz worked 2.2 scoreless innings in relief of Blanco before running into trouble in his fourth frame. He allowed the tying run with one-out in the ninth. Logan Salow worked the 10th and walked three. He allowed the game-winning run before departing with two-outs. Marc Berube worked out of a bases-loaded situation to keep the game close, but Vermont couldn’t scrape another run across.

Farrar erupts, but AZL A’s lose nailbiter

Logan Farrar went 4-4 with a homer, a double and two singles, but the AZL A’s blew a seventh-inning lead and lost, 4-3.

Farrar now has six hits in nine at-bats in his young pro career. He was the A’s 36th-round pick out of VCU. Jake Lumley had two hits and Cooper Goldby had a hit and a walk. Lazaro Armenteros walked and was hit by a pitch in his second start in the AZL.

Wyatt Marks got the start and threw two scoreless innings in his pro debut. He struck-out three and allowed two hits. Malik Jones (two innings, two runs) and Caleb Evans (two scoreless innings, 4 Ks)also made their pro debuts. Adam Reuss (1.2 innings, two runs) got the loss. Heath Donica struck-out the only batter he faced.

Bassitt returns, Ports beat Giants

Chris Bassitt returned to the mound for the first time since developing soreness in his surgically repaired elbow in a rehab start on May 20. Bassitt threw a scoreless first inning for the Ports, striking out two and throwing 17 innings (10 strikes) to get through the frame. The Ports would win the game over the San Jose Giants, 6-3.

Dalton Sawyer took over in the second and he put together another impressive outing. The left-hander worked six innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He didn’t walk a batter and he struck-out 10. Sawyer has allowed four runs in 16.2 innings with 16 strike-outs in three outings for the Ports. He has 113 strike-outs in 97.1 innings this season.

Cody Stull worked a scoreless eighth before he ran into some trouble in the ninth. He allowed a run and departed with a runner on and one run in the ninth. Things got interesting when Nolan Blackwood walked a batter and then Mikey White committed his second error of the season to load the bases with two outs. Jalen Miller had a 3-1 count, but Blackwood came back to strike out Miller to close out the win.

Eli White had three hits and two runs scored. Tyler Ramirez doubled and walked twice. Skye Bolt had a hit and he drove in three.

DSL A’s take down DSL Rays1

Gean Rigby had another two-hit game and Dennis Herrera had another strong outing as the DSL A’s beat the DSL Rays1, 7-5.

Herrera threw four innings, allowing a run on one hit and two walks. He struck-out four. The 18-year-old left-hander has a 2.20 ERA with a 20:6 in 16.1 innings this season.

Rigby had two more hits on Wednesday to raise his slashline to .375/.500/.500 with eight walks in 11 games. Jhoan Arias had two hits and two RBI. Yhoelnys Gonzalez had a hit to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. He is batting .421/.507/.526 with 10 stolen bases and five extra-base hits in 18 games this season.

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