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Oakland Athletics Minor League Notebook: Snappers, AZL A’s 9th inning heroics

The Beloit Snappers and the AZL A’s saved their best for last, while Grant Holmes and the Midland RockHounds ran away with another win. We have that and more in this edition of Oakland Athletics Minor League Notebook.

Jean Carlo Rodriguez / Photo by Kimberly Contreras
Jean Carlo Rodriguez hit a walk-off homer for Beloit. / Photo by Kimberly Contreras

Rodriguez’s walk-off blast lifts Snappers

Jean Carlo Rodriguez hit a walk-off homer to carry the Beloit Snappers to a 7-6 win over the South Bend Cubs in a back-and-forth game.

The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the second inning and the Snappers answered with two in the bottom of the fourth. In the fifth, both teams traded single runs and in the sixth, each team scored three times. The Snappers finally broke the tie with Rodriguez’s third homer of the season. The walk-off homer came on a 1-1 pitch with one-out in the ninth.

Rodriguez also doubled in the game and was one of four Snappers to have two-hit games (Josh VidalesKyle Nowlin and Miguel Mercedes were the other three). JaVon Shelby singled and walked and scored the Snappers’ sixth run on an athletic slide to avoid a tag at the plate.

Kyle Twomey got the start and he allowed three runs in 4.2 innings. He struck-out four. Jesus Zambrano got the win with a scoreless top of the ninth inning. Zambrano has a 3.38 ERA over his last 24 innings.

The Snappers have won four in a row.

McDonald saves the day for AZL A’s

Mickey McDonald hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the AZL A’s a 4-3 win over the AZL Royals. The homer was McDonald’s second of the season. He is batting .303 on the year. The win pushed the A’s to the .500 mark for the first time since the start of this season.

Nick Allen led-off the game with his first professional homerun. Allen is batting .296 on the year. No A’s hitter had more than one hit in the game. Austin Beck had a single in four at-bats.

James Naile made his second rehab start for the AZL A’s and he allowed one run on three hits and no walks in three innings. He struck-out seven. Pat Krall earned the win with two scoreless innings and Caleb Evans worked around two hits to secure the save.

Midland bats stay hot in rout as Holmes cruises

The Midland RockHounds broke a 0-0 tie in the seventh inning in emphatic fashion with a five spot. The RockHounds would add eight more runs in the eighth inning en route to a 13-1 win over the Frisco RoughRiders. The win came on the heels of a doubleheader on Sunday in which the RockHounds swept the Corpus Christi Hooks by a combined score of 25-3.

Grant Holmes didn’t have the benefit of that run support until after he completed his seven shutout innings, but he was the pitcher of record when the RockHounds scored five and he earned a well-deserved win. The right-hander allowed only three hits and he struck-out five. Holmes was very efficient, throwing just 84 pitches in those seven innings, 54 for strikes. Holmes has lowered his ERA to 4.54 and he has a 3.54 ERA and a 55:19 K:BB over his last 10 starts (61 innings).

Former A’s and RockHounds’ starter A.J. Griffin made a rehab start for Frisco and he looked sharp, throwing five shutout innings. Griffin allowed four hits and two walks and he struck-out five. Midland had fun once Griffin left the game, however, scoring at least three runs off of all three of the Frisco relief corps.

J.P. Sportman hit a grandslam and had two hits to raise his average to .290. The homer was Sportman’s seventh of the season and it came in the eighth inning. B.J. Boyd and Jermaine Curtis each had three hits and Max Schrock reached base four times with two hits and two walks. Boyd is up to .316 for the season, while Schrock is batting .318 for the year and .432 over his last 10 games.

Jordan Tarsovich and Tyler Ramirez also had two-hit games. Ramirez added a walk and he is batting .346 with a .422 OBP since joining Midland on July 1. For the season between Stockton and Midland, Ramirez has a .311/.404/.440 line with nine homers and seven stolen bases.

Siddall stays hot but Stockton falls

Brett Siddall finished a triple short of the cycle, but the rest of the Stockton Ports’ line-up struggled in a 5-1 loss to the Visalia Rawhide. Siddall accounted for three of the Ports’ six hits.

Siddall’s solo homer was his 16th of the season and his second in as many games. He has seven hits over his last eight at-bats and is batting .306 with an 892 OPS for the season.

Brett Siddall finding his rhythm with the Stockton Ports

The game was tied 1-1 until the Rawhide broke the game open with four in the bottom of the eighth. Norge Ruiz got the start, but his day ended early when he was ejected by homeplate umpire Ryan Powers with two outs in the third inning. Ruiz allowed a run on three hits and two walks before he was booted. He struck-out one. Ruiz was tossed due to a foreign substance on his left (non-throwing) arm.

Evan Manarino took over from there and he cruised until allowing four runs in the eighth inning. In 5.1 innings, he allowed four runs on four hits and one walk. He struck-out five.

Sounds’ struggles continue in loss to Baby Cakes

The Nashville Sounds managed just four hits in an 8-0 loss to the New Orleans Baby Cakes. Kendall Graveman (shoulder) struggled in his rehab start, allowing seven runs (three earned) in three innings. The Baby Cakes didn’t hit the ball particularly hard off of Graveman, but he allowed nine hits and struck-out only one.

Ryan Dull (knee) also made a rehab appearance in the game and he fared better, not allowing a run in 1.2 innings. He allowed a hit and a walk and he struck-out one. Dull has allowed a hit and a walk in 3.2 rehab innings thus far.

Before the game, the A’s optioned Matt Olson back to Nashville and recalled reliever Josh Smith. Olson went 1-2 in his latest stint with the A’s. He is batting .196/.317/.451 and has a 0.5 WAR in 51 at-bats with the A’s this season. Smith appeared in the A’s 4-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. Smith was aided by this brilliant play from A’s rookie Matt Chapman, who also homered for the third straight game.

Vermont bats quiet in loss to Tri-City

The Vermont Lake Monsters had only six hits in their 9-1 loss to the Tri-City ValleyCats. Ryan Gridley had two hits to pace the Vermont offense.

Argenis Blanco had a rough start, allowing five runs in five innings. Two of the seven hits he allowed were homeruns. Blanco struck-out six and walked two. Branden Kelliher allowed two runs in three innings, but he struck-out five and walked one. Wandisson Charles allowed two runs in one inning, the first two runs he has allowed since June 22.

DSL A’s swept in doubleheader

The DSL A’s fell twice to the DSL Dodgers1 squad on Monday. The A’s lost 3-0 in game one and 4-1 in game two. Dennis Herrera got the loss in game two despite not allowing an earned run in five innings. He lowered his ERA to 1.54.

Iraj Serrano had a hit both games and he is batting .415 on the year.

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