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Oakland Athletics Minor League Notebook: Vermont stuns Hudson Valley

One streak ended but another continued for the Vermont Lake Monsters, who stunned the Hudson Valley Renegades on Sunday afternoon. That and much more in the day’s action around the Oakland Athletics system.

Will Toffey / Photo by Greg Bessette
Will Toffey had the game-winning hit for the Vermont Lake Monsters on Sunday. / Photo by Greg Bessette

After 38 innings, the Vermont Lake Monsters’ scoreless innings pitched streak came to an end on Sunday, but a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth ensured that Vermont’s winning streak continued on. Down 4-1 to start the ninth, the Lake Monsters scored once with no-outs and three times with two-outs to stun the Hudson Valley Renegades and earn their sixth straight win.

The inning began with the Lake Monsters loading the bases on a Ryan Gridley walk, a Jarrett Costa hit by pitch and an Anthony Churlin single. Kevin Merrell then walked to force in a run to make the game 4-2. The Renegades then called on reliever Sam Long with the bases-loaded and no outs. He would retire Jack Meggs on a strike-out and Aaron Arruda on a foul pop-out, but he couldn’t slam the door shut. Jordan Devencenzi walked to force in another run and Will Toffey delivered a walk-off, two-run single to center.

Toffey had a big game at the plate, collecting two hits and walking twice. The A’s 4th-round pick has reached base six times over his last two games. A day after hitting his first pro homerun, Churlin had a two-hit game. Gridley reached safely three times with a double and two walks.

Parker Dunshee got the start and he threw 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing just a hit and striking out four. Bryce Conley took over with two-outs in the third and he threw 2.2 innings, allowing two runs on one hit. He struck-out two and walked four. Wyatt Marks made his Vermont debut with one out in the fifth. In 2.2 innings, Marks — the NCAA leader in K/9 this season — struck-out five and walked none, but he allowed two solo homeruns. Marc Berube worked a scoreless top of the ninth and got the win when Vermont staged its comeback. Berube got all three outs on one play, as the Lake Monsters turned a triple play to end the top of the ninth. With runners on first and second, Gridley snared a line-drive, fired to second for the second out and Merrill fired to first to complete the first triple play in a year in the New York-Penn League.

Vermont now has a four game lead in the Stedler division.

Other News

— LHP A.J. Puk threw two-thirds of an inning in the MLB All-Star Futures game on Sunday. Puk came on in the 9th inning with one out and the US team leading the World team, 7-4. He walked Estevan Florial on a full count but got Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. to pop-out on a slider for the second out of the inning. Puk then allowed a first-pitch, run-scoring single from Yordan Alvarez, who advanced to second on a fielding error by Corey Ray. Alvarez then scored on a single by Tomas Nido on a 1-1 pitch. Puk recovered to record the final out of the game and secure the US win on a groundout off the bat of Mauricio Dubon on a curveball. Puk’s fastball topped out at 97.8 MPH. He threw mostly sliders and fastballs, mixing in the curveball on the final pitch of the game.

— Jake Lumley went 3-3 with a walk to pace the AZL A’s in their 5-2 win over the AZL Cubs. Chris Kohler made the start and he allowed an unearned run on one hit in three innings. He struck-out four and walked two. Slater Lee earned the win with two scoreless innings in relief. He didn’t allow a hit and he struck-out two. Austin Beck and Yerdel Vargas each had a hit and a walk and Ben Spitznagel had two hits.

— Heath Fillmyer had a strong start for Midland, but the RockHounds’ bats were quiet in a 3-1 loss to the Tulsa Drillers. Fillmyer threw seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and one walk. He struck-out four and lowered his ERA to 3.41. The RockHounds had only three hits in the loss, including one from Max Schrock, who has hit safely in four straight. He is batting .307/.363/.429 on the year.

— The Nashville Sounds lost another heartbreaker on Sunday, dropping a 2-1 decision in 10 innings to the Memphis Redbirds. Chris Jensen had a strong start, allowing a run on five hits and two walks in six innings. He struck-out four. Lou Trivino took over in the seventh and he threw two perfect innings, striking out one. Simon Castro threw a scoreless ninth before Kyle Finnegan allowed a solo homer in the top of the 10th. The Sounds managed just six hits and two walks in the game. They struck-out 11 times. Joey Wendle and Kenny Wilson each had two hit games. Franklin Barreto went 0-4 with a walk in his return to Nashville.

— Down 10-2 in the sixth inning, the Beloit Snappers scored seven unanswered runs but their comeback fell one run short in a 10-9 loss to the Kane County Cougars. Edwin Diaz homered and drove-in four on a two-hit night. Trace Loehr also had two hits. Xavier Altamarino had a rare poor outing, allowing seven runs in five innings. Sam Sheehan threw a scoreless ninth to lower his ERA to 1.71.

— The Stockton Ports scored four times in the top of the ninth, but it wasn’t nearly enough in the Ports’ 11-6 loss to the Lancaster JetHawks. Evan Manarino had another rough outing, allowing nine runs (six earned) in four innings. He gave up 11 hits and struck-out three. Chris Bassitt got the start and threw a scoreless first inning. He needed just six pitches (all strikes) to record three groundouts. Sandber Pimentel hit his fourth homer and Mikey White and Argenis Raga each had two-hit games. Raga also walked. After seeing his eight-game hitting streak end on Saturday, Brett Siddall had a hit on Sunday in four at-bats.

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