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Minor League Notebooks

Oakland Athletics Minor League Notes: Luis Barrera saves the Snappers

Luis Barrera played savior off the bench for the Beloit Snappers, while Mickey McDonald and Lazarito had AZL debuts to remember. That and more in this edition of the Oakland A’s Minor League Notebook.

Luis Barrera / Photo by Chris Lockard
Luis Barrera came up big for the Beloit Snappers on Sunday. / Photo by Bill Seals

Barrera comes up big in a pinch for Beloit

Tied 5-5 with two-outs and a runner on third in the top of the ninth, outfielder Luis Barrera stepped into the box as a pinch-hitter. The 21-year-old cracked a game-winning two-run homerun to centerfield to give the Beloit Snappers an inspiring 7-5 win over the Clinton LumberKings.

Down 4-0 after the second inning, the Snappers crawled back into the game slowly. Miguel Mercedes hit his 12th homer of the season — a two-run shot — in the fourth to bring the Snappers back within two runs. Down three in the sixth, Luke Persico brought the Snappers two runs closer with his fourth homer of the year. Persico tied the game in the top of the eighth tied the game with a sacrifice fly. It was a strange play, as centerfielder Anthony Jimenez injured his leg retrieving Persico’s game-tying flyball. Jimenez would leave the game after the play.

Barrera’s clutch shot gave Beloit their first lead of the game. He is now batting .282 on the season. Eric Marinez had two hits to extend his multi-hit game streak to five games. He is now batting .296. Persico, Nate Mondou and Mercedes all had two-hit games.

The game began with a rain delay. Starter Zack Erwin had his first so-so start since joining the Snappers from Extended Spring Training in late May. He allowed four earned runs in six innings on seven hits and three walks. Joseph Camacho was outstanding in relief, tossing three shutout innings. He struck-out two and he earned his first win of the season.

McDonald, Lazarito lead AZL A’s to first win

South Bay native Mickey McDonald went 4-5 and finished a double short of the cycle in his professional debut and Lazaro Armenteros went 3-3 in his Arizona Rookie League debut in the AZL A’s 8-5 win over the AZL Cubs.

Three other A’s draft picks had good pro debuts: Ben Spitznagel had two hits, including a triple, Logan Farrar had two hits and Justin Jones had a hit and a walk.

McDonald tripled in the first and homered in the second to get the AZL A’s off and running. He then singled in his next two at-bats before grounding out in the eighth to prove he is human. Lazarito singled in his first three at-bats before being pulled in sixth. He is working his way back from a minor ankle sprain suffered during the Dominican Summer League a little more than a week ago.

The AZL A’s used six pitchers in the game. Pat Krall got the win with two perfect innings in relief. He struck-out two in his pro debut. Cody Puckett also had a scoreless debut, walking one and striking out two in 1.1 innings. Former star Kentucky closer Logan Salow locked down his first pro save in his first pro game, allowing a hit and a walk in a scoreless 1.2 innings.

Late rally gives Vermont the edge over Tri-City

The Vermont Lake Monsters scored five times in the seventh inning to storm back from a 9-5 deficit. Branden Kelliher threw three outstanding innings to make that 10-9 score stand.

The Lake Monsters used five walks to ignite their five-run rally in the seventh. The big hit of the inning came off the bat of outfielder James Terrell, who connected on a three-run double to give the Lake Monsters the lead. Terrell also walked in the game and he’s batting .278 through six games. He also had an outfield assist. Vermont walked 10 times as a team in the game.

Javier Godard and Jordan Devencenzi each had two hits. Godard also walked once and Devencenzi walked twice. Roger Gonzalez hit his first homerun of the season and he scored three times.

Richard Morban started the game and he allowed three runs on six hits in four innings. He struck-out two. Carlos Sanchez earned the win despite allowing six runs in two innings. Kelliher put together one of his most impressive outings as a pro to earn the save. The right-hander allowed only two hits and he struck-out three over his three frames.

Hurlbutt’s brilliant outing goes for naught in Ports’ loss to Modesto

Dustin Hurlbutt threw eight scoreless innings but the Stockton Ports couldn’t bring a run across while he was in the game and eventually lost, 3-1, in the 10th inning.

Hurlbutt was in full control during his eight frames. He allowed only three hits and he didn’t walk a batter. He struck-out five. Hurlbutt lowered his ERA to 3.23. Over his last three starts for Stockton, Hurlbutt has allowed just two runs on seven hits in 21 innings. He hasn’t walked a batter and he has struck-out 24.

In the ninth, Cody Stull allowed an unearned run, but Stockton tied the game in the bottom half of the frame when Eli White tripled with one out and then scored on a wild pitch. Andrew Tomasovich allowed two runs in the top of the 10th when an infield hit with two-outs scored the game-winning runs.

The Ports managed just three hits in the loss: White’s triple, a Brett Siddall double and a Josh Vidales single.

Sounds’ offense quiet in loss to OKC

A depleted Nashville Sounds’ offense dropped another well-pitched game in a 3-1 loss to the OKC Dodgers. Nashville is now three games under .500.

Corey Walter threw 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks. He struck-out two. Walter’s Triple-A ERA is 3.38. Lou Trivino tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and Felix Doubront struck-out two in a scoreless frame to give the Sounds a chance to mount a rally.

With a line-up missing Franklin BarretoMatt OlsonMatt Chapman and Jaycob Brugman, the Sounds scored only 10 runs in five games against OKC, all losses. On Sunday, the Sounds had eight hits, with two each coming from Jermaine Curtis and Melvin MercedesYairo Munoz went 0-5 with three strike-outs in his Triple-A debut.

Injury-riddled RockHounds limp into All-Star break

The Midland RockHounds will receive a much needed break for the Texas League All-Star game after a 5-1 loss that featured another injury on Sunday. Brett Vertigan was hit by a pitch to start the game against San Antonio. He stayed in the game after he was hit but was removed before the next half inning. The RockHounds played the game with just 21 active players on their roster thanks to injuries and promotions.

The RockHounds had only three hits in the game and didn’t score until the ninth, when Viosergy Rosa doubled home Argenis Raga with two-outs. Raga had doubled to lead-off the inning. Rosa also singled earlier in the game to account for Midland’s three hits.

The game began with the threat of weather and included a 14-minute delay, so the RockHounds sent reliever Carlos Navas to the mound to start the game. He allowed two runs in the first and worked a scoreless second. Scheduled starter Grant Holmes took over in the third and finished off the game from there. Holmes allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. He struck-out two. Holmes has thrown at least 5.1 innings in six of his last seven starts. His ERA is down to 4.96 for the year. He has 80 strike-outs in 78 innings.

Vogt claimed by the Brewers

Stephen Vogt was claimed off of waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, four days after Vogt was designated for assignment by the A’s. Vogt joins former A’s second baseman Eric Sogard on the Milwaukee roster.

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