Tag: Casey Meisner

Friday, May 19th: Blackburn Leads Sounds to Shutout Victory while Snappers Win in Extras

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds         6

Sacramento River Cats  0

WP – Blackburn 2-4 / 3.89

HR – Nunez (11), Lavarnway (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Paul Blackburn

(6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

After giving up 14 earned runs in 13 2/3 frames over his last 3 outings, RHP Paul Blackburn bounced back to deliver one of his best starts of the season for the Sounds. The 23-year-old allowed just 2 hits over 6 shutout innings to earn his 2nd win as Nashville won for the fourth time in its last five games on Friday. RHP Tucker Healy tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, and RHP Tyler Sturdevant notched the final three outs in the 9th to complete the 3-hit shutout for the Sounds. Designated hitter Renato Nunez homered for the second straight day, hitting his team-leading 11th home run, a 2-run shot, with two outs in the top of the 1st inning to give Nashville an early edge. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway belted a 3-run blast to extend the lead in the 4th, and center fielder Jaycob Brugman singled in a run, walked and stole a base for the Sounds.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Saturday, May 13th: Olson’s 2 HRs Help Sounds Win while Hounds Fall despite Walter’s Solid Effort

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Albuquerque Isotopes  3

Nashville Sounds       7

WP – Jensen 1-0 / 3.31

HR – Nunez (9), Olson 2 (7)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Matt Olson

(3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

The Sounds used three home runs to win their second straight against Albuquerque on Saturday. First baseman Matt Olson hit a 2-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 1st to give his team an early lead, then slugged his second 2-run shot of the night in the 6th. Olson also singled but was left stranded in the 8th, and the 23-year-old is now 5 for 15 with 3 home runs over his last 4 games for the Sounds. Left fielder Renato Nunez belted a 2-run blast of his own in the 3rd. It was his team-leading 9th round-tripper of the season for Nashville. RHP Daniel Mengden allowed just one base runner through the first three innings of his second rehab start for the Sounds. But he then allowed a pair of runs before exiting with two outs in the 4th and ultimately ended up being charged with 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5 over 3 2/3 innings of work. RHP Chris Jensen picked up the win after allowing 1 run in 1 1/3 innings of relief, while RHP John Axford pitched a perfect 6th inning in his first rehab appearance for the Sounds. And working on the back end of what was basically a tandem start, RHP Raul Alcantara threw 3 scoreless frames to notch his 1st save for Nashville. Meanwhile, outfielder Jaff Decker cleared waivers and was sent back to the Sounds on Saturday.

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Talking Ports Prospects with Stockton Skipper Rick Magnante

by Josh Moore / A’s Farm Stockton Correspondent

rmMGR_Magnante_dervlq1cStockton manager Rick Magnante originally began his professional baseball career as a 13th-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians out of the University of Santa Barbara back in 1969. He first joined the A’s organization in 1995 as an area scout covering southern California. He also began managing short-season teams for the A’s in 2006 after his duties prepping for each year’s draft were through.

After spending five seasons in Vancouver and three seasons in Vermont, Magnante gave up his scouting duties and began managing full-time. He spent the 2014 season in Beloit and is now in his third season with Stockton.

Just before left-hander A.J. Puk’s impressive performance on Saturday, in which he allowed just one infield single and struck out 9 over 5 scoreless innings, we had the chance to chat with the Stockton skipper about the recent changes to team’s tandem-pitching rotation and well as many of the Ports’ most promising prospects…

 

AF:  First things first, you’re switching up the starting rotation a bit. You’re getting away from the eight-man tandem rotation and are stretching out a few of the guys now. Is that right?

RM:  Well, it’s a little bit of a hybrid now. There will be a couple of guys that piggyback. There will be three guys that get their own start: [A.J.] Puk, [Logan] Shore, and [Evan] Manarino. Those will be the three that will be on their own, and they’ll match up with what’s in the bullpen on that given day.

AF:  Do you have a pitch count for Puk, Shore and Manarino as they get stretched out? What could we expect from an innings standpoint?

RM:  I think we’re going to gradually increase them to where they can get back to 75-85 [pitches], and toward the halfway mark of the season, toward 100 and back on a starter’s number as it relates to what’s expected in the big leagues.

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

AF:  Puk’s previous three starts [prior to Saturday] were a little different than his first three. His BABIP was .522, everyone was making good contact against him, and he had three consecutive losses in those appearances. Was he trying something new?

RM:  I don’t necessarily think that he’s trying anything new. I think he’s just understanding that he’s in a professional environment now facing professional hitters. And when he’s making the pitches he’s capable of making, he’s pretty untouchable. But when he doesn’t make those pitches and falls behind or gets deep into counts, these guys – you have to give them credit – they can hit a little bit and it’s what they’ve been doing.

AF:  Back to the tandem-pitching experiment. How do you feel about it?

RM:  I think as far as getting guys more appearances, I get that, but I think we should mirror the model of what’s going on in the big leagues. If the big leagues are going to go to this same format, then I fully understand it. If they’re not, then I’m not sure if the Petri dish experiment is truly working. So, we’ve already amended it.

AF:  Let’s talk about some of the bullpen arms. Between Nolan Blackwood, Carlos Navas, Jared Lyons and Matt Sergey, they’ve managed to allow just 4 runs in their 41 innings of work. Everyone knows some of those names in the rotation, but for those who might not know much about the arms in the pen, tell me about a few of them.

Nolan Blackwood

Nolan Blackwood

RM:  Blackwood can pitch. They [the A’s] like him. He’s a down-under guy and it sinks at 91-92. He’s got the frisbee slider going the other way. He’s hard to pick up with a lot of deception.

AF:  Do you think Brad Ziegler with a slightly better fastball would be a good comparison for Blackwood?

RM:  Probably. This is really my first look at Nolan. I didn’t have him last year. He’s had a few appearances here and, like anybody, he’s probably a little nervous or anxious and maybe sometimes tries to do a little too much. On certain days, there’s one pitch that works. He’s got a sinking fastball at 90-92 – you don’t need to go to the frisbee slider if they’re not swinging at that. And if you don’t have the slider, then you’ve got to go with whatever your best pitch is. So he’s learning.

AF:  I wanted to ask you about Carlos Navas. He pitched very briefly in Triple-A last season, he’s 24 and he pitched extremely well in the Venezuelan Winter League to guys who are bit older than him, and he hasn’t given up a run yet this year here in Stockton. What’s his ceiling?

RM:  There’s no telling. He may move quickly through this organization as the need arises and he’s seasoned. He’s been able to combine a 2-seamer and a 4-seamer, and if he can keep himself on line – that would be his biggest Achilles heal – he doesn’t always work down the slope. He can get left-to-right and that’s when he starts to yank the stuff. This year, his mechanics have been better, he’s been more on line, he’s got two-plane action and he’s got a very good slider. He’s durable, he’s strong, he competes, and he’s got great character, so we all pull for him.

AF:  Casey Meisner has looked much better recently. He hasn’t allowed a run in a couple of his recent appearances. How do you view his development?

RM:  He’s just kind of working through it. You know, he’s a big, tall, rangy guy and sometimes those guys have a more difficult time repeating [their delivery]. It’s confidence as well. In his mind and in the mind of the organization, he probably had a very disappointing season [last year]. He’s a high school draft guy without a lot of experience, but he had a real solid season in the South Atlantic League and in the Florida State League when we traded for him. He came here and stepped right into a role and competed. And then last year was a hiccup for him.

AF:  Although Brett Graves has moved on to Midland, both he and Evan Manarino have done such a great job this year in Stockton. Both pitchers have had their finest strikeout-to-walk ratios of their careers. What are you doing with two guys like that to help them develop?

Evan Manarino

Evan Manarino

RM:  You have two guys who really have a feel to pitch. And they really treat this as an opportunity. They’re students of the game. They assess their performances and they write things down to remind them of what they did right or wrong in their previous outings in terms of how they attacked the hitters. For me, Manarino is Tommy Milone. That’s who he is. He’s unflappable out there. His fastball wouldn’t bust your lip, but he never throws it in the same place twice. It’s the same with the changeup. He mixes his pitches and keeps hitters off balance. He has to be very control-and-command oriented because, the fastball, if it’s not located, is hittable. He’s a pitcher. Graves, on the other hand, he’s got 92-94 in the tank, so he’s got a litmus-test fastball. So with him, it’s commanding the breaking ball and attacking hitters and knowing how to get people out.

AF:  Logan Shore, I believe, at Florida topped out at about 92 mph. Is he getting a little more on his fastball, and how is the development coming along on his slider?

RM:  Yeah, I think his velocity has been somewhere between 91-94 – he’s probably sitting somewhere around 92. I think that’s probably his comfort level. Right now, it’s basically fastball, change and a developing slider. I actually talked to him before we came out today and he’s really working hard to figure out a grip and get comfortable, and he really believes he’s got a slider when he throws it right. It’s a good pitch, but just doesn’t have the consistency yet.

AF:  Offensively, we’ve seen a few guys really hitting well of late – outfielders Skye Bolt and Tyler Ramirez, shortstop Eli White and, despite his slow start, infielder Mikey White has shown some power of late. Is there anyone you’ve been particularly impressed with?

RM:  I think the guy that really had a terrific April and was pushed a little bit in terms of his matriculation through the system has been Eli White. I think he got off to a great start, and I think he’s a guy who has the tools and the skill set and, with some development – maybe a season under his belt – could be a guy that will really surprise.

AF:  Skye Bolt is a guy we’ve all been focused on because of his tools, and he’s currently in the top ten in the California League in on-base percentage. What is he doing differently this season?

RM:  I think he has just made some strides in his basic approach to hitting. He just seems to be more on time, his pitch recognition is better, his path is more consistent. He’s got a lean, sinewy kind of body that doesn’t really say “power,” but when the ball comes off the bat, it can be electric at times. I would kind of liken him a little bit to [Josh] Reddick in terms of that kind of profile or prototype.

AF:  About the injuries to first baseman Sandber Pimentel and catcher Sean Murphy, how long should we expect that they’ll be out?

Sandber Pimentel

Sandber Pimentel

RM:  Pimie…I don’t know. We got him here kind of hoping we could rehab him to begin the year. And we got him back on the field, but then he swung a couple of times and he had to shut it down. It’s a back issue. I’m not an orthopod, so I can’t tell you, but we all thought it’d be better to send him back to Arizona and give him more hands-on treatment to see what happens. Certainly we’d love to have him here because he’s an impact guy for us. If we have him and we have [Chris] Iriart—a lefty/righty combo at first-base and DH—we’ve got some thump and some dangerous guys in the lineup. So, we certainly hope he’ll be fine. With Murph, it’s just a little wrist problem and those are quirky. Those are things that can be hard to work through.

AF:  Catcher Jose Chavez joined the team with Murphy’s absence and hit two home runs in his first six games. Is he someone we can expect to get more and more time while Murphy is out?

RM:  I think so. I think Chavy will get the lion’s share of the catching when Murph’s not capable of playing. And everybody’s always been very complimentary of Chavy’s ability to catch and throw – that’s his forte. It’s the bat that’s always been a little suspect as he has developed through the minor league system. Now he’s getting a little better feel on how to hit. He’s a little stronger. He’s a little more mature. He’s had more experience. So, hopefully we’re starting to see that if this guy has the ability to get to the big leagues, he’ll have a serviceable bat that’ll allow him to play some.

AF:  How much of a defensive drop-off do you see between Murphy and Chavez?

RM:  I would say in the receiving end, probably not too much. I think Murphy is a prodigy. I think he’s advanced and has a baseball IQ that shows that not only can he catch, and he can really throw, but he also has an idea on how to help his pitchers attack hitters and exploit their weaknesses and take advantage of that – and that’s a thinking man’s catcher, and that’s something you can’t really grade out unless you see it every day on the field.

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Sunday, May 7th: Hounds Win 6th Straight in a Walk-Off while Alcantara Suffers Loss for Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Brett Graves (5 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Brett Graves (5 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Frisco RoughRiders       1

Midland RockHounds  2

WP – Trivino 3-0 / 0.71

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brett Graves

(5 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

After putting up a 2.55 ERA and striking out 29 while walking just 3 for Stockton this season, RHP Brett Graves was impressive in his Double-A debut for Midland on Sunday. The A’s 3rd-round draft pick in 2014 showed off his improved command by throwing 47 strikes and only 17 balls while allowing just 1 run, walking none and striking out 5 over 5 strong innings of work for the RockHounds. (You can see our recent interview with Graves here). LHP Cody Stull replaced Graves with the game a 1-1 tie in the 6th and threw 3 shutout innings in relief, and RHP Lou Trivino then tossed a scoreless top of the 9th as the game remained knotted. But with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, second baseman Max Schrock singled in the winning run as the RockHounds won in a walk-off for the second straight day and posted their sixth straight victory on Sunday. The game-winning hit was Schrock’s second single of the game. Right fielder Tyler Marincov and designated hitter Joe Bennie also notched a pair of singles apiece, while first baseman Viosergy Rosa singled and doubled, and catcher Argenis Raga singled and drove in the tying run for the RockHounds on a sacrifice fly in the 2nd. And Trivino picked up his 3rd win of the season after tossing a scoreless top of the 9th for the Hounds.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton & Beloit…

Friday, May 5th: Martin Helps Hounds Come Back to Win 4th Straight but HRs by Chapman & Canha Aren’t Enough to Help Sounds Prevail

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Richie Martin (2 for 2 / Double / Sac Fly / Stolen Base / 2 Runs / GWRBI)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Richie Martin (2 for 2 / Double / Sac Fly / Stolen Base / 2 Runs / GWRBI)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Corpus Christi Hooks      4

Midland RockHounds  10

WP – Friedrichs 1-3 / 5.16

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Richie Martin

(2 for 2 / Double / Sac Fly / Stolen Base / 2 Runs / GWRBI)

A big 4-run 6th inning allowed the RockHounds to come back and win their fourth straight to complete the sweep of their series with Corpus Christi on Friday. Shorstop Richie Martin drove in the winning run in the 6th with a sacrifice fly and also singled, doubled, stole a base and scored twice in the win. Center fielder J.P. Sportman singled, doubled and drove in 2 runs, while catcher Andy Paz had 2 hits and drove in a pair, and second baseman Max Schrock singled twice and drove in the tying run in the 6th. Starter Ben Bracewell had another rocky outing for the Hounds, allowing 3 runs over 3 1/3 innings and exiting with his team down by a run. His tandem-starting mate, RHP Kyle Friedrichs, allowed just 1 run in 3 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win as the RockHounds moved into a tie for first place in their division on Friday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton & Beloit…

Tuesday, May 2nd: Chapman’s 2 HRs Help Sounds Win 5th Straight while Graves & Meisner Lead Ports to Shutout Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Third Baseman Matt Chapman (2 Home Runs / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Third Baseman Matt Chapman (2 Home Runs / 3 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds    11

Round Rock Express  0

WP – Brady 1-1 / 4.30

HR – Nunez (6), Canha (4), Chapman 2 (2), Wendle (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Third Baseman Matt Chapman

(2 Home Runs / 3 RBIs)

The Sounds put 11 runs on the board as they shut out the Express on just 2 hits to win their fifth straight on Tuesday. Not only did Matt Chapman hit his first home run of the season in the 2nd inning to give the Sounds the lead, but he also added his second home run of the season in the 9th to cap off the victory. Left fielder Renato Nunez homered in his third straight game – slugging his team-leading 6th of the season – while right fielder Mark Canha singled, walked and belted his 4th big fly since joining Nashville. Second baseman Joey Wendle singled twice and ripped his 1st round-tripper of the year, and first baseman Matt Olson singled, doubled and drove in a pair for the Sounds. RHP Raul Alcantara was solid in his return to the Sounds, allowing just 1 hit over 3 shutout innings, while RHP Michael Brady threw 3 scoreless frames in relief of Alcantara to earn the win. Relievers Ross Detwiler, Tucker Healy and Aaron Kurcz each tossed a scoreless inning to complete the 2-hit shutout for the Sounds. Meanwhile, infielder Melvin Mercedes was reassigned to the RockHounds and outfielder Jaycob Brugman was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Friday, April 28th: Blackburn Pitches Sounds to Victory while Mann & Sportman Help Hounds Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

New Orleans Baby Cakes  1

Nashville Sounds             4

WP – Blackburn 1-2 / 1.64

HR – Canha (3), Olson (3)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Paul Blackburn

(5 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / Win)

RHP Paul Blackburn turned in another strong start for the Sounds, allowing just 2 hits over 5 shutout innings to finally earn his 1st win on Friday. And the 23-year-old has now allowed a total of just 4 earned runs over his first 4 starts for the Sounds. RHP Simon Castro struck out the side in order in the 9th to notch his 2nd save for Nashville. Right fielder Mark Canha homered in his third straight game, drilling a 2-run drive to put the Sounds on the board in the 3rd, while first baseman Matt Olson slugged a solo shot in the 6th. Second baseman Joey Wendle doubled and singled twice, while left fielder Renato Nunez had a pair of doubles and drove in a run to help the Sounds win their second straight on Friday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Monday, April 24th: Rosa’s Grand Slam Helps Hounds Win while Nunez & Canha Homer in Sounds’ Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Viosergy Rosa (2 for 5 / Grand Slam)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds First Baseman Viosergy Rosa (2 for 5 / Grand Slam)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  9

Corpus Christi Hooks     0

WP – Walter 2-0 / 0.56

HR – Martin (2), Rosa (2), Sportman (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Viosergy Rosa

(2 for 5 / Grand Slam)

With two outs, the bases loaded and his team up 2-0 in the top of the 5th inning, first baseman Viosergy Rosa stepped to the plate and belted a grand slam to provide the Hounds with a healthy 6-run lead and help his team with its third straight on Monday. Rosa also singled in the game, while shortstop Richie Martin slugged a solo shot in the 3rd inning, and second baseman J.P. Sportman blasted a 3-run homer in the 8th. Meanwhile on the mound, Hounds hurlers shut out the Hooks on 2 hits on Monday. Starter Corey Walter allowed both hits over 5 scoreless innings to earn the win in his first appearance since returning to the RockHounds roster from the Sounds. LHP Brandon Mann, who’d allowed 11 runs over his last 3 1/3 innings, threw 4 no-hit frames to earn his 1st save for Midland on Monday. And with Walter’s return to the roster, LHP Kyle Twomey was sent back to extended spring training in Arizona.

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Thursday, April 20th: Barreto Notches 4 Hits for Nashville as All 4 A’s Affiliates Fall

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Franklin Barreto (4 for 4 / Triple / RBI)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Franklin Barreto (4 for 4 / Triple / RBI)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds          3

Oklahoma City Dodgers  4

LP – Brady 0-1 / 5.91

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto

(4 for 4 / Triple / RBI)

On a day when all four A’s affiliates fell, Franklin Barreto put together an impressive night at the plate for Nashville, notching 4 hits, including an RBI triple that drove in the tying run for the Sounds. After starting off the season blazing hot, Barreto had fallen into a bit of a slump lately, going 1 for 16 with 9 strikeouts over his previous 4 games. But Barreto’s bat was back in business on Thursday, and the 21-year-old now leads the team in most major offensive categories, including hits, runs, RBIs, total bases and slugging percentage. Mark Canha, getting the start in center field, singled in Barreto for the Sounds’ second run of the game, while second baseman Melvin Mercedes had a pair of singles and a walk and scored twice in the loss. RHP Corey Walter, making his first start for the Sounds, allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, while striking out 6 over 2 2/3 innings of work on Thursday. Barreto’s triple tied the game in the top of the 5th, but RHP Michael Brady surrendered the winning run in the bottom of the 5th to suffer his 1st loss for the Sounds. And with Nashville RHP Cesar Valdez joining Oakland to make the start for the A’s on Thursday night, catcher Bruce Maxwell was optioned back to the Sounds.

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Saturday, April 15th: Butler Leads Beloit to Shutout Victory while Graves Shines in Stockton’s Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Brendan Butler (4 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Brendan Butler (4 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Peoria Chiefs         0

Beloit Snappers  12

WP – Gilbert 2-0 / 4.50

HR – Diaz (3), Mercedes (3), Shelby (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brendan Butler

(4 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 5 K)

Three pitchers combined to throw a 5-hit shutout for the Snappers on Saturday. Starter Brendan Butler, who threw 4 1/3 no-hit innings in his last appearance, allowed just 2 hits while walking none and striking out 5 over 4 shutout frames on Saturday. LHP Will Gilbert then pitched a perfect 5th to pick up the win, while Butler’s tandem-pitching partner, LHP Ty Damron, tossed 4 scoreless innings in relief to earn the save for the Snappers. Third baseman Edwin Diaz had 3 hits, including a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 3rd to put Beloit on the board, and ended up driving in a total of 3 runs on the day. Second baseman Nate Mondou singled, doubled and also drove in 3, while center fielder JaVon Shelby singled, scored twice and slugged a 3-run homer in the 6th, and first baseman Miguel Mercedes smacked a 2-run shot later in the same inning to wrap up the Snappers 12-run outburst on Saturday.

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