Tag: James Naile

A’s Farm Report: Pitching Prospects Update – Puk, Gossett, Blackburn, Holmes & More

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

This week, we wanted to take a look at the pitchers currently appearing in all the A’s affiliates’ starting rotations. From A.J. Puk to Grant Holmes, from Daniel Gossett to Paul Blackburn, there are plenty of promising pitching prospects currently making their presence felt on the mound.

You can always stay up to date on all the A’s top prospects and the daily action in the A’s minor league system right here on Athletics Farm. A version of this report originally appeared on Athletics Nation

 

NASHVILLE SOUNDS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Paul Blackburn, RHP Chris Smith, RHP Corey Walter, RHP Michael Brady, RHP Daniel Gossett (recently replaced by LHP Dalton Sawyer)

Daniel Gossett

Daniel Gossett

As most A’s fans know, RHP Daniel Gossett was scratched from his scheduled start for the Sounds on Saturday so that he could be available to make his major league debut for the A’s this week, filling in for injured RHP Andrew Triggs. Gossett’s season got off to a bumpy start. The A’s 2nd-round pick in 2014 posted an unsightly 6.27 ERA in 4 April starts, but put up a much more impressive 1.54 ERA over 6 starts in May. Overall, the 24-year-old has struck out 54 while walking just 19 with a 3.41 ERA over 60 2/3 innings for the Sounds. As solid as Gossett has been, RHP Paul Blackburn has possibly been even more effective. His season has been almost the opposite of Gossett’s. The Cubs’ 1st-round supplemental pick in 2012 was almost unhittable in April, with a 1.64 ERA, but he took a bit of a dip in May, compiling an ERA of 5.12. In his 2 starts in June though, the 23-year-old has allowed just 1 run and 5 hits over 13 innings of work. He’s also on the A’s 40-man roster, so a call-up at some point this season would be easy. But 36-year-old veteran RHP Chris Smith has probably been the Sounds’ best starter on the whole. He’s posted a 2.96 ERA over 51 2/3 frames, threw 6 no-hit innings in his last start, and is currently riding a 12-inning scoreless streak. RHP Michael Brady was a free agent signee in the offseason. He started out the year in the bullpen, but he’s been working out of the rotation recently and has now made 6 starts for the Sounds. The 30-year-old has compiled a respectable 3.67 ERA, but what’s most notable about him is the fact that he’s walked just 6 while striking out 42 over 41 2/3 innings for Nashville. RHP Corey Walter is a fairly recent arrival in the Sounds starting rotation, arriving from the RockHounds at the end of May. The 24-year-old was, by far and away, Midland’s best starter, putting up a 2.44 ERA for the Hounds, and he’s posted a solid 3.38 ERA over 4 starts for Nashville. The newest addition to the Sounds rotation is LHP Dalton Sawyer, who was called up from Beloit to fill in for Gossett on Saturday. The 23-year-old was the Snappers’ best pitcher, striking out 64 over 56 innings while compiling an impressive 2.25 ERA for Beloit. And last year’s 9th-round draft pick for the A’s turned in a quality start for the Sounds on Saturday, allowing 3 runs over 6 innings of work. But it’s unclear whether or not he’ll continue to stick around Nashville while Gossett is away. After his recent stint with the A’s, RHP Daniel Mengden was set to rejoin the Sounds starting rotation until he was sidelined by a lat strain, and he’s now doing time on the disabled list, as is RHP Raul Alcantara, and rehabbing RHP Chris Bassitt has been sidelined for the time being after experiencing some discomfort in his return from Tommy John surgery.

 

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Grant Holmes, RHP Heath Fillmyer, RHP Brett Graves, LHP Evan Manarino, RHP Joel Seddon

Grant Holmes

Grant Holmes

Former 1st-round draft pick for the Dodgers, RHP Grant Holmes, was having a mostly disappointing season for the RockHounds until fairly recently. He had a 6.27 ERA in April and 5.52 ERA in month of May, but since the calendar turned to June, it’s been an entirely different story. The 21-year-old has struck out 17 while walking just 1 over his last 14 frames, threw 8 shutout innings in his last start and didn’t allow a hit until the 7th inning in that game. Overall, Holmes has notched 69 strikeouts over 62 innings for the Hounds this season. 23-year-old RHP Heath Fillmyer, who impressed while splitting time between Stockton and Midland last year, has been mostly mediocre for Midland so far this season, compiling a 4.22 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP over 13 starts for the RockHounds. RHP Brett Graves and LHP Evan Manarino were two of Stockton’s best starters in the early going. Graves was the first to earn his promotion to Double-A by putting up a 2.55 ERA and striking out 29 in 24 2/3 innings for the Ports, while Manarino posted a 3.21 ERA and walked just 3 batters over 47 2/3 frames for Stockton. Things have been a little tougher in the Texas League for both of them though. Graves has compiled a 5.97 ERA over his first 7 appearances, while Manarino has a 6.75 ERA after his first 3 starts for Midland. RHP Joel Seddon has recently stepped into the RockHounds rotation. The 24-year-old made 26 starts for Midland last year but started out this season in the bullpen, and he’s now made a pair of starts for the Hounds. In his last appearance on Friday, Seddon allowed just 1 run over 7 innings of work for Midland. There was room for Seddon in the RockHounds rotation with RHP Corey Walter, who had been the Hounds’ best starter, being promoted to Nashville, RHP James Naile sidelined since mid-May with an abdominal/oblique strain, and RHP Ben Bracewell‘s recent banishment to the bullpen.

 

STOCKTON PORTS

Current Starting Rotation: LHP A.J. Puk, RHP Casey Meisner, RHP Dustin Hurlbutt, RHP Angel Duno, RHP Brendan Butler

Logan Shore

Logan Shore

Stockton’s starting rotation originally consisted of the A’s top three draft picks from last year’s draft – LHP A.J. Puk and RHPs Logan Shore and Daulton Jefferies – but currently, Puk’s the only one still pitching. Last year’s top pick for the A’s has looked dominant at times, though he has been a bit inconsistent, as might be expected at this stage of the game. The 22-year-old has twice allowed just 1 hit over 5 shutout innings and has had outings where he’s notched as many as 12 strikeouts. Overall, he’s compiled an ERA of 3.98 while striking out 87 and walking 22 over 54 1/3 frames for the Ports. Shore was looking good until he was sidelined with a lat strain in mid-May. When the 22-year-old landed on the disabled list, he’d compiled a 3.12 ERA while striking out 32 and walking just 6 over 34 2/3 innings for Stockton. Unfortunately, Jefferies only had the chance to throw 7 innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery. RHP Casey Meisner, who struggled mightily for Stockton last season, has been showing signs of turning things around a bit lately. Though he has an ERA of 4.68 for the season, he’s also struck out 67 while walking just 19 over 59 2/3 frames, and he just threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in his last start on Sunday. RHP Dustin Hurlbutt put up a 2.84 ERA in April, then posted a 5.32 ERA in May, and now has a 2.77 ERA in 2 starts in June. But his peripherals have consistently looked pretty good, and he’s struck out 58 and walked just 16 over 55 2/3 frames for the Ports. RHP Angel Duno has a 1:4 BB:K ratio but a 5.46 ERA for the season. The 23-year-old Venezuelan has been hurt by the long ball, surrendering 10 home runs over 61 innings of work. RHP Brendan Butler is the newest addition to Stockton’s starting rotation. The 24-year-old was one of Beloit’s best starters, compiling a 2.32 ERA for the Snappers, and he threw 5 scoreless innings in his first start for Stockton. He seems to have taken the place of RHP Boomer Biegalski in the Ports rotation, though it’s not clear if Biegalski may end up serving in something of a tandem situation with Butler. Biegalski has been a big victim of the long ball since his arrival from Beloit, surrendering 10 home runs in just 37 innings, leading to a bloated 5.84 ERA. LHP Evan Manarino and RHP Brett Graves had been two of Stockton’s best starters, but both have been promoted to Double-A Midland.

 

BELOIT SNAPPERS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Brandon Bailey, RHP Matt Milburn, LHP Zack Erwin, RHP Mitchell Jordan & RHP Jesus Zambrano (tandem), RHP Abdiel Mendoza (recently replaced LHP Dalton Sawyer)

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

The Snappers starting rotation had been surprisingly effective this season, but the recent promotions of two of Beloit’s best starters – LHP Dalton Sawyer and RHP Brendan Butler – could change things a bit. The top remaining starter in the Snappers rotation is RHP Brandon Bailey. Last year’s 6th-round draft pick for the A’s has put up a 2.51 ERA while striking out 52 and walking just 13 over 43 innings of work. Meanwhile, RHP Matt Milburn has mostly struggled, posting a 5.60 ERA over 13 appearances for the Snappers. LHP Zack Erwin, whom the A’s acquired from the White Sox in the Brett Lawrie deal, recently returned to the rotation after starting the season on the disabled list, and the 23-year-old has pitched well, compiling a 1.69 ERA over his first 3 appearances. Last year’s 10th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Mitchell Jordan, and 20-year-old Venezuelan RHP Jesus Zambrano represent the sole remaining starting-pitching tandem in the A’s system, and both are sporting ERAs over 5.00 at this point in the season. With Sawyer’s promotion to Nashville, 18-year-old Panamanian RHP Abdiel Mendoza was called upon to take his spot in the rotation. The youngster surrendered 4 runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first appearance, but it’s unclear whether or not he’ll continue to occupy the fifth spot in the Snappers starting rotation. RHP Dakota Chalmers, the A’s 3rd-round draft pick in 2015, was reassigned to the Vermont roster after struggling with his control. The 20-year-old walked 29 in 29 innings while also striking out 47. He’s set to get a restart when the Lake Monsters start their season next week. RHP Michael Murray had been pitching well for Beloit before landing on the disabled list in mid-May, putting up a 2.54 ERA over his first 8 appearances. LHP Ty Damron had also been playing a part in the Snappers tandem rotation but, although he hasn’t been placed on the disabled list, he hasn’t appeared in a game in the last two weeks.

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Wednesday, May 31st: Sportman’s Big Bat Helps Hounds Win while Hahn Makes Rehab Start for Stockton

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Second Baseman J.P. Sportman (3 for 4 / Home Run / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Second Baseman J.P. Sportman (3 for 4 / Home Run / 2 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Arkansas Travelers        5

Midland RockHounds  7

WP – Manarino 1-0 / 3.00

HR – Sportman (6), Munoz (3)

Prospect Of The Game:

Second Baseman J.P. Sportman

(3 for 4 / Home Run / 2 RBIs)

The RockHounds scored 7 runs on 16 hits to snap their four-game losing streak on Wednesday. J.P. Sportman, playing second base with Max Schrock on the disabled list, led the attack, collecting 3 hits, including his 6th home run, and driving in a pair of runs for Midland. Shortstop Yairo Munoz smacked his 3rd home run, and a number of players making their season debuts for the Hounds made key contributions as well. Catcher Beau Taylor, returning from a 50-game suspension, had 3 hits, including a triple, and drove in a run, while center fielder Kenny Wilson, who spent most of the season with the Sounds, singled, tripled and scored, and third baseman Jermaine Curtis, a minor league free agent signee who was sidelined with a hamstring injury in the spring, had a pair of doubles and drove in a run for Midland. The trio replaced three RockHounds who landed on the disabled list on Wednesday. Shortstop Richie Martin, who was hit in the head with a fastball in Tuesday’s game, is headed to Arizona for treatment after suffering a broken nose in the incident according to Hounds’ play-by-play man Bob Hards, while second baseman Max Schrock has been dealing with leg and foot injuries that caused him to miss four games last week, and RHP James Naile hasn’t pitched in over two weeks due to an abdominal strain. Meanwhile, back on the field, LHP Evan Manarino made his Double-A debut for Midland on Wednesday and allowed 2 runs on 9 hits over 6 innings of work to earn the win, while RHP Kyle Finnegan tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to post his 7th save for the RockHounds.

Click here for more on Stockton & Beloit…

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.

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Sunday, May 14th: Ports Drop 7th Straight Despite Brown’s Big Bat while Sounds & Hounds Both Get Blanked

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Seth Brown (2 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Outfielder Seth Brown (2 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 2 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports          4

Lancaster JetHawks  11

LP – Shore 1-3 / 3.12

HR – Brown 2 (7), Vidales (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Seth Brown

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

The Ports hit three home runs at The Hangar in Lancaster, but it wasn’t enough to keep Stockton from suffering its seventh straight loss on Sunday. Right fielder Seth Brown belted a home run in the top of the 2nd inning to tie the game 1-1, and then slugged his second solo shot of the day in the 7th to give him a team-leading 7 round-trippers on the season. Second baseman Josh Vidales smacked a solo shot of his own in the 6th, while third baseman Mikey White doubled twice and drove in a run, but that would account for all of Stockton’s scoring on Sunday. Starter Logan Shore had his rockiest outing of the season, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits over 4 1/3 frames to suffer his 3rd loss, while LHP Will Gilbert surrendered another 6 runs in just 1 2/3 innings of relief for the Ports.

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Monday, May 8th: Sportman Helps Hounds Win 7th Straight while Mengden Makes 1st Rehab Start for Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder J.P. Sportman (2 for 4 / Home Run / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder J.P. Sportman (2 for 4 / Home Run / 3 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Frisco RoughRiders       3

Midland RockHounds  7

WP – Naile 1-0 / 3.52

HR – Sportman (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder J.P. Sportman

(2 for 4 / Home Run / 3 RBIs)

A big 5-run 5th inning helped the RockHounds sail to their seventh straight victory on Monday. The inning was highlighted by right fielder J.P. Sportman’s 3-run homer. Sportman also singled in the game, and the 25-year-old has now gone 10 for 21 over his past 5 games to raise his average to .333, which puts him among the top ten in the Texas League batting race. Center fielder Brett Vertigan had 3 hits, including a double, and drove in a pair, while shortstop Richie Martin singled twice, scored twice and swiped a pair of bases for Midland. Freed from the recent tandem-starter restrictions, RHP James Naile turned in his longest outing of the season, going 5 strong innings while allowing just 1 run to earn his 1st win for the RockHounds. Meanwhile, 21-year-old RHP Grant Holmes is set to take the mound for Midland against Frisco on Tuesday.

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Wednesday, May 3rd: Marincov’s 3 HRs Help Hounds Win while Nunez Homers Again in Sounds’ Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder Tyler Marincov (3 for 5 / 3 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Outfielder Tyler Marincov (3 for 5 / 3 HRs / 5 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Corpus Christi Hooks      3

Midland RockHounds  12

WP – Holmes 2-1 / 5.16

HR – Marincov 3 (6), Rosa (5), Raga (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Tyler Marincov

(3 for 5 / 3 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

Five home runs helped the RockHounds put 12 runs on the board in Wednesday’s win. Right fielder Tyler Marincov led the attack, hitting a 3-run homer in the 4th, then following up with solo shots in his next two at-bats in the 6th and the 8th. First baseman Viosergy Rosa singled, drew 3 walks, and hit a 2-run homer in the 1st, while catcher Argenis Raga slugged a 2-run shot in the 2nd, and second baseman Max Schrock doubled, singled twice, walked and drove in a run for the RockHounds. Third baseman Yairo Munoz went 1 for 5 and scored a run in his season debut after returning from the disabled list and, after a stint with the Sounds, shortstop Melvin Mercedes singled and walked in his return to the RockHounds. Starter James Naile gave up 3 runs in 2 2/3 innings of work, while his tandem-starting mate, RHP Grant Holmes, allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 6 over 4 scoreless frames to earn his 2nd win for Midland. And with Munoz and Mercedes returning to the RockHounds roster, RHP Jesus Zambrano was reassigned to the Snappers and infielder Jean Carlo Rodriguez was sent back to extended spring training in Arizona.

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Saturday, April 29th: Smith’s 6 Shutout Frames Lead Sounds to Victory while Bassitt Makes First Rehab Start for Stockton

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Smith (6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Smith (6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

New Orleans Baby Cakes  2

Nashville Sounds            10

WP – C.Smith 1-1 / 2.18

HR – Nunez (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Chris Smith

(6 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

A night after Nashville starter Paul Blackburn threw 5 scoreless frames, Saturday’s starting pitcher, RHP Chris Smith, followed up by tossing 6 shutout innings to earn the victory as the Sounds won their third straight. And the 36-year-old Smith has now allowed a total of just 5 earned runs over his first 4 starts of the season. Nashville’s offense notched a total of 10 runs for the first time this season. First baseman Matt Olson collected 4 hits, including a double, and drove in a pair of runs, while center fielder Mark Canha doubled twice and drove in 3. Left fielder Renato Nunez notched his 4th home run, a solo shot, and drew a pair of walks, and second baseman Franklin Barreto singled twice, doubled and drove in a run while raising his team-best batting average to a healthy .349. In other news, RHP Raul Alcantara cleared waivers and was sent to the Sounds, and second baseman Joey Wendle’s rehab assignment came to an end as he was activated from the disabled list and officially added to Nashville’s roster.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Tuesday, April 25th: White’s 2 HRs Propel Ports to Victory while Murray & Chalmers Lead Snappers to Shutout Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Mikey White (2 for 2 / 2 Walks / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports SS Mikey White (2 for 2 / 2 Walks / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Lancaster JetHawks  8

Stockton Ports        11

WP – Duno 3-0 / 5.30

HR – M.White 2 (3), Gilbert (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Mikey White

(2 for 2 / 2 Walks / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

Shortstop Mikey White was the hitting star for Stockton on Tuesday, slugging 2 home runs, drawing a pair of walks and driving in 5 runs for the Ports. The A’s 2nd-round draft pick from 2015, who’s primarily been playing third base this season, has now hit 3 home runs in his last 2 games while also drawing 3 walks and driving in 6 runs. Third baseman Trent Gilbert also homered on Tuesday, while designated hitter Brett Siddall singled, doubled and scored the run, and catcher Iolana Akau had a pair of singles, drew a walk, drove in a run and stole a base for Stockton. Starter Logan Shore was charged with 2 unearned runs in the 1st inning, thanks to a fielding error by second baseman Branden Cogswell, and ended up allowing no earned runs while striking out 6 over 3 innings of work on Tuesday. RHP Angel Duno picked up the win despite surrendering 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief, and RHP Carlos Navas pitched 2 1/3 perfect innings to post his 2nd save for the Ports.

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Sunday, April 16th: Sportman’s 3-Hit Day Helps Hounds Win while Sounds Drop 5th Straight

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Designated Hitter J.P. Sportman (3 for 5 / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Designated Hitter J.P. Sportman (3 for 5 / 3 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  9

Springfield Cardinals     4

WP – Holmes 1-1 / 4.76

HR – Marincov (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Designated Hitter J.P. Sportman

(3 for 5 / 3 RBIs)

After dropping their final two games at Tulsa, the RockHounds were able to put a win on the board in their first game at Springfield on Sunday. Designated hitter J.P. Sportman led the attack with 3 hits and 3 RBIs in the game and currently leads the team in both those categories. Sportman singled in Midland’s first run in the 3rd inning and later singled in 2 more runs for the RockHounds in the 8th. Center fielder B.J. Boyd doubled twice and drove in a pair in his return to action after missing three games due to food poisoning, while right fielder Tyler Marincov singled and homered for the Hounds. Starter James Naile allowed 2 runs over 4 innings of work, while his tandem-pitching partner, RHP Grant Holmes, gave up 2 runs and struck out 6 in 3 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win. RHP Sam Bragg got the final four outs to earn the save on Sunday. And with Chad Pinder’s promotion to Oakland from Nashville, Midland infielder Melvin Mercedes was reassigned to the Sounds, and infielder Jean Carlo Rodriguez was added to the Rockhounds roster.

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Tuesday, April 11th: Butler Impresses in Snappers’ Loss while Sounds Win Rain-Delayed Home Opener

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Brendan Butler (4 1/3 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 9 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Brendan Butler (4 1/3 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 9 K)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Beloit Snappers        3

Clinton LumberKings  5

LP – Damron 0-1 / 4.70

HR – Mercedes (1), Diaz (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Brendan Butler

(4 1/3 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 9 K)

Though his team lost its third straight on Tuesday, RHP Brendan Butler still managed to turn in one of the best pitching performances of any A’s minor leaguer so far this season. Working on the back end of Tuesday’s pitching tandem, the 23-year-old entered with two outs in the 4th inning and was nearly perfect over the final 4 1/3 frames, facing the minimum 13 batters during his stint. Butler failed to allow a hit or a walk while striking out 9, and he struck out the side in both the 5th and the 7th. The only base runner he allowed was a hit batsman in the 6th, who was quickly erased on a double play. Butler was working in relief of starter Ty Damron, who was dominant in his last outing – striking out 7 in 4 shutout innings – but he allowed 5 runs, 4 earned, over 3 2/3 innings to take the loss on Tuesday. First baseman Miguel Mercedes slugged a solo shot for the Snappers in the 2nd, while third baseman Edwin Diaz drilled a 2-run drive in the 6th, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Snappers from dropping their third straight on Tuesday.

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