Tag: Matt Milburn

Thursday, August 17th: Sounds Win Behind Barreto’s Big Bat while Fillmyer Leads Hounds to Shutout Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Franklin Barreto (4 for 5 / Home Run / Triple / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Franklin Barreto (4 for 5 / Home Run / Triple / 4 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds  11

Memphis Redbirds   8

WP – Gossett 4-4 / 3.66

HR – Barreto (14)

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto

(4 for 5 / Home Run / Triple / 4 RBIs)

Shortstop Franklin Barreto had a big night at the plate to help Nashville win a slugfest in Memphis on Thursday. The 21-year-old collected 4 hits, including a home run and a triple, while driving in 4 runs and scoring 3 times for the Sounds. Left fielder Mark Canha singled twice, doubled twice and drove in 3, while center fielder Jaff Decker singled, doubled, walked twice, stole a base and drove in a run. Catcher Beau Taylor had 3 hits and scored 3 runs, and designated hitter Josh Phegley went 1 for 4 with a walk and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in his second rehab game with the Sounds. RHP Daniel Gossett turned in his second straight quality start, allowing 2 runs and striking out 6 over 6 innings of work to earn the win, while RHP Lou Trivino got the final three outs to secure his 2nd save for the Sounds.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Beloit & Vermont…

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 4-Game Series vs. Wisconsin (8/14-17)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers lost three out of four games to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Milwaukee’s Midwest League affiliate, at Pohlman Field in Beloit this week. Due to a postponement on Wednesday, the last two games of the series were 7-inning contests played as a doubleheader on Thursday.

Second baseman Keston Hiura, the Brewers’ 1st-round pick this year, is a star attraction for the Timber Rattlers. He came into the series hitting .356 in 22 games and has been drawing rave reviews for his performance at the plate. Meanwhile, the Snappers continue to fight for a playoff spot in the Midwest League’s Western Division.

 

Game #1:  Wisconsin 8 – Beloit 7

Luke Persico

Luke Persico

*Oakland’s 28th-round pick in 2016, second baseman Josh Vidales, hit his second home run as a Snapper, a 2-run shot in the bottom of the 1st inning to give Beloit an early lead.

*Center fielder Mike Martin, generally known as a speedy singles hitter, hit his first home run of the season along with a double. He had 3 hits in the game and scored 3 runs.

*With two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, the A’s 12th-round pick in 2016, right fielder Luke Persico, hit a 3-run double to right-center field to bring Beloit within one run of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, first baseman Kyle Nowlin could not come up with the clutch hit, grounding out to the shortstop to end the game.

 

Game #2:  Wisconsin 10 – Beloit 0

Jason Goldstein

Jason Goldstein

*Not much went right for Beloit as the Snappers were shut out on 7 hits in this 10-0 loss.

*Catcher Jason Goldstein had 3 of the Snappers’ 7 hits in the game to raise his average on the season to .208.

*LHP Kyle Twomey made the start and, despite battling through some control issues in the 3rd inning, finished with a respectable line of 5 IP/3 H/4 R/1ER/3 BB/7 K.

*RHP Heath Bowers had one of his worst outings of the season, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits in 3 ⅔ innings of relief.

 

Game #3:  Wisconsin 7 – Beloit 3 (7 innings)

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*RHP Matt Milburn, known by many of his teammates as “Dad,” was knocked around by the Rattlers for 7 runs in 5 innings of work. Milburn was just one strike away from getting out of the 2nd inning unscathed, but instead gave up 3 runs on a bases-clearing double by Wisconsin left fielder Joantgel Segovia.

*2016’s 21st-round pick, designated hitter Kyle Nowlin, slugged a solo shot, his 11th home run of the season, to right-center field to put Beloit on the board in the bottom of the 2nd inning. And we’ll have an exclusive interview with Kyle Nowlin coming soon!

*Catcher Jason Goldstein hit his 3rd home run of the season, a 2-run shot, over the left-field fence in the bottom of the 7th inning for the Snappers.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 3 – Wisconsin 1 (7 innings)

John Gorman

John Gorman

*RHP Xavier Altamirano made the start and threw 4 shutout innings, surrendering just 2 hits for the Snappers.

*Designated hitter Kyle Nowlin cracked an RBI double in the 4th inning to give the Snappers a 1-0 lead.

*RHP John Gorman was superb out of the bullpen once again. He stranded two inherited baserunners in the 6th inning and then pitched a perfect frame in the 7th to notch the five-out save. Four of the five outs he recorded were strikeouts.

*Beloit scored two runs to take the lead in the bottom of the 5th inning without recording a hit. A pair of walks followed by a wild pitch on a swinging strikeout that allowed left fielder Luke Persico to reach base and a throwing error led to the decisive runs for the Snappers.

 

Eric Marinez

Eric Marinez

Series Notes:

*Infielder Eric Marinez is a switch hitter. But looking at his numbers hitting right-handed, one might start to wonder if maybe he should consider hitting left-handed on full-time basis. In 87 at-bats as a right-handed hitter, Marinez has put up a rather paltry slash line of .195/.286/.218. But hitting left-handed, Marinez has compiled a solid .311/.370/.413 slash line in 283 at-bats.

*Despite putting together a rather underwhelming 3-5 record on the 8-game home stand, the Snappers currently sit just a half-game behind the Peoria Chiefs in the race for a Western Division playoff spot.

 

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A’s Prospect of the Series:

First Baseman Kyle Nowlin

(4 for 12 / Home Run / 3 Doubles / 3 Walks / 2 RBIs)

 

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Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 4-Game Series vs. Clinton (8/10-13)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers split a 4-game series with the Clinton LumberKings, the Mariners’ Midwest League affiliate, that concluded this Sunday at Pohlman Field in Beloit.

It’s been a rough year for the LumberKings, and nothing sums it up better than the fact that they’re currently on their third manager this season after their first two skippers resigned.

Beloit, meanwhile, continues to battle with the Peoria Chiefs for a Midwest League Western Division playoff spot.

 

Game #1:  Beloit 4 – Clinton 1

Jesus Lopez

Jesus Lopez

*LHP Kyle Twomey allowed no earned runs in 5 innings of work. And in 15 ⅔ frames over his last 3 starts, Twomey has given up just 1 earned run. During that stretch, he’s lowered his ERA almost a full run to 4.15 for the Snappers.

*Left fielder Josh Vidales, the A’s 28th-round pick in 2016, reached base in all 4 of his plate appearances. The 24-year-old had 3 singles and a walk and also drove in a run for the Snappers.

*Second baseman Jesus Lopez cracked a line-drive home run to left field with two outs in the bottom of the 2nd inning to put Beloit on the board. It was his 1st home run of the year for the Snappers.

*Lopez struggled last season, putting up a slash line of .193/.256/.262 between Beloit and Vermont. The native of Nicaragua came back this season with a couple of changes. He’s grown his hair out and, more notably, he’s abandoned switch hitting and is hitting strictly from the right side now. Lopez has looked good this season in his second stint with the Snappers. He’s currently slashing .313/.356/.422 for Beloit, and at just 20 years old, there’s still plenty of time for improvement.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 4 – Clinton 2

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*Matt “The Burn” Milburn had another solid outing for the Snappers, giving up just 1 run and striking out 6 in 5 innings of work. The A’s 29th-round pick in 2016 has shown some real swing-and-miss ability, as evidenced by his 8.8 K/9 rate.

*RHP John Gorman worked 1 ⅔ scoreless innings to close out the game and earn his 1st save for the Snappers. He’s proved to be a great addition to the Beloit bullpen. In 16 ⅓ innings for the Snappers, Gorman has compiled a 1.10 ERA and an excellent 20/1 K/BB ratio.

*Both designated hitter Kyle Nowlin and second baseman Jesus Lopez went 3 for 4 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base for the Snappers.

 

Miguel Mercedes

Miguel Mercedes

Game #3:  Clinton 5 – Beloit 4

*First Baseman Miguel Mercedes went 2 for 3 with a walk. He hit a double and a towering home run to center field, his team-leading 16th of the year.

*RHP Xavier Altamirano battled through 5 innings without his best stuff. His final line was 5 IP/9 H/4 ER/1 BB/2 K.

*The Snappers put a run on the board in both the 8th and 9th innings but still came up short, stranding the tying run on third base in the bottom of the 9th to end the game.

 

Game #4:  Clinton 4 – Beloit 2

Kyle Nowlin

Kyle Nowlin

*LHP Zack Erwin gave up 2 runs while striking out 6 in 5 innings of work. After three terrific pitchers (Dalton Sawyer, Brendan Butler and Brandon Bailey) were promoted from Beloit to Stockton this season, Erwin has become the ace of the Snappers pitching staff in the second half.

*RHP Joseph Camacho, signed as an undrafted free agent after last year’s draft, struck out 4 in 3 scoreless innings of relief. He’s compiled a 3.07 ERA with a 23/5 K/BB ratio in 29 ⅓ innings for the Snappers this season. Thus far, Camacho has looked like a real find by the A’s scouting staff.

*RHP Sam Sheehan, a 31st-round pick by Oakland in 2016, had a rare bad day on the mound. He surrendered 2 runs in the top of the 9th to suffer his 1st loss for the Snappers.

*First Baseman Kyle Nowlin cracked a two-out double to right-center field, scoring a hustling Edwin Diaz from first base to put Beloit on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning.

*Nowlin has made some immense strides in his hitting as well as his play at first base this season for the Snappers. While he doesn’t possess great range, Nowlin has learned how to better scoop out throws in the dirt. And he’s come on strong at the plate of late, putting up a slash line of .307/.409/.473 for the Snappers in the second half.

 

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A’s Prospect of the Series:

Left Fielder/Second Baseman Josh Vidales

(7 for 16 / Triple / Walk / 4 RBIs / Stolen Base)

 

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Friday, August 11th: Neal & Fillmyer Pitch Sounds & Hounds to Victory while Armenteros Helps AZL A’s Prevail

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Zach Neal (7 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Zach Neal (7 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 3 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Memphis Redbirds   1

Nashville Sounds   3

WP – Neal 3-7 / 4.99

HR – Munoz (7)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Zach Neal

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

RHP Zach Neal turned in an outstanding start for the Sounds on Friday, allowing just 1 run over 7 innings of work to notch his 3rd win for Nashville. RHP Chris Bassitt threw a scoreless 8th, and RHP Lou Trivino pitched a perfect 9th to pick up his 1st save for the Sounds. Center fielder Yairo Munoz singled, homered and drove in a pair, while catcher Matt McBride doubled, walked and scored a run, and left fielder Kenny Wilson singled twice, stole a base and drove in a run for Nashville. Meanwhile, the A’s sent outfielders Mark Canha and Jaycob Brugman back to the Sounds and recalled outfielder Boog Powell and RHP Michael Brady on Friday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Saturday, August 5th: Sounds Win with 5 HRs while Strong Starts from Fillmyer & Duno Aren’t Enough to Help Hounds & Ports Prevail

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (3 for 5 / Home Run / Walk)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (3 for 5 / Home Run / Walk)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds  15

Reno Aces                8

WP – Doubront 2-2 / 4.15

HR – Nunez (29), Olson (23), Barreto (13), Munoz (6), Carter (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Matt Olson

(3 for 5 / Home Run / Walk)

Five home runs helped the Sounds win a slugfest in Reno on Saturday. First baseman Matt Olson reached base 4 times, collecting 3 hits, including his 23rd home run, while also drawing a walk, and Olson has now gone 7 for 18 with 3 home runs and 5 RBIs over his last 4 games for the Sounds. Center fielder Yairo Munoz singled, homered and drove in 4 runs, while third baseman Renato Nunez doubled, walked, hit his minor-league-leading 29th home run and drove in a pair. Shortstop Franklin Barreto singled and homered, and designated hitter Chris Carter doubled, walked and hit a 2-run homer for the Sounds. Starter Ben Bracewell gave up 8 runs over 3 2/3 innings of work, while LHP Felix Doubront tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to notch his 2nd win for Nashville. Meanwhile, former Sounds catcher Ryan Lavarnway was designated for assignment by the A’s, and Nashville RHPs Jesse Hahn and Tucker Healy were both placed on the disabled list on Saturday. Hahn suffered a lat strain while Healy is dealing with a bicep strain.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 7-Game Home Stand vs. Burlington & Peoria (7/29-8/4)

bsby Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

Beloit took three out of four games from the Burlington Bees, the Angels’ Midwest League affiliate, in a series that wrapped up on Tuesday at Pohlman Field in Beloit. The Snappers then went on to win two out of three games from the Peoria Chiefs, the Cardinals’ Class-A affiliate, in a series that ended on Friday. And Beloit’s Midwest League playoff dreams are alive and well as the Snappers have played good baseball in the second half of the season.

 

BURLINGTON SERIES (7/29-8/1)

The general consensus is that the Angels have one of the weakest farm systems in baseball. And the 2017 Burlington Bees do nothing to dispel that notion. The only truly noteworthy prospect on the squad is RHP Joe Gatto, who is the Angels’ #26 ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline.

 

Game #1:  Beloit 4 – Burlington 0

Seth Martinez

Seth Martinez

*The right-handed pitching trio of Seth Martinez, Heath Bowers and Sam Sheehan, while not exactly dominant – they combined to walk 5 while scattering 8 hits – still managed to shut out Burlington on Tuesday. Sheehan loaded the bases in the 9th inning with one out before striking out the next two Bees batters to preserve the shutout.

*Snappers shortstop Eric Marinez went 3 for 4 at the plate with a triple and an RBI for Beloit.

*3 of the 4 stolen bases by Beloit in this game came courtesy of leadoff hitter Mike Martin. The Snappers center fielder twice stole third base.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 5 – Burlington 0

Kyle Twomey

Kyle Twomey

*LHP Kyle Twomey threw his best game as a member of the A’s organization. The former Cubs farmhand turned in a solid stat line of 5 IP/2 H/0 ER/2 BB/7 K.

*The A’s 10th-round pick in 2016, RHP Mitchell Jordan, has primarily been pitching in long relief since returning from the disabled list on July 5. For the most part, he’s been hit pretty hard this season, with an ERA of 5.70 and opposing batters hitting .318 against him. But in this game, he threw 3 shutout innings, with RHP John Gorman contributing 1 scoreless frame to complete the 4-hit shutout for the Snappers.

*Every Beloit batter had at least 1 hit in the game.

 

Game #3:  Beloit 4 – Burlington 3 (12 innings)

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*RHP Matt Milburn, the A’s 29th-round pick in 2016, made yet another strong start, giving up just 2 runs in 7 innings of work. After posting a 5.58 ERA in 59 ⅔ innings in the first half, Milburn has been sensational in the second half. He has a 1.85 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP and a 47:7 K/BB ratio in 48 ⅔ innings for the Snappers in the second half.

*After having a tough time through the first 5 innings against Bees starter Joe Gatto, Beloit mounted a successful comeback against the Burlington bullpen.

*Utility man Josh Vidales, recently demoted from High Class-A Stockton, came through with a big 2-RBI single to tie the game in the 6th inning. The A’s 28th-round draft pick in 2016 was playing left field in this game. He’s also played second base and third base for the Snappers.

*Oakland’s 21st-round pick in 2016, first baseman Kyle Nowlin, came through with a clutch home run to tie the game again in the 8th inning. It was his 10th home run of the season.

*With the bases-loaded and one out in the 12th inning, right fielder Mike Martin hit a chopper to Burlington second baseman Juan Moreno, who tried to turn a 4-6-3 double play. But Martin, with his blazing speed, managed to beat out the throw to first as the Snappers won on a walk-off fielder’s choice.

 

Xavier Altamirano

Xavier Altamirano

Game #4:  Burlington 7 – Beloit 2

*RHP Xavier Altamirano continued to look good as a starter, but the 23-year-old was the tough-luck loser in this one despite putting up a solid stat line of 6 IP/5 H/2 R/1 ER/1 BB/7 K.

*The Snappers had just 6 hits in the loss. And catcher Jason Goldstein, acquired from the Mariners for LHP Dillon Overton in the offseason, went 2 for 3 with a walk.

 

PEORIA SERIES (8/2-4)

The Peoria Chiefs are one of the Snappers’ main competitors for a Western Division playoff spot in the second half. Peoria’s outfield features a pair of 1st-round picks, 2015 1st-rounder Nick Plummer and 2016 1st-rounder Dylan Carlson.

 

Game #1:  Beloit 7 – Peoria 1

Zack Erwin

Zack Erwin

*Infielder Edwin Diaz returned to Beloit after a rough 13-game stretch in Stockton. When the A’s acquired shortstop Jorge Mateo from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal and assigned him to Double-A Midland, that sent RockHounds shortstop Richie Martin down to Stockton and bumped Diaz back to Beloit.

*LHP Zack Erwin, fresh off being named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Month after he compiled a 0.69 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and a 32:4 K/BB ratio in 26 innings in July, spun yet another great start for the Snappers. Utilizing his extremely effective splitter, Erwin went 6 shutout innings while giving up just 2 hits and striking out 9.

*Beloit had 14 hits in the game. First baseman Kyle Nowlin and left fielder Josh Vidales each collected 2 singles and a walk, while designated hitter Miguel Mercedes and third baseman Trace Loehr both had a pair of hits, but Loehr had to leave the game after suffering a lower body injury while legging out a triple. Outfielder Mike Martin went 3 for 5 and added a stolen base.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 7 – Peoria 6 (10 innings)

Mike Martin

Mike Martin

*First baseman Miguel Mercedes fell a triple short of the cycle, finishing 3 for 5 with a booming 2-run homer to left-center field in the 6th inning.

*Catcher Jason Goldstein reached base 4 times with 2 hits and 2 walks.

*After being down by 6 runs at one point, Beloit then went on to score 7 unanswered runs to win 7-6 in 10 innings. It all started and ended with center fielder Mike Martin. He led off the 6th inning with a triple, which helped ignite a 4-run frame for the Snappers. And in the 10th inning, Martin once again came up with the bases loaded and one out in extra innings – the exact same situation that he’d faced three days earlier. This time, he hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring home the winning run as the Snappers won in a walk-off.

 

Game #3:  Peoria 13 – Beloit 10

Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz

*The Snappers and the Chiefs combined for a Midwest League record 20 extra-base hits in the game.

*There were a combined 15 runs scored in the 8th inning alone, 10 by Peoria and 5 by Beloit.

*Four Snappers homered in the game: Miguel Mercedes (15), Collin Theroux (12), Edwin Diaz (9), and J.C Rodriguez (4).

*Shortstop Edwin Diaz went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs while first baseman Miguel Mercedes went 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs.

*Peoria first baseman Stefan Trosclair hit for the cycle.

*After giving up 6 earned runs in 1 ⅓ innings of relief, RHP Joseph Camacho‘s 1.50 ERA rocketed to 3.55.

 

Series Notes:

*Outfielder Mike Martin is a dynamic threat on the base paths. He swiped 6 bases during this home stand, and the speedster is now 20 for 22 in stolen base attempts between Beloit and Vermont this season.

*Beloit finished the home stand 1 1/2 games ahead of Peoria for the second playoff spot in the Midwest League Western Division second half.

 

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A’s Prospect of the Home Stand:

First Baseman Miguel Mercedes

(10 for 29 / 2 Home Runs / 9 RBIs)

 

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Monday, July 31st: Milburn Impresses in Snappers’ Walk-Off Win while Hahn Is Solid in Sounds’ Loss & A’s Add 4 Prospects in Deadline Deals

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Matt Milburn (7 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Matt Milburn (7 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Burlington Bees    3

Beloit Snappers  4

WP – Alejo 4-3 / 4.03

HR – Nowlin (10)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Matt Milburn

(7 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 5 K)

RHP Matt Milburn turned in another outstanding start to help the Snappers win their fifth straight. Last year’s 29th-round draft pick for the A’s allowed 2 runs on just 5 hits over 7 innings of work but left with the game a 2-2 tie on Monday. The 24-year-old has now compiled an impressive 1.85 ERA in 8 starts for the Snappers in the second half. RHP Joseph Camacho gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the 8th, but first baseman Kyle Nowlin belted a game-tying home run in the bottom of the 8th. And the game remained tied until the bottom of the 12th, when right fielder Mike Martin beat out a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to bring home second baseman Trace Loehr as the Snappers won in a walk-off. RHP Yordys Alejo tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win as Beloit notched its ninth victory in its last ten games on Monday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Stockton, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Wednesday, July 26th: Meisner & Sportman Help Hounds Win 6th Straight while Hahn Earns 1st Win for Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Casey Meisner (6 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Casey Meisner (6 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Frisco RoughRiders        3

Midland RockHounds  11

WP – Meisner 2-3 / 6.59

HR – Sportman (8), Ramirez (3), Murphy (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Casey Meisner

(6 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / Win)

RHP Casey Meisner turned in one of his best starts for the RockHounds since joining the team late last month. The 22-year-old allowed 2 runs over 6 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for Midland and help the Hounds secure their sixth straight win on Wednesday. Right fielder J.P. Sportman, who left Tuesday’s game after being hit in the hand with a pitch, had a big night at the plate, collecting 3 hits, including a home run, while driving in a pair. Catcher Sean Murphy and left fielder Tyler Ramirez both homered, while third baseman Jordan Tarsovich had 3 hits, and first baseman Viosergy Rosa doubled, walked and drove in 3 runs for the RockHounds.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton, Beloit & AZL A’s…

Snappy Thoughts: Beloit’s 5-Game Home Stand vs. West Michigan & South Bend (7/19-24)

by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent

bsThe Beloit Snappers split a rain-shortened two-game series against the West Michigan Whitecaps, Detroit’s Midwest League affiliate, last week at Pohlman Field in Beloit. The Snappers then went on to sweep the South Bend Cubs, Chicago’s Class-A affiliate, in a three-game set that concluded on Monday.

The Whitecaps entered the series with the best record in all of minor league baseball. A sparkling 2.64 ERA and 19 shutouts are far and away the best from any team this season in the Midwest League. In terms of top prospects, the standout is outfielder Derek Hill, who ranks as the #8 prospect in the Tigers organization according to MLB Pipeline. A 1st-round pick in 2014, Hill spent most of the season on the disabled list before returning to action late last month.

South Bend has been a solid team, staying above .500 during most of the season. The Cubs recently lost their top prospect, RHP Dylan Cease, to the White Sox organization in the Jose Quintana trade. But they do have an athletic, high-upside outfielder in D.J. Wilson, who ranks as the #6 prospect in the Cubs organization according to MiLB Pipeline.

 

Game #1:  West Michigan 6 – Beloit 3

Heath Bowers

Heath Bowers

*After three rather uneventful innings on Wednesday, things started to get a little crazy in Beloit. As the skies grew darker, a tornado siren suddenly went off while the Snappers were warming up, which halted the game. The contest would not resume until the next day as a major thunderstorm with tornado potential rolled through south-central Wisconsin. A lightning bolt actually struck one of the left field light poles, which knocked out a number of lights as well as the scoreboard, and Pohlman Field had to go without a scoreboard the next day.

*When the game resumed in the top of the 4th inning on Thursday, RHP Mitchell Jordan took the hill for the Snappers. It was clearly not his day, as he gave up 6 earned runs while getting just two outs in the top of the 4th inning. Jordan, the A’s 10th-round pick in 2016, has struggled to miss bats this season, giving up a lot of hard contact.

*RHP Heath Bowers righted the ship for Beloit, throwing 3 ⅓ scoreless innings in relief. What was most encouraging to see from Bowers is how he attacked the strike zone, throwing 33 of his 47 pitches for strikes. As good as his 1.96 ERA in 55 innings might look, the 30 walks he has given up show that he has constantly been walking a tightrope. If Bowers is going to succeed going forward, he’ll need to start issuing fewer free passes.

 

Game #2:  Beloit 2 – West Michigan 0

Matt Milburn

Matt Milburn

*In this 7-inning game, a safety squeeze bunt from shortstop Jesus Lopez and an RBI double from first baseman Miguel Mercedes accounted for all the Snappers’ scoring.

*RHP Matt Milburn, a 29th-round pick by the A’s in 2016, pitched 5 ⅔ scoreless innings to earn his 6th win for the Snappers. While Milburn is sporting a respectable 3.92 ERA, his peripherals suggest that he has been much better than that. His FIP sits at 2.90 and his xFIP at 3.12. Meanwhile, his K/9 is a solid 9.34 and he has a very good swinging strike rate of 13.1%.

*RHP Sam Sheehan, the A’s 31st-round pick last year, shut the door on the Whitecaps. He allowed just 1 hit and struck out 2 in 1 ⅓ scoreless innings to earn his 4th save. Sheehan now has superb 1.57 ERA in 28 ⅔ innings this season for the Snappers.

 

Game #3:  Beloit 6 – South Bend 3

Collin Theroux

Collin Theroux

*RHP Xavier Altamirano had a quality start in his second straight outing, putting up a pitching line of 6 IP/4 H/2 ER/1 BB/6 K.

*Center fielder and leadoff hitter Mike Martin went 3 for 4 while scoring a pair of runs for the Snappers.

*First baseman Kyle Nowlin, Oakland’s 21st-round pick in 2016, went 2 for 3 with a walk and 2 RBIs for Beloit.

*Catcher Collin Theroux, the 32nd-round pick by the A’s last year, threw out both runners who tried to steal. For the season, he has thrown out nearly 48% of attempted steals, which is an impressive number for any catcher. The 23-year-old possesses a cannon of a throwing arm and is not afraid to show it off. It’s definitely something that opposing teams need to be wary of coming into a series.

 

Game #4:  Beloit 6 – South Bend 0

Seth Martinez

Seth Martinez

*Beloit batters hit 3 home runs off of Cubs starter LHP Manuel Rondon. Third baseman Trace Loehr hit his 3rd home run in the 1st inning, designated hitter Kyle Nowlin clubbed his 8th, also in the 1st, and second baseman J.C Rodriguez slugged his 2nd home run on the season in the 4th.

*Loehr went 2 for 4 to continue his hot hitting in the second half. By the end of the series with South Bend, Loehr was batting .340 with a .553 slugging percentage in 26 games in the second half.

*Nowlin reached base in all 4 plate appearances, continuing his own second-half hot streak. By the end of the South Bend series, Nowlin was slashing .326/.426/.500 in the second half.

*Despite having to warm up multiple times due to rainy conditions, LHP Zack Erwin threw 4 scoreless innings of 2-hit ball.

*RHP Seth Martinez was spectacular in relief of Erwin. Working at a brisk pace, the A’s 17th-round pick in 2016 did not allow a baserunner over 5 perfect innings while striking out 3. Martinez’s successful outing can be attributed to his solid fastball command and a sweeping slider, which helped him induce a lot of weak contact.

 

Game #5:  Beloit 7 – South Bend 6

J.C. Rodriguez

J.C. Rodriguez

*The Snappers pitchers with the three worst ERAs on the current staff combined to help Beloit win the final game of the set on Monday and sweep the series from South Bend. LHP Kyle Twomey (5.93 ERA), RHP Mitchell Jordan (6.04 ERA) and RHP Jesus Zambrano (5.36 ERA) weren’t particularly sharp, allowing a lot of hard contact and scattering 16 hits while allowing 6 runs, 5 earned. But they buckled down to get out of some sticky situations, and some impressive defensive plays behind them helped to bail them out as well.

*Beloit threw out three South Bend runners at home plate in the game. A great throw by left fielder J.C. Rodriguez to the plate got the first runner, while a tremendous relay from center fielder JaVon Shelby to shortstop Trace Loehr to catcher Collin Theroux nailed the second, and second baseman Josh Vidales made a magnificent bare-handed pick up and then fired home a bullet to nab the third runner.

*With the score tied at 6-6 and one out in the bottom of the 9th inning, up stepped left fielder J.C. Rodriguez. Full name: Jean Carlo Rodriguez. Extra innings were looming over what was already a long and wacky game. But on a 1-1 pitch, Rodriguez smacked his third home run of the year, a line drive over the left field wall, to cap off a wild win and complete the sweep.

 

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A’s Prospect of the Home Stand:

First Baseman Kyle Nowlin

(7 for 13 / Home Run / 3 Walks / 3 RBIs)

 

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Thursday, July 20th: Nunez’s Big Blow Leads Sounds to Victory while Ports Win in a Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Third Baseman Renato Nunez (2 for 5 / Home Run / 3 RBIs / Stolen Base)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Third Baseman Renato Nunez (2 for 5 / Home Run / 3 RBIs / Stolen Base)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds  7

Iowa Cubs               5

WP – J.Smith 4-1 / 3.62

HR – Nunez (25), Barreto (10)

Prospect Of The Game:

Third Baseman Renato Nunez

(2 for 5 / Home Run / 3 RBIs / Stolen Base)

With the game tied in the top of the 9th, third baseman Renato Nunez hit his league-leading 25th home run to provide the margin of victory for the Sounds on Thursday. Nunez also singled in a run in the 5th, while center fielder Yairo Munoz collected 4 hits, including a double, and drove in the tying run in the top of the 8th. Second baseman Joey Wendle had 3 hits, including a triple, and shortstop Franklin Barreto walked, stole a base and belted his 10th home run for the Sounds. Starter Jesse Hahn allowed 5 runs over 5 innings of work, while RHP Josh Smith was solid in relief, throwing 4 scoreless frames to notch his 4th win for Nashville. And in other news, Sounds RHP Frankie Montas is set to rejoin the A’s on Friday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

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