Oakland A's MLN: Hounds Pounce; Stalcup Deals

August 19th was filled with outstanding pitching performances and some timely offense throughout the Oakland A's system. We review the highlights, including a memorable performance by left-hander Matt Stalcup.

Midland Reaches 70 Wins

The Midland RockHounds used a big offensive outburst to reach the 70-win plateau for 2014. The RockHounds collected 15 runs and 16 hits and they walked 13 times in their 15-2 rout of Corpus Christi.

Dusty Coleman hit his 15th homer, while Kent Matthes drove-in five. Jeremy Barfield and Jefry Marte each walked four times. Max Muncy and Blake Forsythe each had three hits and two walks.

Starter Shawn Haviland received plenty of support, but he didn’t need it. He allowed two runs in 5.2 innings. He struck-out four, walked three and gave-up four hits. The win was Haviland’s sixth of the year. Marcus Walden, Omar Duran and Ryan Dull combined to toss 3.1 scoreless innings in relief.

Stalcup, Snappers Blank Peoria

Left-hander Matt Stalcup had a brilliant outing on Tuesday night, collecting his first nine-inning shutout of his professional career. The A’s 2013 ninth-round pick limited the Chiefs to three hits over nine scoreless frames. He struck-out eight and threw 70 strikes out of 102 pitches thrown.

Stalcup lowered his ERA to 4.02 and he earned his fifth win of the season. In 80.2 innings, Stalcup has a 62:18 K:BB and he has allowed just eight homeruns.

The Snappers managed just eight hits and two walks, but it was enough to give Stalcup three runs to work with. A’s 2014 seventh-round pick Branden Cogswell had a two-hit game and he also drew a walk. Michael Soto hit his fourth homer of the season, a solo shot. Melvin Mercedes drove-in two.

New York-Penn League ASG Ends In Tie

Four members of the Vermont Lake Monsters appeared in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game on Monday. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Yairo Munoz got the start and was the North team’s lead-off batter. The shortstop went 0-for-3. J.P. Sportman had one at-bat and went 0-for-1, while Joe Bennie pinch-ran. Bennie is battling an injury that prevented him from being able to hit or play in the field in the game. Lake Monsters’ pitcher Fernando Cruzado tossed two-thirds of a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.

River Cats Topple Oklahoma City

One night after being shut-out, the Sacramento River Cats plated seven runs on 12 hits and five walks in a 7-4 win over the Oklahoma City Redhawks. Shane Peterson hit his 11th homerun of the season and Jose Martinez had three hits in the win.

The A’s had two players rehabbing with Sacramento on Tuesday: Craig Gentry and Kyle Blanks. Gentry went 0-for-3 with an RBI and a strike-out, while Blanks had two hits in five at-bats. Gentry played in right field, while Blanks was the DH.

Alden Carrithers and Nick Buss each had two-hit games. Buss also had an outfield assist, his third in the last five games, according to River Cats’ announcer Johnny Doskow. Former A’s prospect and Sacramento-area native Max Stassi hit a homerun for OKC in the loss.

Sacramento scored four runs in the second and another in the third to give starter Zach Neal a comfortable early lead. He allowed 10 hits in 6.2 innings, but he pitched out of a lot of trouble, limiting the RedHawks to four runs (two earned). He struck-out seven and walked just one. Joe Savery and Jeremy McBryde combined to toss 2.1 scoreless innings to close out the game. McBryde struck-out two and earned his 15th save. McBryde lowered his ERA to 2.25 and upped his strike-out total to 60 in 60 innings. He has allowed just 36 hits this season.

Ports Shut-out In Lake Elsinore

The red-hot Stockton Ports were cooled off by the Lake Elsinore Storm’s pitching staff and an early morning bus ride that had them leaving from Stockton’s Banner Island Ballpark for Southern California at the break of dawn.

Three Storm pitchers combined to limit the Ports to four hits and three walks. They struck-out 10 Stockton batters. Matt Olson, with a hit and a walk, and Beau Taylor, with two walks, were the only two Ports’ batters to reach base twice in the game.

Left-hander Chris Lamb was stuck with the loss despite a quality start. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks in six innings. He struck-out five.

Reliever Michael Ynoa made his first appearance since July 27th, when he left an outing with arm soreness. Ynoa allowed a hit but he induced a double-play and needed just four pitches to complete the scoreless inning. Kris Hall struck-out two in a scoreless inning of work. He has 73 strike-outs in 53.2 innings this season.

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