Rain Delays, but Doesn’t Spoil, Opening Weekend in Nashville
After a successful Game One at First Tennessee Park on Friday netted the Nashville Sounds a walk-off win, Nashville and Colorado Springs had to sit through rain delays on Saturday and Sunday. The Sky Sox would prevail on Saturday, 4-2, but the Sounds would come back on Sunday to win, 2-1. The two teams complete their series on Monday.
Brad Mills got the start on Saturday. Although he pitched fairly well, he would be hung with his second loss of the season. The left-hander allowed four runs (two earned) in five innings. He struck-out four and walked two. Fifty-five of his 92 pitches were strikes. The Nashville bullpen was outstanding in relief of Mills, combining to throw four shut-out innings. Brock Huntzinger led the way with two hitless frames. He struck-out three.
The Sounds offense was mostly silent on Saturday. Kent Matthes was the only player with a two-hit game. Billy Burns drew a walk but saw his four-game hitting streak come to an end. Anthony Aliotti and Joey Wendle had the two RBI for the Sounds.
Nashville’s offense was quiet again on Sunday, but their two runs were just enough to hold off the Sky Sox. Matthes two-out, two-run double in the first inning was all the Sounds’ pitching staff would need for the win. Nashville had just four hits in the game, with Burns, Max Muncy and Tyler Ladendorf collecting the other three. The Sounds did walk seven times, however.
The threat of rain lasted throughout Sunday and the Sounds had reliever Fernando Rodriguez make the spot start in case rain caused a significant delay early in the game. Rodriguez threw 2.1 innings and allowed a run on two hits. Scheduled starter Chris Bassitt came in with one out in the third and wound-up pitching 4.2 innings. The game actually went into rain delay in the fifth inning, but Bassitt returned to the mound even after the one-hour delay. He didn’t allow a run in 4.2 innings, scattering three hits. He walked none and earned his first win of the season. Eury De La Rosa and Ryan Cook threw shut-out innings in the eighth and ninth to secure the one-run win. Cook has allowed just one hit and one walk in 4.2 scoreless innings thus far for Nashville. He has two wins and a save.
Midland’s Weekend Cut Short by Rain
Rain was also a factor for the Midland RockHounds, who saw their Sunday game in Arkansas washed away. Midland will play a double-header against the Arkansas Travelers on Monday to make-up for the rainout.
Saturday’s game was a washout of a different sort for Midland. The RockHounds dropped a 5-0 decision to fall to 3-6 on the year. Midland managed just four hits and six walks in the shutout loss. They struck-out 10 times. Colin Walsh had a hit and two walks, while Carson Blair walked in all three of his plate appearances to lead the way for Midland offensively.
Starter Jake Sanchez pitched well until running into trouble in the sixth inning. Up until the sixth, he had allowed just one run. However, he was charged with four more runs in the sixth inning, with two of those runs scoring after he left the game. Sanchez struck-out eight and walked two. Tucker Healy allowed both inherited runners to score, but he was credited with a scoreless outing in 1.1 innings of work. Seth Frankoff struck-out the side in the ninth for Midland.
Stockton Splits Weekend Set
The Stockton Ports split their two weekend games with the Visalia Oaks, winning in walk-off fashion on Saturday night and losing in a shutout on Sunday. The Ports and Oaks split a four-game set that opened Stockton’s home schedule.
On Saturday, it was outfielder J.P. Sportman who played the hero, as he hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th to give the Ports the 7-6 victory. Sportman also had two hits in the game. B.J. Boyd hit a three-run homer and Justin Higley doubled twice and had a single. Michael Soto also had a two-hit game. The Ports had 14 hits in the game, although they didn’t walk once.
Dillon Overton was touched for four runs (two earned) in 3.1 innings. He struck-out five and walked two. Tyler Hollstegge allowed a run in 1.2 innings in relief of Overton. Jonathan Joseph and Andres Avila each pitched three innings out of the bullpen. Avila didn’t allow a hit. He walked one and struck-out four.
Sunday’s 7-0 Ports’ loss featured a scary moment early when starter Lou Trivino was struck with a line-drive in the midsection. He was removed from the game after being hit by the liner in the top of the second. With Trivino out early, the Ports called on reliever Sam Bragg, who often pitches towards the end of games. He struggled in the emergency outing, allowing five runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings. Joel Seddon pitched three innings, allowing a run on four hits. Brendan McCurry threw the final two innings of the game, allowing a run on two hits. McCurry has allowed at least one run in each of his first three outings this season. He allowed just one run all year in 2014.
The Ports couldn’t muster much offense on Sunday. Stockton had just five hits and two walks. Higley had two of those hits, while Franklin Barreto, Soto and Tyler Marincov each had one hit. None of the Ports’ hits went for extra bases. Marincov had a good day in the field, throwing out two runners from right field.
Beloit’s Winning Streak Ends with Sunday Loss
After enduring a seven-game losing streak, the Beloit Snappers strung together two wins in a row on Friday and Saturday against the Clinton Lumber Kings. The streak came to an end on Sunday with a 9-4 loss to Clinton, however.
On Saturday, the Snappers eeked out a 6-5 win in a back-and-forth game. Down 4-3 in the seventh, Beloit scored twice in the seventh and once in the ninth to get the win. Brett Vertigan continued his hot start to the season with three hits, a walk and three RBI out of the lead-off spot. Sandber Pimentel picked up his fifth double of the season.
Junior Mendez got the start and he allowed four runs (two earned) in four innings. Jose Torres took over in relief and earned the win with an outstanding three-inning outing. He didn’t allow a base-runner and he struck-out three. Rob Huber had two innings of relief. He allowed a run in the ninth but held off Clinton for the save.
The Beloit pitching staff struggled on Sunday in their 9-4 loss. Starter Daniel Gossett allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks in four innings. He struck-out six. Cody Stull walked three and allowed a run in two innings in relief. Mike Fagan was charged with three runs in 1.1 innings of relief. He walked three, allowed two hits and hit a batter. Carlos Navas allowed two of Fagan’s runners to score, but was credited with two-thirds scoreless innings in relief.
Trent Gilbert and Pimentel each had two hits, while Vertigan walked three times. Vertigan has a .488 OBP through 10 games. Pimentel has a four-game hitting streak and has raised his average to .281 after starting the week at .222. Gilbert has six hits in his last 13 at-bats to raise his average to .294 on the year.
Extended Spring Training
Report from Kim Contreras
Jarrod Parker had another rehab start for the A's EXT team on Saturday. He allowed one hit in three inning with no walks and four strike-outs. Rehabbing third baseman Renato Nunez played a few innings at third on Saturday, while fellow rehabbing third baseman Matt Chapman DHd. Young right-handers Angel Duno and Argenis Blanco pitched on Saturday. Both are making the jump to the States from the A's Dominican Academy.