Oakland A's MLN: Bullpen Strong for Sounds

The Oakland A's had a good day down-on-the-farm on Tuesday, as three of four teams came away with wins. We have the recap of the day's action.

Bullpen Leads the Way for Nashville

Starter Brad Mills was a late scratch because of a flu virus, so the Nashville Sounds had to turn to their bullpen to get them through a Tuesday matinee against the New Orleans Zephyrs.

Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte got the start and he continued his impressive beginning to the season. Venditte went four innings, allowing just a solo homerun. He struck-out three, walked none and allowed four hits. The homerun was the first run Venditte has given up all season. He has allowed seven hits and has 12 strike-outs against six walks in 14 innings pitched this year.

R.J. Alvarez came in after Venditte and he threw two shutout innings in Nashville debut. He struck-out two and walked one and didn’t allow a hit. Fernando Rodriguez also threw two scoreless innings before Chad Smith finished off the win with a scoreless ninth.

The Sounds scored twice in the third and that was all they would need in the 2-1 win. Joey Wendle and Kent Matthes drove home the two runs. Anthony Aliotti and Andy Parrino were the only two Sounds to collect multi-hit games. Parrino is batting .344 over his last 10 games, while Aliotti is batting .314 overall and .325 over his last 10 games.

Nashville has Wednesday off and then takes on Round Rock on Thursday. Kendall Graveman will make his first start for the Sounds since his demotion from Oakland. Before the game, Graveman was officially added to the Nashville roster. Zach Neal was sent back to Double-A Midland to make room for Graveman.

Midland Wins for Seventh Time in Eight Games

It was a matinee start for the RockHounds on Tuesday, as well. Their bats were anything but groggy, as they pounded the Corpus Christi Hooks, 8-4.

Joey Wagman, promoted from extended spring training on Monday, made his first start above the Double-A level. He handled a prospect-laden Hooks’ line-up with relative ease. In five innings, the Walnut Creek native allowed a run on three hits. He struck-out three and walked two and earned the win.

The RockHounds collected 13 hits and five of those hits went for extra-bases. Colin Walsh finished a triple short of the cycle and he also walked in four official at-bats. He scored three runs. Josh Whitaker, Ryon Healy, Jaycob Brugman and Matt Angle each had two hits. Both of Angle’s hits were doubles and he also walked. Matt Olson had a two-run single and two walks. He now sports a .276/.442/.655 line with six homers, 16 RBI and 18 walks in 18 games.

Before the game, starter Chris Lamb was sent back to extended spring training. Lamb had allowed 19 earned runs in nine innings for the RockHounds this season.

Midland has moved to within two games of first-place Corpus Christi with a 10-8 record.

Parker Solid in Ports Win

Jarrod Parker took another step closer to a return to the big leagues with a solid second rehab start for the High-A Stockton Ports. Parker lasted five innings, throwing a lot of strikes and earning the win. He allowed three runs (two earned), but he struck-out seven, walked none and threw 52 of 72 pitches for strikes.

Parker was backed by a strong Stockton bullpen in the 5-3 Ports’ win. Right-hander Joel Seddon took over in the sixth and threw three outstanding innings in relief of Parker. He didn’t allow a base-runner and he struck-out six. Seddon has walked just one batter in 13.1 innings this season. Andres Avila worked a scoreless ninth to record his second save.

J.P. Sportman led the way offensively with three hits out of the lead-off spot. He drove-in one and scored one. He also stole his fourth base of the season. Sportman is batting .317 on the year. Justin Higley had two hits, including his fifth double of the season. The Ports took advantage of some shoddy Bakersfield defense to score two unearned runs.

Before the game, A's outfielder Coco Crisp tweeted that he would be joining the Ports on their next homestand to begin his rehab assignment. Stockton returns home on Friday.

Stockton moved to 9-11 on the season with the win.

Big Inning Dooms Beloit in Loss to Peoria

A pitcher’s duel unraveled for the Beloit Snappers in a disastrous sixth inning that turned a 1-1 game into a 7-1 advantage for Peoria. That score would stand, with Beloit falling to 8-11 with the loss.

Heath Fillmyer was working on a quality start before he ran into trouble in the sixth. He allowed the first four batters to reach before he was lifted for reliever Mike Fagan. Both inherited runners would score and Fillmyer would be charged with five runs in five innings. He struck-out five and walked one.

The Beloit offense was quiet. The Snappers managed just seven hits, with Joe Bennie being the only batter to collect more than one hit. Bennie has seven hits in his last 11 at-bats, breaking a slow start to the season.

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