A's MLN: Zito Shines, Parker Heads to Surgery

The Oakland A's got some bad news on Jarrod Parker over the weekend, as they learned the right-hander is headed for surgery. Down-on-the-farm, Barry Zito turned back the clock with a stellar outing, the Midland RockHounds had an offensive explosion and more...

Parker Headed for Surgery

A’s starter Jarrod Parker left his start on Friday night with an elbow injury. On Sunday, Parker and the A’s learned what that injury entailed. Doctors diagnosed Parker with a fractured medial epicondyle, which is the bone that anchors the graft used in Tommy John surgery. Parker will need surgery to repair the fracture. It will then be determined if the graft has been damaged. If the graft is damaged, Parker will need another Tommy John surgery, his third. If not, his return from the second Tommy John surgery will be delayed while he rehabs the fracture.

Zito Finds his Groove

For the first time since 2013, Barry Zito has a regular season win as a professional baseball pitcher. Zito had his best start since he return to professional baseball on Sunday. Zito threw seven shutout innings against the Round Rock Express. He allowed just four hits and two walks and he struck-out five. Two of those five strike-outs were of rehabbing outfielder Josh Hamilton.

Zito earned his first win of the season and lowered his ERA to 4.70. Zito has pitched at least into the sixth inning in three of his last four starts. Seth Frankoff finished off the shutout with two scoreless innings. He didn’t allow a hit, walking one and striking out two.

Jason Pridie, Kent Matthes, Alden Carrithers and Andy Parrino all had two-hit games. Matthes, Parrino and Pridie all homered. Nashville is now 12-18 on the year.

Midland’s Offense Erupts

The Midland RockHounds’ offense struggled in a series against the Round Rock Express, but they righted the ship against the Frisco RoughRiders over the weekend. On Saturday, the RockHounds scored 23 runs in a 23-8 rout. Then on Sunday, they followed that game with a 10-4 win over Frisco.

In Saturday’s game, Wade Kirkland hit a grandslam and Carson Blair also homered. Chad Oberacker had four hits and a walk, while Ryan Healy had five hits, Matt Olson, Jaycob Brugman and Kirkland had three hits and Blair and Colin Walsh each had two. Kirkland drove-in seven runs. He came into the game with three RBI for the entire season.

On Sunday, Blair had a three-hit game, while Renato Nunez and Chad Pinder also had three hits. Josh Whitaker, Pinder, Walsh and Healy each homered. Healy’s homer was his first of the year. He raised his average from .257 to .286 over the last two games.

Right-hander Zach Neal earned the win with seven strong innings on Sunday. He allowed three runs on three hits and two walks. Neal struck-out four. Bobby Wahl finished the game with two-innings pitched. He struck-out five, walked two and allowed a run.

Vertigan Makes Strong First Impression

In his first weekend at the High-A level, outfielder Brett Vertigan posted three-straight two-hit games. He collected six hits in 13 at-bats. Vertigan also walked once, and he homered and doubled. This season, Vertigan has a .314/.430/.390 line in 105 at-bats for Beloit and Stockton. Shortstop Melvin Mercedes also had a good first weekend with the Ports. He collected three hits and three walks in six official at-bats for Stockton.

In the Ports’ 5-2 win over San Jose, Vertigan, Branden Cogswell, John Nogowski and Beau Taylor each had two hits. The Ports collected 10 hits over 6.1 innings off Giants’ 2014 top pick Tyler Beede. Dillon Overton got the start for Stockton. He didn’t factor in the decision, but he allowed just a run on three hits in five innings. Overton struck-out five and walked two. The left-hander has now completed five innings in two of last three starts and pitched into the fifth inning in each of his last three outings. Overton is in his first full season back after Tommy John surgery in 2013.

Freiman Officially Joins Sounds’ Roster

The Oakland A’s activated first baseman Nate Freiman off of the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. Freiman battled a back injury during spring training and opened the season on the disabled list. He joined the Sounds on May 4 on a rehab assignment. He has one hit over his first 18 at-bats with Nashville.

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