Oakland A's MLN: Sounds, Snappers Walk-Off

The Oakland A's had two walk-off winners and saw their two other affiliates engaged in see-saw battles on Tuesday night. We have all of the news and notes in this edition of Oakland A's Minor League Notebook.

Matthes Sends Sounds Home Winners

Kent Matthes doubled home Matt Carson with one-out in the ninth inning to send the Nashville Sounds to a 2-1 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs. The win earned the Sounds a split in their four-game series against New Orleans. Nashville now heads out west for eight games versus the Fresno Grizzlies and the Sacramento River Cats.

A Nashville pitching staff of Sean Nolin, Chris Bassitt and R.J. Alvarez combined to keep New Orleans in check. Nolin got the start and threw 2.2 innings in his fourth outing since recovering from off-season hernia surgery. He allowed his first run of the season, a solo homerun to Brady Shoemaker. Nolin was otherwise very effective, allowing just one other hit and a walk. He struck-out three.

Bassitt was outstanding in a 4.1 inning relief appearance. He gave-up just a double and two walks over that stretch and he struck-out five. The right-hander lowered his ERA to 3.86. He has 19 strike-outs and five walks in 19 innings for the Sounds this season.

Nashville turned to Alvarez to throw two innings in a 1-1 game. The right-hander allowed just two singles and he didn’t walk a batter in two scoreless frames. He struck-out two and was the winning pitcher when Matthes’ double plated Carson.

The Nashville offense was looking for a breakthrough most of the night. The Sounds had 10 hits, including five doubles, but they stranded 12 runners. Luke Carlin’s RBI single in the fifth inning tied the game at 1. The Sounds loaded the bases with one-out after Carlin’s single but couldn’t bring in another run. They wouldn’t score again until the ninth, when Matt Carson led-off with a double. After Joey Wendle flew out to left, Matthes drove-in Carson with a double to center. It was Matthes’ 13th double of the year.

Carlin, Jason Pridie and Anthony Aliotti had two-hit games.

Doolittles Not Enough for Midland in Loss

For the first time in their professional careers, Sean and Ryan Doolittle pitched in the same regular season game. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for the Midland RockHounds in a wild game that saw them lose to the Frisco RoughRiders, 15-7.

Sean Doolittle made his third rehab appearance and his first for Midland. He allowed two runs in each of his two outings with the Stockton Ports last week. Doolittle threw a scoreless inning for Midland on Tuesday, allowing only a groundball single to fellow rehabbing big leaguer Josh Hamilton. He didn’t strike-out or walk a batter and Doolittle did retire the heart of the Frisco line-up, including top prospects Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara.

Ryan Doolittle – like most of the Midland pitchers on Tuesday – struggled in the loss. Starter Tim Atherton has been excellent since joining Midland, but he had a rough outing on Tuesday. He allowed eight runs on six hits and four walks in 2.2 innings. Andres Avila followed and allowed four runs of his own in 1.1 innings. After Sean Doolittle’s scoreless fifth, Ryan relieved him and had a wild inning. He walked four and allowed three unearned runs in two-thirds of an inning. Kris Hall came in and stabilized things for Midland, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings. He struck-out four.

The Midland offense had a good game in the loss. Jaycob Brugman drove home three and picked up his fourth triple in a two-hit game. Colin Walsh had two hits and a walk and Ryon Healy drove-in two. Renato Nunez hit his first homerun of the season. He went 2-for-5. Matt Olson started the game in right field. He has now appeared in four games in right.

Ports Drop See-Saw Affair

The Stockton Ports rallied back from a four-run deficit but ultimately fell one run short in their 8-7 loss to Bakersfield on Tuesday. A’s utilityman Ben Zobrist played five innings for the Ports in his first rehab assignment since undergoing knee surgery. He had a hit and an RBI in three at-bats and played five innings in the field at second base.

The Ports went up 2-0 in the top of the first when Michael Soto hit a two-run homerun, his fourth homer of the season. The lead didn’t last long, as reigning Cal League Pitcher of the Week Kyle Finnegan had a rough outing. He allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning before being lifted for reliever Corey Walter.

Walter had an excellent outing in relief of Finnegan. He threw 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk. He struck-out three. Sam Bragg followed with two scoreless innings of his own before Ben Bracewell ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing the tying and go-ahead runs after the Ports had rallied in the top of the seventh to take a 7-6 lead. Omar Duran threw a scoreless eighth in his second outing since returning to the organization.

On offense, Soto and Matt Chapman led the way with two RBI each. Chapman connected on his third double of the season. He also walked. The A’s top pick in 2014 has seen five of his seven hits this season go for extra bases.

Tyler Marincov reached base four times with a single and three walks. Brett Vertigan walked twice, while Franklin Barreto reached twice with a walk and a hit-by-pitch.

Snappers Go Extra Mile in Walk-off Win

It took 10 innings, but the Beloit Snappers walked off winners against the Kane County Cougars on Tuesday. A wild pitch scored Jose Brizuela from third with two-outs in the bottom of the 10th to give Beloit the win.

The Beloit pitching staff – led by starter Kevin Johnson – was outstanding on Monday. Johnson went five shutout innings, allowing four hits and no walks. He struck-out two. It was Johnson’s longest outing since returning from Tommy John surgery and his best start of the year.

Cody Stull, Jose Torres and Joey Wagman combined to hold the Cougars to one run in five innings of relief. Wagman earned the win in his first outing for the Snappers. He was sent down from Stockton this weekend and took the spot of Tyler Hollstegge on the Beloit roster. Hollstegge is on the DL.

The Snappers had only six hits, but it was just enough to earn the win. Yairo Munoz had two hits. He was the only Beloit hitter with more than one hit.

Parker’s Surgery Successful

A’s right-hander Jarrod Parker underwent successful surgery to repair a fracture of his avulsed medial epicondyle in his right elbow. He did not require a third Tommy John surgery. No timetable for his recovery was announced, but it is expected to be shorter than the 12-month timeframe for Tommy John surgery.

Pomeranz to DL; Leon Back Up

The Oakland A’s announced on Wednesday morning that left-hander Drew Pomeranz would be heading to the disabled list with a sprain of his left AC (shoulder) joint. Pomeranz left his start on Monday with left shoulder soreness. The A’s have recalled right-hander Arnold Leon from Nashville for the second time this season. Leon’s stay could be short if the A’s plan to recall another starter when Pomeranz’s spot in the rotation comes up again. Kendall Graveman last pitched on Sunday, while Sean Nolin and Chris Bassitt each pitched on Tuesday. Leon made one appearance in relief with the A’s the last time he was with the team. He threw an inning in his big league debut, allowing one run.

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