Oakland A's MLN: Zito Shines in Return to Sac

Pitching in Sacramento for the first time since he was a member of the Sacramento River Cats in 2000, left-hander Barry Zito turned back the clock with a vintage performance in a 3-0 Nashville Sounds' victory.

Nashville Staff Extends Scoreless Streak

For a second consecutive game, the Nashville Sounds' pitching staff smothered the Sacramento River Cats' offense. On Monday, it was lefty Sean Nolin who jump-started a 5-0 shut-out for the Sounds. On Tuesday, left-hander Barry Zito continued the recent run of good starting pitching from Nashville, leading the way in a 3-0 Sounds' win. The back-to-back shutouts were the first for the Sounds this season.

Zito went six innings in his second-best start of the season. He allowed just three hits and two walks and he struck-out five. Zito has now pitched at least six innings in three of his last four starts. He lowered his ERA to 4.72 with the Tuesday outing.

Ryan Verdugo and R.J. Alvarez combined to secure the shutout. Verdugo threw 1.2 scoreless innings and Alvarez earned the save by recording the final four outs of the game. In eight outings this season, Alvarez has not allowed a run six times. In his two other outings, he has allowed eight runs in 2.1 innings.

Offensively, Joey Wendle and Anthony Aliotti led the way for Nashville. Each had two hits in the game. Aliotti drove-in two. The St. Mary's alum has five hits in two games in his return to Northern California. Aliotti is batting .300 over his last 10 games and has his season average up to .292 and his season OBP at .370.

Midland Stuns Tulsa with Late Comeback

Down a run in the bottom of the eighth, the Midland RockHounds stormed back to score three times and steal an 8-6 win over the Tulsa Drillers on Tuesday night. Carson Blair's two-out, bases-loaded double scored the three runs and gave Midland the win.

Midland was down 3-1 after two and 6-1 after three-and-a-half before they scored four times in the bottom of the fourth to draw within a run. Josh Whitaker had a second-inning double and a fourth-inning homer that were key hits in Midland's two early scoring innings.

The game remained 6-5 until the bottom of the eighth, when Midland mounted the winning rally. After Matt Olson walked to open the inning, Whitaker popped out. Renato Nunez followed with a hard shot down the third base line that Drillers' third baseman Jareck Cunningham made a spectacular play on to turn it into a force out at second. Ryon Healy then followed with an infield single and Jaycob Brugman walked to load the bases for Blair. Down 0-2 in the count, Blair doubled to left, clearing the bases. Blair is now batting .300 on the season and .368 over his last 17 games.

Whitaker had another huge game, extending his hitting streak to seven games. Over his last 16 games, Whitaker is batting .342. Brugman followed a five-for-five game on Monday with a double, a walk and two runs scored.

The Midland pitching staff combined to strike-out a season-high 16 batters. Ryan Dull allowed a lead-off single in the ninth and then struck-out the side to earn the save. Midland is now back over the .500 mark.

Beloit's Woes Continue

The Beloit Snappers fell to 10 games under the .500 mark with another blow-out loss. The Snappers allowed 19 hits to the Burlington Bees in the 15-6 drubbing.

Starter Daniel Gossett struggled from the outset but he was forced to stay in the game, as the Snappers' bullpen was depleted. Gossett was tagged for 15 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) in 3.1 innings. Joey Wagman allowed four runs (one earned) in 2.1 innings before giving way to Jose Torres, who threw 1.1 scoreless innings. Outfielder Robert Martinez threw the final inning of the game, allowing a run on two hits and a walk.

Shortstop Yairo Munoz had three hits to raise his average to .279. Sandber Pimentel (7) and Argenis Raga (1) each homered in the loss. Joe Bennie added a double and a triple.

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