Oakland A's MLN: Nunez, Olson Future Stars

They have been teammates since 2012, and now Matt Olson and Renato Nunez will team up once again to represent the Oakland A's at the MLB All-Star Futures Game. Plus, Brad Mills and Tim Atherton dominate on the mound, the Vermont Lake Monsters mount a comeback and more...

Olson and Nunez Heading to Cincinnati

The corner infield for the Midland RockHounds will be traveling to Cincinnati during All-Star weekend next month to participate in the MLB All-Star Futures Game. Renato Nunez returns to the Futures Game for a second consecutive season, while Matt Olson will be making his debut at the prospect showcase. Nunez will be on the World Team, while Olson will suit up for the US squad.

Olson came into the season as the A's top-ranked prospect. He is participating in the Texas League All-Star game next week and currently leads the Texas League in walks. He has a 758 OPS in his first season at the Double-A level.

Nunez hit his Midland-leading 10th homerun on Thursday. He has a 740 OPS for the season and has hit seven of his 10 homeruns in June.

The game will take place on July 12th at noon Pacific time. It will be televised by MLB Network.


Mills, Atherton Dominate in Shutout Wins

The Nashville Sounds and the Midland RockHounds came away with matching 5-0 wins on Thursday, thanks in large part to their starting pitchers, Brad Mills and Tim Atherton. Both Mills and Atherton worked eight scoreless innings in the wins.

Craig Gentry hit a lead-off homerun for Nashville and that was all Mills would need. The left-hander allowed just four hits and he didn't walk a batter. He struck-out four and lowered his ERA to 3.21. Mills got off to a very slow start this season, but he has a 2.45 ERA over his last 10 starts (58.2 IP). Arnold Leon threw a scoreless ninth to finish off the shutout. Gentry had three hits and he raised his average to .259. The outfielder might finally be shaking off his early-season doldrums. He has five multi-hit games over his last six appearances and three homeruns over his last eight games. Jake Smolinski had two hits and is now seven-for-12 since joining Nashville. Dayan Viciedo and Niuman Romero also had two-hit games. Nashville is now 32-42 on the year.

In the Midland win over San Antonio, the RockHounds gave Atherton an early 3-0 lead and he ran with it. In his eight innings, the right-hander allowed just two hits and two walks and he hit a batter. He struck-out seven and lowered his ERA to 5.31. Andres Avila finished off the shutout with a scoreless ninth. Nunez hit his 10th homerun of the season, a two-run shot. Matt Olson and Josh Whitaker each had two hits to lead the rest of the Midland offense. Jaycob Brugman drove-in two and raised his average to .279 on the year. The RockHounds moved a game over .500 for the season with the win and are now 2-1 in the second half.


Lake Monsters Rally for Second Win

The Vermont Lake Monsters scored three times in the top of the eighth to erase a 3-1 deficit and earn their second win of the season. Gabriel Santana homered and doubled and drove home two in the win. Jon Massad had a five-inning, shutout relief performance and was credited with the victory.

Several new members of the A's organization participated in the win. DH Chris Iriart (12th round) had two hits and a walk and he scored once. OF Steven Pallares (10th round) had a single and two walks, while SS Mikey White (second round) singled in four at-bats.

On the mound, Kyle Friedrichs (seventh round) and Jared Lyons (ninth round) made their pro debuts with one inning outings. Friedrichs allowed a solo homerun in his frame, while Lyons allowed two runs (one earned) in the second inning. Evan Manarino (25th round) made his second appearance out of the Vermont bullpen. He threw two scoreless innings, striking out two and allowing just one hit.

Massad was outstanding in his "relief" appearance that was essentially a start that began in the fourth inning. He scattered four hits over five frames, striking out one and walking none. He has allowed just seven hits and one run in 10.2 innings for Vermont this season.


AZL A's Win in Extras

A two-out bloop double gave the AZL Mariners the tying run in the bottom of the ninth, but the AZL A's wouldn't let their second win slip from their fingers. They scored in the top of the 12th and locked down the win, 6-5.

RHP Yordy Alejo threw three scoreless innings -- all in extras -- to earn the win. Alejo allowed just a hit over those three frames. Bubby Derby (sixth round) and Brendan Butler (30th round) made their pro debuts. Derby allowed an unearned run in the first and then Butler threw a scoreless frame. Andrew Tomasovich (round 21) made his second pro appearance, tossing another scoreless inning. Angel Duno took over in the fourth and threw five innings, allowing three runs.

Armando Ruiz (round 29) came on in the ninth with the AZL A's leading 5-4. He faced a two-on, two-out situation and came close to shutting the door. A pop-up off the bat of Johmbeyker Morales fell just past shortstop, tying the game. Ruiz then intentionally walked Rob Fonseca to load the bases before striking out Gareth Morgan to end the inning.

The game remained tied until the top of the 12th when the AZL A's mounted a two-out rally. Jean Carlo Rodriguez was at second base with two-outs when he moved to third on a wild pitch. After a Luis Barrera walk, Eric Marinez singled home the game-winning run.

Seth Brown (19th round) had two hits, including a triple. It was his second triple in his fifth pro game. Nick Collins (eighth round) singled home two, while Rodriguez walked three times and scored twice. Carlos Hiciano also had two hits, his second straight two-hit game. Rehabbing A's prospect Rangel Ravelo went 1-for-2. He's 3-for-4 with three walks in three games of his rehab assignment. Ravelo had wrist surgery this spring.


Ports' Winning Streak Snapped at Nine

The Stockton Ports dropped a pitcher's duel in the first game of the second half, snapping their winning streak at nine games with a 3-2 loss to Inland Empire.

Left-hander Dillon Overton was hung with a tough-luck loss. He allowed two runs in five innings, striking out seven and walking none. Both runs allowed were solo homeruns. Sam Roberts allowed an unearned run in an inning of work and Sam Bragg had two scoreless innings in relief of Roberts.

Franklin Barreto had three hits, including a double, to raise his average to .279. He's hitting .329 for the month of June. Matt Chapman had a hit and a walk, while Brett Vertigan, Tyler Marincov and B.J. Boyd had the remaining three hits for Stockton.


Snappers' Struggles Continue in 9-2 loss to Burlington

The Beloit Snappers were once again on the wrong end of a blowout, losing to the Burlington Bees, 9-2. Starter Daniel Gossett allowed five runs in 4.1 innings. He struck-out four and walked one and allowed two homeruns.

The Snappers managed just six hits, two of which were triples. Trent Gilbert had one and Justin Higley had the other. Gilbert had two hits in the game and is now batting .309. James Harris had a hit and two walks in the lead-off spot for Beloit.

Yairo Munoz went 0-for-3 with a walk. He has only two hits in his last 10 games and his average has dropped to .247. Before the game, there were several roster moves involving the Snappers that were announced. Tim Proudfoot, the A's 35th round pick out Texas Tech, joined the Beloit roster along with OF Shawn Duinkerk, who spent a week with Vermont after starting the year with Beloit. RHP Dominique Vattuone also moved up from Vermont to Beloit. Edwin Diaz was sent from Beloit to the Arizona Rookie League and Corey Miller went from Beloit to Vermont.



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