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Oakland A's MLN: Midland Chasing History

The Midland RockHounds lowered their magic number for a playoff berth, while the Stockton Ports kept their playoff hopes alive with a shutout win. We have all of the day's action in the Oakland A's system.

Midland Dusts off Springfield

The Midland RockHounds continue to roll. The Oakland A's Double-A affiliate took game three of their series with the Springfield Cardinals by a score of 7-1. The RockHounds outscored the Cardinals by a 20-6 margin in the three-game set.

Midland banged out eight hits. Chad Pinder led the way with two, including his 29th double of the season. He also stole a base. Anthony Aliotti had three RBI and Josh Whitaker (10) and Beau Taylor (1) went deep.

Jake Sanchez got the start and didn't quite qualify for a win despite pitching well. He allowed just a run in 4.2 innings, but gave way to Kris Hall before making it through the fifth. Hall went 3.1 scoreless innings and earned his fourth win of the season. Hall lowered his ERA to 2.77 with the solid outing. Jeff Urlaub finished off the game with a scoreless ninth.

The RockHounds' magic number for qualifying for a playoff berth is down to seven and their magic number for clinching the second-half division title is down to 11. The RockHounds are chasing a franchise record for best half-season in Midland history. The current record was set by Tony DeFrancesco's team in 2001, which went 43-27 during the first half of the year. This year's squad is currently 36-17 in the second half.

Stockton Shuts out Nuts

Casey Meisner, Lou Trivino and Ben Bracewell combined on a three-hit shutout of the Modesto Nuts, helping the Stockton Ports stay above the .500 mark and keep their playoff hopes alive. The Ports' pitching staff struck-out 12 and walked just one in the 3-0 victory.

Meisner had his best start since joining the A's from the New York Mets as part of the Tyler Clippard deal. In five innings, he allowed just two hits and he struck-out five without walking a batter. Trivino was equally effective, allowing only a hit in three innings. He struck-out five. Bracewell did walk a batter in a scoreless ninth, but he struck-out two to earn his fifth save of the season.

Although they managed just three runs, the Ports had 11 hits, including four doubles. Michael Soto had three hits, two of which were two-baggers. Tyler Marincov also doubled twice, while B.J. Boyd had two singles. Branden Cogswell and Melvin Mercedes each drew two walks.

The Ports are in a three-way tie for the Cal League wild card berth with the Nuts and the San Jose Giants.

Nashville Splits a Pair

One night after being rained out, the Nashville Sounds split a double-header with the Albuquerque Isotopes. In game one, the Sounds were shutout, 6-0, but they rallied in game two for a 3-2 victory.

The Sounds managed just four hits in game one of the double-header. Old friend Jeremy Barfield had a hit and a walk for the Isotopes. Cody Martin went six innings for Nashville. He struck-out nine but allowed six runs on seven hits. Sean Doolittle had another outstanding rehab outing, striking out the side. Doolittle hit 93 MPH on the stadium radar gun, according to Sounds' broadcaster Jeff Hem.

In game two, Nashville overcame a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the sixth and then held on for the 3-2 win (for minor league double-headers, the games are only seven innings long). Brad Mills, in his return to Nashville, allowed just a run on three hits in six innings. He didn't walk a batter and he struck-out seven. Angel Castro got the save despite allowing three hits in the seventh.

Joey Wendle had two hits in the game and Rangel Ravelo, Nate Freiman and Brent Morel all drove-in runs in the decisive sixth inning.

Beloit Falls to Peoria

The Beloit Snappers racked up 12 hits but fell to the Peoria Chiefs, 5-3. Jose Brizuela and Argenis Raga each had three hits, while Mikey White and Sandber Pimentel had two-hit games. White also walked once.

Junior Mendez struggled with his command and took the loss in the game. He walked five and allowed four runs in 4.1 innings. Jon Massad allowed a run in two innings of relief, but Jose Torres finished the game off in good fashion with 1.2 dominating innings. He didn't allow a hit and he struck-out three. The hard-throwing Torres hasn't allowed a run since August 1 (a span of 10 innings). His ERA is down to 2.86 for the year and he has 73 strike-outs in 69.1 innings.

Vermont Drops Contest to Valley Cats

Angel Duno extended his streak of starts without issuing a walk to three, but the Vermont Lake Monsters fell to the Tri-City ValleyCats, 5-2.

Duno allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings. He struck-out five. The right-hander, in his first season pitching in the US, has a 2.78 ERA between the A's two short-season affiliates. He has 42 strike-outs and just three walks in 55 innings this season.

Vermont's offense didn't manage much on Thursday. Fresh off of his All-Star appearance, Seth Brown had a double in four at-bats. Fellow All-Star Nick Collins had an 0-for-3 night with a walk. Brett Siddall also added a double.

Chris Kohler returned to the mound after a three-week absence with a leg injury. He allowed a hit and a walk in a scoreless two-thirds of an inning. Kohler also struck-out one. Andrew Tomasovich threw two more scoreless innings. He hasn't allowed a run since July 8 (11.2 innings).

AZL A's Can't Overcome Early Deficit

The AZL A's found themselves down 8-0 after just three innings against the AZL Dodgers. They clawed back into the game with two-run innings in the sixth and eighth but couldn't complete the comeback, as they fell, 8-4.

Jesus Zambrano had a rough outing. He allowed six runs (five earned) in 2.1 innings. Two of those runs came into score after Zambrano was lifted in the third. Boomer Biegalski had a solid outing, tossing two perfect innings. He struck-out two. Biegalski has a 3.86 ERA in 9.1 innings for the AZL A's. The Florida State alum has 11 strike-outs and just two walks. Brendan Butler, Yordy Alejo and Ty Willman also had scoreless innings of relief.

The AZL A's had just five hits and two of them were off the bat of Shane Conlon, who played for the first time since injuring his hand on July 26. He is batting .317 in 23 games. Eric Marinez walked twice and scored two runs.

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