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Oakland A's MLN: Ports Pad Wild Card Lead

The Stockton Ports extended their winning streak to four games over the weekend and padded their lead in the Cal League Wild Card race in the process. Meanwhile, the Midland RockHounds moved closer to clinching a playoff berth of their own.

Covey, Ports Cruise Past Nuts

The Stockton Ports earned their fourth straight win behind a stellar pitching performance from Dylan Covey in a 9-1 win over the Modesto Nuts. The winning streak has propelled the Ports back into the Wild Card lead, where they currently carry a two-game advantage.

Covey tied a season-high with eight strikeouts in seven innings of one-run ball. He struck-out eight and walked none. Covey scattered four hits and lowered his ERA to 3.79 for the year. Covey has 16 strike-outs over his last 11.2 innings, all coming after he was struck in the jaw by a line-drive on August 8.

Carlos Navas took over for Covey in the eighth and completed the game with two shutout innings. The right-hander has not allowed a run over his first three California League innings and he continues to open eyes in a breakout season.

The Ports' offense was red-hot against Kyle Freeland and the Nuts' pitching staff. Stockton had 16 hits in the game, with Yairo Munoz, Jacob Nottingham and Michael Soto each collecting three hits. Nottingham drove-in three. Brett Vertigan had a hit and two walks and he scored three times out of the lead-off spot. B.J. Boyd and John Nogowski each had two hits.

Midland Continues to Roll, Whittles Down Magic Number

The Midland RockHounds have a magic number of three for a playoff spot after a 12-1 rout of the Tulsa Drillers on Sunday. Their magic number to clinch the second-half division title is also down to seven after the win. Midland has won five straight and eight of 10.

The RockHounds hit four homeruns, including back-to-back homers by Chad Pinder and Matt Olson. Both homers were their 15th of the season. Josh Whitaker (11) and Anthony Aliotti (2) also homered. Much of the RockHounds' damage came against former A's 40-man roster member Jose De Leon. Ryon Healy had three hits, including two doubles, to raise his season average to .307. He is batting .400 for the month of August. Whitaker also had three hits and Colin Walsh reached three times with a hit and two walks.

Starter Parker Frazier lowered his Midland ERA to 1.91 with seven innings of one-run ball. He retired 10 outs on the ground. Omar Duran finished out the game with two scoreless innings. His ERA is 3.92 on the year.

Brooks Comes Up Aces for Nashville in Reno

Right-hander Aaron Brooks was brilliant in Nashville's 8-4 win over the Reno Aces. Brooks allowed one run on three hits over seven innings to earn the win. He struck-out eight and walked none. Ryan Dull threw a scoreless eighth before Aaron Kurcz ran into trouble in the ninth, leading to three runs for Reno. By then, the Sounds had a comfortable 8-1 lead, so Kurcz rough inning had no major impact on the game.

Brooks put himself in good position to replace the injured Kendall Graveman in the A's rotation. Graveman left Sunday's A's win over Tampa Bay with an injured oblique. Brooks has allowed three runs in 12 innings since being sent back to Nashville from Oakland. He hasn't walked a batter over that stretch.

The Sounds pounded out 21 hits in the win. Brent Morel led the way with four hits. Tyler Ladendorf had three hits, as did Bryan Anderson and Craig Gentry. Four Sounds' batters had two hits, including Joey Wendle, who is batting .343 in August.

Fillmyer, Snappers Sweep Burlington

Heath Fillmyer continued his excellent August in the Snappers' 6-0 win over the Burlington Bees. The Snappers swept the Bees in the three-game series.

Fillmyer walked two in the first inning but got out of the jam and never looked back. He finished with five shutout innings with three walks and seven strike-outs. Fillmyer has allowed two runs in 20 innings in August. Mike Fagan and Lee Sosa each threw two scoreless innings to close out the game.

Jose Brizuela hit his ninth homerun for the Snappers and had a double and three RBI. Max Kuhn had three hits -- including two doubles -- and he drove-in the other three runs. Justin Higley had two hits and two walks. He scored three times.

Vermont Earns Win before the Rain Comes

The Vermont Lake Monsters won the first game of a double-header, but saw their lead in Game Two wiped away by a rain storm. The second game will not be completed, as it was the last scheduled game between Vermont and Connecticut this year.

In the game that counted, the Lake Monsters earned a 1-0 win behind a brilliant outing by Corey Miller. He allowed only four hits and he didn't walk a batter in five shutout innings. He struck-out three. Ryan Gorton earned his third save of the season with two scoreless innings. The converted catcher struck-out four.

The game's only run came off of an RBI double by Ryan Howell. Skye Bolt scored the run. Bolt and Chris Iriart were the only other Lake Monsters besides Howell to collect hits in the game.

The Lake Monsters held a 4-1 lead when the rain wiped out game two of the double-header. Any stats accumulated in that game will be lost except in the memories of those who were at the game.

AZL A's Drop Pitcher's Duel

The AZL A's pitching staff held the AZL Reds to two runs on six hits, but it wasn't enough, as they fell, 2-0.

Dakota Chalmers got the start and the A's 2015 third-round pick threw two hitless innings. He struck-out four and walked one in his best outing as a pro. Tanner Peters took over for Chalmers and threw three scoreless innings of his own in a rehab appearance. Peters didn't walk a batter (naturally) and he struck-out three while allowing just one hit. Rehabbing right-hander Ryan Braiser allowed two runs in 1.2 innings to earn the loss. Argenis Blanco finished the game with 2.1 scoreless innings. He didn't walk a batter and he struck-out two.

Eric Marinez (two hits), Miguel Mercedes (two hits) and Brett Sunde (one hit) accounted for all of the AZL A's offense.

A's Activate Doolittle, Send Down Otero

The Oakland A's activated Sean Doolittle off of the 60-day DL on Saturday. To make room for Doolittle on the 25-man roster, the A's sent down RHP Dan Otero to Triple-A. Ike Davis (hip) was placed on the 60-day DL to make room for Doolittle on the 40-man roster. Davis will miss the rest of the year with a torn hip labrum.

Doolittle made his return to the A's on Sunday. He allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning, allowing two walks and a single. His velocity sat in the 90-93 range.

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