Oakland A's 2016 first-round pick A.J. Puk made quick work of his professional debut. The number six overall pick threw two innings for the Vermont Lake Monsters in his debut, facing the minimum in those two frames. The first runner Puk faced reached on a fielding error by second baseman Jesus Lopez, but Puk induced a force out and a groundball double play to get out of the first. He threw just six pitches in that inning, five strikes.
In his second inning, Puk retired the side in order on three groundouts. He finished his scheduled two-inning outing with 17 pitches thrown, 12 for strikes.
The Lake Monsters held a 1-0 lead until the eighth inning, when the Auburn Doubledays scored three times off Ivan Andueza. Andueza pitched well in relief of Puk. He worked five scoreless innings before running into trouble in his sixth inning of work. In 5.2 innings, he allowed three runs on three hits and two walks. He struck-out two.
The Vermont offense was quiet, collecting just seven hits and one walk. Miguel Mercedes, the top hitter on the Lake Monsters, left the game in the fourth inning after beating out an infield hit. Mercedes is batting .369/.433/.571 with four homers in 23 games.