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Oakland A's Minor League Notebook: Two A-ball All-Stars

Two Oakland A's prospects landed on post-season All-Star lists, the Nashville Sounds inched closer to the playoffs and other news and notes from around the Oakland A's system.

Harris, Manarino honored

The minor league post-season accolades are beginning to trickle out, and two Oakland A's prospects are on some of the first lists released. The California League named outfielder James Harris to their post-season All-Star squad and the Midwest League tabbed left-hander Evan Manarino to their post-season All-Star team.

Harris, who is currently with Double-A Midland, hit .303/.379/.423 in 119 games for the Stockton Ports. He was also a mid-season Cal League All-Star. The Oakland native stole 21 bases in 30 chances and collected 30 doubles. He currently ranks eighth in the Cal League in batting, seventh in OBP and seventh in doubles. This is Harris' second year in the A's organization. The 2011 first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays signed with the A's as a minor league free agent before the start of the 2015 regular season. This is Harris' first minor league All-Star award.

Manarino was the A's 25th-round pick last season. The left-hander from UC-Irvine had a 2.15 ERA in 121.2 innings for the Low-A Beloit Snappers before he was promoted to High-A Stockton in early August. Since his promotion, Manarino has compiled a 1.76 ERA in 15.1 innings. With the Snappers, Manarino struck-out 103 and walked just 20. He also allowed only one homerun. He is currently the league's ERA leader and is likely to take home that crown with only days left in the regular season. Despite his promotion, he is still tied for third in the league in innings pitched. He is second in WHIP with a 1.08 mark. Manarino was also a midseason Midwest League All-Star. 

Nashville cuts magic number to two

Behind yet another dominant Raul Alcantara outing, the Nashville Sounds whittled their magic number down to two with a 3-0 victory over their rival, the Memphis Cardinals. Alcantara scattered four hits over five efficient innings. He threw just 58 pitches, but the A's are monitoring his innings in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery.

The five shutout innings lowered Alcantara's Triple-A ERA to 0.89. He has been remarkable since his promotion from Double-A Midland. He hasn't allowed an earned run in four of his seven starts and has yet to allow more than two earned runs in any outing for Nashville. Alcantara has allowed just 32 hits in 40.2 innings. Perhaps most remarkable is his walk total. He has issued just three free passes while striking out 30. Alcantara is now at 130.2 innings for the season. He threw 48.2 innings last year, his first partial season back after 2014 Tommy John surgery.

The Sounds didn't muster much offense against former A's prospect Deck McGuire, but they got enough to earn their 77th win of the season. Renato Nunez hit his 23rd homerun of the season and Jaycob BrugmanColin Walsh and Matt McBride each collected doubles. Nunez, who played left field in the game, now has six homeruns in August. Brugman had that double and a walk in three official at-bats to improve his August OPS 1001. He is now batting .312 for Nashville this season.

After Alcantara's night was through, Eduard SantosRyan Brasier and Bobby Wahl combined to toss four scoreless innings to close out the game. Santos threw a 1-2-3 sixth inning and Brasier allowed just a hit in his two frames. Walh earned his third save in as many opportunities for Nashville with a strong ninth. He allowed just a single and struck-out one while also inducing two pop-ups. Wahl has yet to allow a run in seven innings with the Sounds. The hard-throwing right-hander has allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out eight in his first stretch of Triple-A action. For the season, Wahl has converted 13-of-14 save opportunities and has a 59:23 K:BB in 51.2 innings. Five of those walks came during the first few weeks of the season when he was working off the rust with Stockton after missing much of last season following surgery.

Nashville can clinch their division as soon as Thursday night with a win and a New Orleans loss.

Bailey dominates in Vermont win

The Oakland A's 2016 draft class was on display in the Vermont Lake Monsters' 5-3 win over the Lowell Spinners on Tuesday night. 

Logan Shore (second round) got the start and had an up-and-down three-inning outing. He allowed just one run, but his command wasn't as good as it has been since he turned pro. He walked three and allowed three hits, but he was able to limit the damage. Shore struck out one. In five outings for Vermont, Shore has allowed three earned runs on 12 hits and six walks. He has struck-out nine.

Brandon Bailey took over in the fourth and put together his best outing as a pro. The A's 2016 fifth-round pick allowed two runs on three hits and no walks in five innings. The right-hander struck-out a career-high nine. Bailey has a 3.24 ERA and a 32:8 K:BB in 29 innings with Vermont.

A's 2016 15th-round pick Ty Damron took over in the ninth to protect a 5-3 lead and he threw a 1-2-3 ninth to record his first professional save.

The middle of the Vermont line-up powered the Lake Monsters' attack. Eli WhiteTyler Ramirez and Miguel Mercedes each had two hits. White (11th-round), who was named the Lake Monsters' Tom Racine (MVP) earlier in the day, raised his average to .309. He also scored two runs. Ramirez (seventh-round) hit his second homerun of the season and he drove-in two. He is batting .248/.359/.367 for the Lake Monsters. Mercedes stretched his hitting streak to five games. He is seven-for-21 with a homer (a grandslam) and seven RBI during the streak. He leads the New York-Penn League in homers with 10. Mercedes is fourth in the league in RBI (39) and fifth in the league in SLG (.457).

AZL A's win fifth straight

The AZL A's scored six runs over the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 6-2 win over the AZL Rangers. Daulton Jefferies -- the A's second pick in the 2016 draft -- threw three scoreless innings to kick-off a good pitching effort for the AZL A's squad. Jefferies scattered two hits and a walk in his three innings. He struck-out two. The walk was the first in his career. He has 12 strike-outs in 8.2 innings to start his pro career.

Oscar Tovar took over for Jefferies in the fourth and threw five strong innings. The 18-year-old right-hander allowed two unearned runs in five innings. He struck-out two, walked one and allowed four hits. Tovar earned the win and lowered his ERA to 3.72.

Roger Gonzalez (2016 22nd-round pick) hit his first professional homerun, a two-run shot that tied the game in the sixth. He has five hits over his last two games. Anthony Churlin (2016 16th-round pick) also had a two-hit game.

Kevin Ferreras struck-out two in a scoreless ninth to close out the AZL A's fifth straight win. They are now 27-21 on the season and 12-8 in the second half. They are a game out of first place for the second half.

Higley plays hero in Stockton win

Justin Higley doubled home Chris Iriart with two-outs in the top of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and give the Stockton Ports their margin for victory over the Inland Empire 66ers. Higley had two hits and a walk in the win. It was just his second game with the Ports after spending the entire season with the Beloit Snappers.

Every Stockton starter had a hit in a 10-hit attack. Jose Brizuela connected on his 15th homer of the season and Richie Martin had a single and a walk. Martin has hit safely in six straight games.

Kyle Friedrichs didn't allow a hit until there were two-outs in the fifth inning. He pitched into the seventh inning, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks in 6.2 innings. Friedrichs struck-out six. 

Jared Lyons took over with a runner on in the seventh and stranded that runner before working a scoreless eighth in his Cal League debut. He struck-out two and earned the win. Cody Stull recorded his sixth save with a perfect ninth. He has worked nine straight outings without allowing an earned run. 

Beloit squeaks out win over Clinton

Michael Soto's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth gave the Beloit Snappers a 6-5 win over the Clinton LumberKings. Nolan Blackwood (2016 14th-round pick) earned his first professional win with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. The sidearming right-hander allowed just one hit and he struck-out four.

Boomer Biegalski got the start and he lasted into the seventh inning. He allowed five runs, but he struck-out nine. He has thrown 143 innings this season, second most in the Midwest League.

The Snappers got a big game from lead-off hitter Trace Loehr. He reached base all four times he came to the plate, collecting two hits and two walks. He also scored twice and stole his 10th and 11th bases of the year. Loehr is batting .333 over his last 10 games and .291 in August.

Soto, Trent Gilbert and Ryan Howell each had two-hit games. Gilbert raised his average to .274.

Before the game, the Snappers added catcher Collin Theroux to the active roster from the AZL. Theroux replaces Jordan Devencenzi, who lands on the DL. Theroux is the second member of the A's 2016 draft class to reach a full-season league.

RockHounds drop pitcher's duel with Corpus Christi

The Midland RockHounds couldn't drum up much offense in a 4-1 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks. The RockHounds' magic number remains at six to clinch the second-half Texas League South title. 

Ben Bracewell got the start and allowed two runs in four innings. He has a 2.10 ERA in 81.1 innings for Midland this season. Corey Walter took over in the fifth and allowed two runs in three innings. He struck-out two and didn't allow a walk. He has a 2.25 ERA in 96 innings for the RockHounds in 2016.

Midland managed just four hits, and two of them were off the bat of Brett Vertigan. He is batting .326 over his last 10 games and he has five multi-hit games over that stretch.

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