Midland clinches second-half title
For the first time in franchise history, the Midland RockHounds are heading to the post-season for a third straight year. Midland's 11-3 win over the San Antonio Missions clinched the Texas League's second half Southern Division title. The RockHounds are 41-22 in the second half and 74-59 overall. Midland will take on the Corpus Christi Hooks in the first round of the Texas League playoffs. The RockHounds are looking to make it three straight Texas League titles.
The bats came alive in a big way in the post-season clincher. Every Midland hitter reached base at least once and the RockHounds had 16 hits in the game. The RockHounds were led by third baseman Yairo Munoz, who finished a triple short of the cycle. His homer was his eighth of the year and he also collected his 14th double. Munoz is batting .275 with three homers over his last 10 games. DH Andy Paz also had three hits, a double and two singles. Shortstop Franklin Barreto drove-in three and had a double and a single, while Tyler Marincov, J.P. Sportman and James Harris each added two-hit games.
Chris Jensen returned to Midland after a stretch with Nashville and cruised in six innings of work. He allowed one run on three hits and one walk. The right-hander struck-out seven. Jensen swapped roster spots with Daniel Gossett, who made the start for Nashville on Tuesday (more on him later). Jensen has made 16 starts for Midland and 10 starts and one relief appearance for Nashville this season.
Ben Bracewell took over in the seventh and tossed a scoreless inning to lower his season ERA to 2.08. He struck-out two and allowed one hit. Sam Bragg finished off the game with two innings of work. He allowed two runs but struck-out four. The runs were the first Bragg had allowed since August 12. He has a 1.96 ERA and 22 strike-outs over his last 10 appearances (18.1 innings).
The RockHounds finish their regular season schedule on Monday, September 5th. The playoffs begin on Wednesday, September 7th. Midland will travel to Corpus Christi to begin their series.
Report: Crisp to be traded; Wendle to be recalled
Reports surfaced just before the Oakland A's took on the Houston Astros on Tuesday night that longtime veteran outfielder Coco Crisp was close to being traded to the Cleveland Indians. Although nothing was confirmed by the teams as of the publication of this article, Oakland Tribune beat writer John Hickey reported that Crisp had already left the A's clubhouse in anticipation of the trade. Crisp is the longest-tenured member of the A's big league roster. He joined the team before the 2010 season as a free agent and signed two different extensions with the club. He leaves the A's with 169 stolen bases and 69 homeruns over seven seasons. Crisp was a vital part of three A's playoff teams and a valuable veteran presence. It isn't clear what the A's are receiving from the Indians in return for Crisp, who began his big league career with Cleveland in 2002.
Hickey also reports that the A's will recall second baseman Joey Wendle to take Crisp's place on the A's roster. Wendle will be making his major-league debut. The second baseman has 12 homeruns, 31 doubles and nine triples this season. He was batting .438 over his last 10 games and .335/.376/.545 since the All-Star break. Acquired for Brandon Moss from Cleveland last year, Wendle was a PCL post-season All-Star last season with Nashville and he set a Sounds' franchise record with 42 doubles in 2015.
- Daniel Gossett was promoted from Midland to Nashville on Monday night and he made his Triple-A debut against the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk in seven innings in the Sounds' 8-2 win. Gossett had a 2.49 ERA in 94 innings with Midland before the promotion and a 2.76 ERA in 140 innings between Midland and High-A Stockton. He has 148 strike-outs in 147 innings this season.
- Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Bryan Anderson went deep in support of Gossett on Tuesday. The homer was Chapman's third since joining Nashville and 32nd overall. Only Khris Davis has more in the A's organization. Olson's homer was his 17th of the year. He also singled and has four multi-hit games over his last six starts. B.J. Boyd also had a two-hit game. After going hitless in his first Triple-A start, Boyd has hit safely in his last four games and he had a walk-off single on Monday night.
- A's 2016 draft picks Logan Shore and Brandon Bailey combined to two-hit the Tri-City ValleyCats in a 7-1 win. Shore allowed one unearned run on one hit and one walk over four innings. He struck-out seven in his best start as a pro and he lowered his ERA to 1.69. Bailey then took over and finished the final five innings, allowing just a hit and a walk. He struck-out four and lowered his ERA to 2.91. Miguel Mercedes hit his league-leading 11th homerun and JaVon Shelby added his third longball of the year. Eric Marinez led the way with three hits, finishing a homer short of the cycle.
- Rehab update: Sean Doolittle continued to make progress towards a return to Oakland with a scoreless inning of work for Nashville on Tuesday. He struck-out two and allowed one hit. Doolittle reached 94 MPH on the radar gun, according to Sounds' broadcaster Jeff Hem. Henderson Alvarez threw one-plus innings in a rehab start for the Stockton Ports. He allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits. He didn't strike-out a batter. Alvarez was on a 25-pitch limit. He sat at 85-89 MPH, according to Ports' broadcaster Zack Bayrouty.