Photo by Mike Strasinger/Nashville Sounds

Oakland A's Minor League Notebook: Nashville Sounds, Midland RockHounds win Game 1s

The Nashville Sounds and the Midland RockHounds jump out to 1-0 leads in their semi-finale series.

Sounds survive OKC rally; power way to Game one win

The Nashville Sounds raced out to a 6-0 lead and then had to hold on for dear life in a crazy Game One in their best-of-five series against the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Renato Nunez hit a three-run homer off of former Oakland A's All-Star starter Scott Kazmir and Nunez drove-in five to lead the Sounds on offense. Aaron KurczColt HynesRyan Brasier and Tucker Healy combined to allow just one run in 4.2 innings in relief to stave-off a furious Dodgers' rally.

The game got off to a good start for Nashville, as they were all over Kazmir early. Jaycob Brugman led-off the game with a walk and he moved to second when Kazmir plunked Franklin Barreto. After Colin Walsh flew out to deep right, Nunez followed with a three-run homer to left. Kazmir would retire Matt Olson to record his second out of the game but would then leave with an apparent injury. Kazmir had been rehabbing neck and rib cage injuries and was hoping to re-join the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation next week.

Lisalverto Bonilla took over for Kazmir in the first, and the Sounds continued their offensive onslaught against Bonilla in the second inning. B.J. Boyd, Brugman and Barreto began the inning with three straight singles to load the bases with no-outs. Walsh singled home two runs, but the Dodgers were able to record an out when Barreto was thrown out at third base. Nunez and Olson walked to re-load the bases, but the rally died with two runs scored when Rangel Ravelo grounded into a double-play. Blowing scoring opportunities was a theme for Nashville in the middle innings of the game. The Sounds would strand 11 and went 4-for-17 in the game with runners in scoring position.

Staked to a 5-0 lead, Nashville starter Jesse Hahn pitched in and out of trouble during his first two innings. He worked his way out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the second to keep Oklahoma City off of the board. The Sounds added a run in the top of the third on a Brugman RBI groundout.

A 6-0 lead wasn't as safe as it should have been on this high-scoring night in Oklahoma City. Hahn allowed three runs in the third. The Sounds answered with a run in the top of the fourth on a Nunez' RBI double, but the Dodgers answered in the bottom half of the frame with a run of their own. Hahn left the game in the fifth with two-on and one out. Eduard Santos would allow both runners to score. He only recorded one out and left with the bases loaded and two outs. Kurcz took over and struck-out O'Koyea Dickson on a 3-2 pitch to keep the game at 7-6 Nashville.

In the sixth, Barreto began the inning with a walk and he moved to third without the benefit of a hit thanks to two wild pitches. He would score on a sacrifice fly by Nunez to give the Sounds an 8-6 lead. The lead would then shrink back to one run when Kurcz allowed a lead-off homer in the sixth to former A's supplemental first-round pick Corey Brown.

After Brown's homer, the Sounds' bullpen buckled down and kept the Sounds in the lead. Sounds' relievers would allow just three more base-runners the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, the Nashville offense finally scratched across an insurance run in the top of the eighth. Brugman began the inning with a single. After squaring around to bunt twice, Barreto swung away and hit an RBI double to the left-centerfield gap to give the Sounds a 9-7 lead. In the ninth, Nashville would tack on one more run on an RBI single by Boyd.

Healy took over for Brasier in the ninth and allowed a lead-off single before recording a flyout, a strike-out and a groundout to secure the save.

Nunez's five RBI led the Nashville attack. He reached three times on two hits and a walk. Brugman collected three hits, walked once and scored three times from the lead-off spot. Barreto was also productive out of the number two hole, reaching four times on two hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He had an RBI and scored two runs. Boyd contributed out of the ninth spot with three hits and an RBI.

Matt Chapman missed the game with a minor calf injury. In addition to Kazmir and Brown, former members of the A's organization Seth Frankoff, Alex Hassan and Brandon Hicks all played for the Dodgers in the game.

Nashville and OKC square off again on Thursday with Dillon Overton set to take on Logan Bawcom.

Hounds jump out to series lead with Game One win

The  Midland RockHounds took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five game series with the Corpus Christi Hooks thanks to a 6-2 win on Wednesday night. Joel Seddon threw five solid innings and Midland collected 14 hits to secure a key road win.

The game was knotted at 0-0 until the top of the third, when Midland struck for three runs against Astros' prospect Francis MartesMax Schrock -- who was added to the Arizona Fall League roster today -- doubled to start the inning. Richie Martin then laid down what was meant to be a sacrifice bunt, but he placed it so well he reached safely to put runners at the corners with no-outs. Brett Vertigan quickly followed with an RBI single to right and the RockHounds were on the board. After a J.P. Sportman sacrifice bunt that moved Martin and Vertigan to second-and-third, Beau Taylor rapped a single to center to give the RockHounds a 3-0 advantage.

The game would remain 3-0 until the sixth inning. Midland had plenty of chances to add to the lead but were unable to push another run across. Meanwhile, Seddon ran into trouble of his own in the bottom of the fourth when Corpus Christi loaded the bases with one out. Seddon induced a groundball double-play off of the bat of Bobby Boyd to keep the game at 3-0. Seddon would work out of another jam in the fifth, preventing a run from coming across despite allowing runners to get to second and third with one out. That would be Seddon's final inning of work. He finished his start with five scoreless innings. He threw 92 pitches, allowed five hits and three walks and he struck-out four. Seddon also induced five outs on the ground, including that big double-play in the fourth.

Trey Cochran-Gill took over in the sixth and he allowed a solo homerun to Nick Tanielu with one out in the inning. That would be all Cochran-Gill allowed in his one inning of work. Sam Bragg took the reigns in the seventh and he, too, ran into some trouble. With one-out, Bragg allowed a Drew Ferguson triple and back-to-back singles. With the game now at 3-2 and runners on first and second and one out, Bragg had to dig deep to keep the RockHounds in the lead. He struck-out Ramon Laureano but walked Conrad Gregor to load the bases with two-outs. That brought Tanielu to the plate. Bragg retired Tanielu on a line-out to right, preserving the lead.

Trouble found the Midland bullpen again in the eighth inning, and again RockHounds' hurlers managed to walk a tightrope to preserve the lead. Kyle Finnegan began the eighth by allowing a single and a walk. However, Boyd popped up his attempt to sacrifice the runners to second and third, turning the tide of the inning. Finnegan then struck-out Ferguson and retired Garrett Stubbs on a groundout to first to keep the game at 3-2.

The RockHounds' offense finally broke through for some much-needed insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Yairo Munoz began the inning with a single and he moved to second when Schrock walked. While Martin was batting, a wild pitch and a throwing error on Corpus Christi catcher Roberto Pena scored Munoz all the way from second base. With two-outs, Sportman collected a clutch RBI single and Taylor followed with an RBI knock of his own, giving Midland a comfortable 6-2 cushion.

RockHounds' closer Jake Sanchez took over in the ninth and allowed back-to-back singles to start the inning. However, like his bullpen mates earlier in the game, he recovered nicely, striking out Gregor and inducing two groundouts to secure the win.

Midland received multi-hit games from Taylor, Tyler Marincov, Vertigan, Munoz, Schrock and Martin. Both of Martin's hits came on bunts. Marincov led the way with three hits in five at-bats and Taylor drove home three runs. Vertigan and Schrock each reached three times with two hits and a walk. Vertigan also stole a base.

Corey Walter is set to take the hill against Trent Thornton in Game Two on Thursday.

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