The Arizona A's have been the best team in the AZL all season long and they demonstrated that form on Thursday night in the Arizona League semi-final game. The AZL A's clobbered the AZL Cubs by a score of 15-3 and they will host the AZL Rangers at Papago in the championship game on Friday night.
Renato Nunez and Philip Pohl each homered and the AZL A's collected 15 hits. They also benefited from a porous Cubs' defense that committed a whopping six errors. Nunez finished just a double short of the cycle and he had five RBIs in leading the A's offensive onslaught. Pohl had a double in addition to his homer and Dayton Alexander also added a double. Nine different A's hitters collected base hits and the team drew seven walks and were hit by three pitches (Matt Olson was hit twice).
Vince Voiro led the way for the A's on the mound. He struck-out six in three scoreless innings to set the tone for the night. Tyler Johnson, Daniel Petitti, Taylor Massey and Tyler Hollstegge would finish off the win. Massey was awarded the victory by the official scorer.
Other News And Notes:
- Nolan Sanburn and Tyler Vail combined to toss a five-hit shutout for the Vermont Lake Monsters on Thursday. They defeated the Lowell Spinners by a score of 8-0. Sanburn got the start and he struck-out four and walked none in three innings of scoreless work. Vail then dominated in "relief," striking out nine and walking only one in six innings of one-hit ball. He earned his third win. Daniel Robertson had three hits and Austin Booker, Chris Bostick and Reynaldo Mateo each had two hits in the win.
- The Lake Monsters lost two players to promotion earlier this week. Pitcher Austin House and outfielder John Wooten were promoted to Low-A Burlington. House had a 1.05 ERA and a 33:10 K:BB ratio in 25.2 innings for Vermont. He allowed only 13 hits. House made his Burlington debut on Thursday and he tossed 1.1 scoreless frames. Wooten had a 727 OPS and a .286 BA in 67 games for the Lake Monsters. He went 0-for-4 in his Bees' debut.
- The Bees dropped a 3-1 decision to Clinton on Thursday but they maintained their wild card lead over the Kane County Cougars, as the Cougars lost. The Bees' magic number for the post-season is down to two.
- The A's suspended Bees' outfielder Rashun Dixon for the rest of the reason. The reason for the suspension was not disclosed.
- The Bees placed right-hander Raul Alcantara on the seven-day disabled list on Wednesday.
- Chad Oberacker had four hits - including two homeruns - and four RBIs in the Stockton Ports' 9-3 win over the Modesto Nuts on Thursday. Oberacker now has 12 homeruns for Stockton and 14 overall this year. A.J. Kirby-Jones, Ryan Ortiz and Michael Gilmartin each had three hits and B.A. Vollmuth and Tony Thompson added two hits each. A.J. Huttenlocker struck-out seven and walked none in five innings in his first start of the season. T.J. Walz had an impressive relief appearance, striking out five of the six batters he faced.
- On Wednesday, right-hander Josh Bowman was promoted from Stockton to Midland and Drew Gagnier joined the Ports' staff from short-season Vermont.
- Bowman made his Midland debut on Thursday and was hung with a loss in a 3-2 loss to San Antonio. He allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings with three strike-outs and two walks. Paul Smyth struck-out five in 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Josh Horton hit his ninth homerun of the season in the loss. Horton's previous career-high for homeruns in a season was five.
- A day after clinching the South Division for a sixth-consecutive season, the Sacramento River Cats added another win. They defeated the Colorado Sky Sox, 3-2. Travis Banwart earned his ninth win of the season with a solid effort. He scattered seven hits and a walk in six innings, allowing only two runs. James Simmons (two innings) and Rich Thompson (one inning) combined to close out the win. Simmons has allowed only two runs in 14 innings since joining the River Cats from Midland. Shane Peterson and Stephen Parker each had two hits. Former A's starter Guillermo Moscoso started the game for Colorado Spring and threw three scoreless innings.
- The Arizona Fall League announced their 2012 rosters on Wednesday. The A's will be sending Grant Green, Miles Head, Max Stassi, Gary Daley, Jr., James Simmons, Shawn Haviland and Brett Hunter to the prospect showcase league. League play begins on October 9th. The A's, as they do every year, will play on the Phoenix Desert Dogs' squad. Green and Simmons will be participating in the league for a third time.