Nakajima Heating Up For Sacramento
The Hiroyuki Nakajima era in Oakland may be starting soon. After a rough spring training that ended with a hamstring injury, Nakajima is finally healthy and hitting the way that the A's hoped he would when they signed him out of Japan.
Over his last 10 games, Nakajima has 18 hits in 47 at-bats. He has two homers and three doubles over that span. Nakajima has played shortstop, second base and third base during his time in Sacramento and he has a .322/.354/.480 line in 21 games with the River Cats.
Billings, Gray, Werner In The Groove
Just as the A's starting pitching staff has picked up the pace, the River Cats' rotation has also gotten back on track, led by Bruce Billings, Sonny Gray and Andrew Werner.
Billings has won five straight starts and has lowered his ERA to 4.25 after a rough start to his season. Over his last 10 starts, Billings is 7-1 with a 2.98 ERA. Billings has 60 strike-outs in 55 innings this season. On Sunday, he scattered three hits and one walk over six shut-outs innings. He struck-out eight.
Gray has been outstanding all season and he has been especially good over his last three starts. In those three outings, Gray has allowed just five earned runs in 20 innings. He has 27 strike-outs and just one walk during those three starts. Gray has a 2.40 ERA and a 65:20 K:BB ratio in 63.2 innings this season.
Werner had a nightmare start to his first season in the A's organization, but he has been on a roll since mid-May. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs since May 2nd. He has pitched into the seventh inning in all but one of his last six starts. On May 22, Werner tossed a nine-inning complete game. On Sunday, Werner walked seven in 6.1 innings at Tacoma.
Ports Take Three-Of-Four From San Jose
In an important series against first-place San Jose, the Stockton Ports shook off a tough Thursday defeat to take the final three games of the four-game commuter series. Stockton is now 30-26 and just four games behind San Jose for first.
Max Muncy had a grandslam in the eighth inning on Sunday to give the Ports their first lead of a game they would win, 6-3. Rashun Dixon had a big weekend in San Jose, going 5-for-8 with two homers and two doubles on Saturday and Sunday. He now has eight homers in 27 games between Low-A Beloit and High-A Stockton.
Outfielder Bobby Crocker homered on Friday and then homered two more times on Saturday. He has a six-game hitting streak and he is slugging .445 on the year.
Drew Granier (7 IP/2 ER), Jake Brown (3.2 IP/0 ER) and Tanner Peters (6 IP/2 ER) were the winning pitchers for Stockton in their three wins over San Jose.
Several Snappers Swinging Hot Bats
The young Beloit Snappers have put together an impressive season thus far and several Snappers' hitters have been hot lately.
Middle infielder Chris Bostick has a .306 average and a 974 OPS over his last 10 games. He has homered three times in his past five games and he had four hits in eight at-bats on Saturday and Sunday. Bostick's OPS is up to an even 800 for the season.
Third baseman Renato Nunez hit his team-leading 11th homerun on Sunday. The 19-year-old is batting .425 with an 1127 OPS over his last 10 games. Nunez has a .536 SLG this season.
Outfielder Ryan Mathews homered on Friday and on Saturday and he has a .333/.405/.727 line over his last 10 games. Mathews has four homers over that stretch and seven in 48 games this season.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell had two hits in four at-bats on Saturday, his first game since May 25. Maxwell is batting .351 with a homer, five walks and nine RBI in his last 10 games played.
Shortstop Daniel Robertson has snapped out of a slump in a big way. He has a six-game hitting streak and he went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a homer on Saturday. Robertson has his season slashline back up to .292/.357/.451 in 29 games.
On the mound, right-hander Raul Alcantara continues to dominate for the Snappers. On Friday, he had his best start of the season. In a season-high eight innings, Alcantara allowed just a run on five hits and no walks. He struck-out nine. Alcantara has a 2.94 ERA and a 45:6 K:BB ratio in 64.1 innings pitched.
RockHounds Swept In Springfield
It was a tough weekend for Midland in Springfield, as the RockHounds dropped three straight to the Cardinals. The first game was a blow-out loss, but the next two were well-pitched games that Midland found itself on the losing end of.
On Sunday, Murphy Smith allowed just a run on five hits and two walks in seven innings, but he was the losing pitcher in a 2-0 loss. Smith has a 2.24 ERA in 72.1 innings this season.
Carlos Hernandez allowed just one unearned run in 5.2 innings, but he was stuck with a tough no-decision on Saturday. He allowed just three hits and two walks. Hernandez has moved between the rotation and the bullpen this season. He has a 3.19 ERA and a 42:18 K:BB ratio in 53.2 innings.
Lewis Released; Delgado To Beloit
When Luke Montz was sent back to Triple-A Sacramento this weekend, it created a ripple effect of moves throughout the Oakland A's organization.
The A's sent catcher Ryan Ortiz from Sacramento back to High-A Stockton, where Ortiz had been playing before his promotion to Sacramento to take Montz's place. Ortiz had six hits in 39 at-bats over 13 games played for Sacramento. He went 1-for-4 with a double in his first game back with Stockton.
To make room for Ortiz in Stockton, the A's sent catcher Ryan Delgado from Stockton to Low-A Beloit. Delgado's arrival in Beloit gives the Snappers three catchers: Delgado, Bruce Maxwell and Nick Rickles. Delgado made his Beloit debut on Sunday, and he went 1-for-3 with a walk.
The A's released 2010 third-round pick Chad Lewis to make room for Delgado in Beloit. Lewis began the year in extended spring training, but he joined the Snappers in early May. Lewis had 65 at-bats with Beloit, collecting 13 hits. Five of those hits went for extra-bases. He struck-out 20 times and walked once.
Lewis leaves the A's organization with a .226/.271/.311 career line in 544 at-bats.
There were also several moves impacting the Ports' roster. Deyvi Jimenez was activated from the disabled list, while Omar Duran was placed on the temporarily inactive list. Pedro Vidal was promoted to Double-A Midland. Jefry Marte was placed on the DL to make room for Vidal on the Midland roster.