Daniel Mengden's terrific start to the season continued Monday night when the right-hander fired six scoreless innings in his debut for Triple-A Nashville. The A's No. 14 prospect scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four in the outing to pace the Sounds in a 5-1 win against Iowa.
Mengden had been promoted from Double-A Midland, where he was 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 23 innings. He posted the exact same line (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K) in back-to-back starts to open the season, and took home Texas League Pitcher of the Week honors the following week. On top of that, Mengden also kept his opponents off the board in three of his four starts, a total that increased to four on Monday with his impressive debut for Nashville.
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"You know, I try not to make the game bigger than it is," Mengden told MiLB.com. "The only thing that changed from Midland to Nashville is the stadium and the jersey. It's the same game, just different places. I just tried to go out there and do the same thing -- first-pitch strikes and keep the ball down."
Acquired from the Astros in the Scott Kazmir deal last July, Mengden, 23, went 10-4 with a 3.72 ERA and 125/36 K/BB ratio in 130 2/3 innings last season -- his first full pro season -- between the Class A and Class A Advanced levels.
Pacing the Sounds at the plate was No. 5 prospect Renato Nunez, who fell a double short of the cycle in a 3-for-4 effort. The 22-year-old third baseman's home run, a solo shot in the second inning, was his fifth of the season and third in the past six games. Nunez has made a smooth transition to the Triple-A level thus far, hitting .296 with a .924 OPS and 15 RBIs in 22 games.
Cubs No. 2 prospect Willson Contreras (No. 46 overall) hit his first long ball of the season, which accounted for Iowa's lone run in the loss. The 23-year-old backstop finished 1-for-4 at the plate, which actually lowered his average to .353.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.