Naile delivers as RockHounds win fourth straight Texas League title

Athletics' No. 30 prospect hurls six scoreless frames after rough postseason starts

Naile delivers as RockHounds win fourth straight Texas League title

The Midland RockHounds are champions once again.

The Athletics' Double-A affiliate won the Texas League for the fourth consecutive season with a 1-0 win in a pitchers' duel over Tulsa on Sunday night.

James Naile, the Athletics' No. 30 prospect, struggled in his first two starts of the postseason, giving up nine earned runs over 9 2/3 innings, but picked the perfect time to get back on track and put together one of his best starts of the year.

Box score

The 24-year-old right-hander fired 59 of his 95 pitches for strikes, gave up five hits, walked two and struck out six as he carved his way through six scoreless innings.

Naile had no margin for error on the mound as Dodgers' No. 12 prospect Dennis Santana was spinning a gem of his own for Tulsa.

Santana, who posted a 4.11 ERA across 24 games and two levels this season, struck out seven and gave up just one unearned run over six innings.

The RockHounds struck early as Athletics No. 4 prospect Jorge Mateo reached on an error to lead off the game and eventually scored on a base hit from Viosergy Rosa, who leads all Minor League players with 16 postseason RBIs.

Dodgers No. 30 prospect Matt Beaty went 3-for-4, but was the only Tulsa player that had success against Naile and it wasn't enough to get the win.

No championship ever comes easy and this one, Midland's seventh, was no different as the RockHounds were on the verge of being swept just a few days ago.

Tulsa took the first two games of the best-of-five series, but Midland stormed back and won the next three games, becoming the first team to win four consecutive Texas League championships in 92 years.

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.