Oakland A's MLN: 2 Done, 3 Hanging In

It has been a tough slog for the Oakland A's minor league affiliates in the post-season thus far. Two of the A's five playoff squads have headed home, while three others are fighting to stay on the field for another day.

Stockton Falls Quietly To Modesto

The Stockton Ports had a dream second half of the 2010 season, but they were unable to carry that momentum into the post-season. Stockton lost the first two games of the California League first-round playoff to the Modesto Nuts and are headed home for the winter.

The Stockton offense couldn't get it going in the two post-season contests, managing only three runs in two games. Stockton lost 3-1 in game one and 6-2 in game two. Game two ended when Grant Green's screaming line-drive was caught by a leaping Ryan Peisel at third base with the bases-loaded.

Green had three hits in nine at-bats in the two game series and Tyler Ladendorf finished with three hits (including a homer) in seven at-bats to pace the Stockton offense. The Ports were hurt in game two by their defense, as four of Modesto's six runs were unearned. Stockton is the second A's affiliate to have been swept out of the playoffs this week. The Vancouver Canadians lost both games of their best-of-three series earlier in the week.

Kane County Claws Back

A day after the Cougars' offense was smothered by St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Shelby Miller, the Kane County Cougars evened up their best-of-three game series with Quad Cities by beating the River Bandits, 5-4, in game two of the series. The winner of game three will advance to the next round.

Kane County scored all of its runs in the second inning, and the Cougars were barely able to hold on for a victory. Conner Crumbliss and Rashun Dixon each hit two-run homers in a five-run second inning to give the Cougars the lead they would never relinquish. Crumbliss finished with two hits and two walks in four plate appearances. Max Stassi was the only other Cougars hitter to have two hits.

Jonathan Joseph earned the win by allowing one run on two hits and three walks in five innings. He struck-out seven. After Ryan Doolittle allowed two runs in the sixth inning, Josh Lansford tossed two scoreless frames to set-up closer Jose Guzman, who finished the regular season with 18 saves. Guzman struggled to hold the 5-3 lead, however, allowing two hits and a run before being lifted with one-out in the ninth. Max Peterson struck-out Robert Stock and Bo Schultz struck-out Ross Smith to end the River Bandits' threat.

In game one, the Cougars lost 4-0, as Miller dominated the Kane County offense. The fire-baller struck-out 13 and allowed only a walk and two hits in seven brilliant innings.

Midland Earns Split In First Two

The Midland Rockhounds started their best-of-five game series with Frisco on the road, hoping to take at least one of the first two games. That mission was accomplished early, as the Rockhounds took a 4-3 decision in the first game before falling 7-1 in game two. They return to Midland needing to take two of the possibly three games remaining in the series.

In game one, the 'Hounds received an outstanding start from Graham Godfrey, who didn't allow a run in five innings. Midland held a 3-0 lead into the seventh when Mickey Storey ran into trouble, allowing three runs in one inning of work. Daniel Sattler threw two scoreless frames, giving Midland a chance to mount the winning rally in the 10th. The decisive run scored when Val Majewski singled home Shane Peterson. Neil Wagner tossed a perfect bottom of the 10th with three strike-outs to earn the save.

Game two was all about Texas Rangers prospect Martin Perez, who had struggled against Midland during the regular season but was outstanding on Thursday. The lefty gave up only one run in six innings. He struck-out seven. The 'Hounds couldn't make a dent against the Frisco bullpen, drawing only a walk over the game's final three frames.

Ryan Edell, who was the Midland ace during the regular season, struggled on Thursday, allowing five runs (four earned) in three innings. Shane Peterson and Jermaine Mitchell were the only two Midland hitters to collect hits in the game.

Sacramento On The Brink

The Sacramento River Cats are facing an early post-season exit after dropping the first two games of the series at home to Tacoma. Sacramento blew a big lead in game one and wasted a big comeback in game two.

The first game of the series started off well for Sacramento, as the River Cats staked starter Clayton Mortensen with a 7-1 lead. Mortensen was ineffective, however, allowing five runs in three innings. The River Cats would hold an 8-6 lead into the seventh, when Travis Blackley allowed the tying runs. He would then allow two more runs in the ninth to take the loss in the 10-8 game. The River Cats wasted a homer by Travis Buck and a two-hit night from Matt Watson in game one.

In game two, Sacramento would go down early by a score of 5-1 before getting back into the game in the seventh inning. The River Cats scored four runs in the seventh, the big blow coming on Tom Everidge's three-run homer to tie the game.

The tie would be short-lived, however, as John Halama allowed three runs in the top of the eighth inning (one earned), giving Tacoma a lead they wouldn't give up. Adrian Cardenas' fielding error at second base got the inning rolling for Tacoma.

Sacramento will now need to sweep three games in Seattle at Safeco Field to advance to the next round.

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