Taylor Debuts In Sacramento Victory
Six weeks later than anticipated, Michael Taylor made his 2011 debut with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats. The Oakland A's outfield prospect was activated on Friday from extended spring training, where he had been rehabbing a wrist injury he sustained at the end of regular spring training.
Taylor went 1-5 with an RBI single and three strike-outs in his debut. Behind a 16-hit onslaught and a strong start from left-hander Bobby Cramer, the River Cats cruised to a 9-3 win over the Memphis Redbirds. The win gave Sacramento a 3-1 series victory over Memphis.
Steven Tolleson led the way for Sacramento with a two-hit, four-RBI night. He hit his fourth homerun of the season. Tolleson was one of six River Cats with multi-hit games. Adrian Cardenas and Wes Timmons had three hits each, while Tolleson, Anthony Recker, Josh Donaldson and Eric Sogard each had two hits.
Donaldson had a two-hit game despite not being in the starting line-up. He entered the game in the bottom of the second inning in place of Josh Horton, who injured his leg making a defensive play.
Cramer put together a strong start and he lasted into the sixth inning for the first time since making the transition from the A's bullpen to the River Cats' rotation. He didn't allow a run until the fifth inning and finished his outing with two runs allowed on three hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. He struck-out five.
He wouldn't be credited with a win, however, as reliever Fernando Cabrera allowed his inherited runner to score in the sixth, tying the game at 2. However, the River Cats would break the game wide-open in the top of the seventh, scoring five times.
Fautino De Los Santos had another strong relief outing for the River Cats, striking out two in a scoreless inning. He has allowed only two hits and no runs with six strike-outs and three walks over his first four Triple-A appearances.
* To make room for Taylor on the River Cats' roster, the A's sent infielder/outfielder Adam Heether to Double-A Midland.
Midland Blanks San Antonio
With a team OPS of 916 and 236 runs scored in 34 games, the San Antonio Missions are used to being on the winning end of routs. That wasn't the case on Friday, as the A's Double-A affiliate destroyed the Missions by a score of 11-0.
Midland starter Shawn Haviland and three relievers combined on the shut-out. Haviland earned his first win of the season with six shutout innings. He walked four and only struck-out one, but he allowed only four hits. Jonathan Ortiz, Neil Wagner and John Meloan closed out the shut-out.
The Rockhounds collected 14 hits and nearly everyone got into the act. Tyler Ladendorf got the start in centerfield and in the leadoff spot in the place of Jermaine Mitchell. Mitchell's standout play must have rubbed off on Ladendorf, who had a big game. He had two hits and two walks and he stole a base.
Grant Green, Michael Spina, Matt Sulentic, Kent Walton and Jason Christian each had two hits. Walton had four RBIs, doubling his season total for Midland. Spina had two RBIs and three runs as his standout season continued. He is batting .302 with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 32 games.
Stockton Routed By Modesto
The Ports dug themselves an early hole and were never able to work their way back out of it in their 10-4 loss to Modesto. Starter Murphy Smith allowed seven runs over his first two innings and was charged with the loss. He did throw three shutout innings to finish his outing.
Scott Hodsdon, making his 2011 debut, gave up three runs on three hits, including a homer, in two innings. Connor Hoehn threw a shut-out inning in his return from the DL.
* The Stockton pitching staff was shuffled late this week. Right-hander Scott Hodsdon joined the team from extended spring training. Hodsdon has spent the past two seasons with the Ports.
* Stockton reliever Ryan Doolittle landed on the disabled list, while fellow reliever Connor Hoehn was activated from the DL on Friday. Doolittle hadn't pitched since May 3rd when he allowed four runs in 2.1 innings. He had allowed only one run over his previous 18 innings of work.
Burlington Pitches Way To Win Once Again
The Burlington Bees demonstrated yet again why they have the best pitching staff in the Midwest League with another impressive effort in their 2-1 win in 10 innings over the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Jake Brown, Pedro Vidal and Daniel Tenholder combined to limit the Kernels to one unearned run in 10 innings. Brown struck-out seven and walked only one in six innings of work, lowering his ERA to 1.06 in 42.1 innings. The left-hander has walked only four and he has struck-out 37 this season.
Vidal worked two innings, allowing only a hit. In six outings since joining the team from extended spring training, the right-hander has allowed only three hits and no earned runs in 8.1 innings. He has walked eight, but he did not walk a batter on Friday.
Tenholder earned the win with two scoreless innings. He allowed a hit and a walk and he struck-out two. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA with six saves and a 16:3 K:BB ratio in 14 innings this season.
The Bees were actually down a run in the bottom of the eighth inning before they scratched out a run on a Douglas Landaeta walk and back-to-back two-out singles by Wade Kirkland and Daniel Petitti. Burlington would win the game in the bottom of the 10th on a Kirkland sacrifice fly after A.J. Kirby-Jones opened the inning with a single and Landaeta walked and both runners moved up a base on a Jose Rivero ground-out.
Yordy Cabrera was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the bottom of the ninth inning. He went 0-4, but is still batting .350 with six extra-base hits and eight RBIs over his last 10 games.