Oakland A's MLN: Offensive Explosion

The Oakland A's continue to struggle to score runs at the major league level, but their minor league affiliates had no trouble in that regard on Wednesday night. We have the details, including two two-homer performances and a four-strikeout inning.

Ports Mount Massive Comeback

Down 11-4 in the sixth, the Stockton Ports looked well on their way to their sixth straight loss. Instead, the Ports completed an improbable comeback and defeated the Visalia Rawhide, 14-12.

The Ports were powered by Mitchell LeVier and Michael Choice, who each homered twice. Choice's homers came in the first and the seventh innings, while LeVier hit his in the second and the eighth. LeVier's second homer was a grandslam that put the Ports in the lead for good.

The homers were Choice's 8th and 9th on the year and LeVier connected for his sixth and seventh. Choice scored three times and LeVier had five RBIs. Rashun Dixon added three hits and Myrio Richard drove-in two. Conner Crumbliss also reached base three times with two hits and a walk. Crumbliss is batting .294 with an 807 OPS in May after posting a .136 BA and a 483 OPS in April.

It was a rough California League debut for starter Jake Brown, who entered the game with a 1.62 ERA in 50 innings for the Low-A Burlington Bees, allowed nine runs (four earned) in 2.2 innings. He allowed seven hits and walked two.

Scott Deal allowed two runs in 2.1 innings and Josh Lansford allowed a run in two innings, but Ben Hornbeck and Jose Guzman each tossed a scoreless inning to close out the game. Guzman worked the ninth and earned his fifth save of the season.

Rain Can't Douse Sacramento's Bats

After waiting out an unusual three-hour rain delay in the first inning, the Sacramento River Cats earned an 10-4 blow-out win over the New Orleans Zephyrs.

The scoring started early for the River Cats, with two runners crossing the plate in the first before the rain delay and then adding two more in the inning after play resumed. The River Cats would add two more runs in the third and fourth innings and single runs in the sixth and eighth inning to close out the scoring.

Steven Tolleson hit his fifth homerun of the season and he added two walks. Jemile Weeks reached base three times with two singles and a walk and Michael Taylor, Josh Donaldson and Wes Timmons each had two hits. Taylor is 17-for-48 since being sent out from extended spring training.

Travis Banwart got the start and threw a scoreless first inning but was pulled after the rain delay. It became a bullpen game after that, as Trystan Magnuson, Andrew Bailey, Vinnie Chulk, Fernando Cabrera, Jerry Blevins and Willie Eyre combined to allow four runs in eight innings.

Bailey had an uneven rehab outing. He loaded the bases with one-out on a walk, single and a hit-batsman, but got out of the inning unscathed. Magnuson allowed only a hit in two innings. He has struck-out four and has allowed only a single in four innings since being returned to Triple-A from the major leagues.

Before the game, catcher/first-baseman Mitch Canham was sent to Double-A Midland. Reliever Andrew Carignan was sent to Midland on Tuesday.

Midland Drops A Barnburner

The Midland Rockhounds cranked out 14 hits and 13 runs but wound-up on the losing side of the ledger, 14-13, to the Tulsa Drillers. Midland got to Rockies prospect Christian Friedrich to the tune of 10 runs in 1.2 innings (although eight were unearned), but they weren't able to score enough against the Drillers' bullpen to get the win.

Michael Spina had five hits, including two doubles. He scored three runs. Spina broke a five-for-33 skid with his big game. He is still bating .287 with a 937 OPS in 43 game this season. Jermaine Mitchell notched his 12th triple of the season and he drove-in three runs. Stephen Parker, Jeremy Barfield and Kent Walton each had two hits.

Polin Trinidad struggled in his second outing for the Rockhounds. He allowed eight runs (six earned) in 2.2 innings. Trinidad allowed five runs in 2.2 innings in his first start. Paul Smyth, Jonathan Ortiz and Mickey Storey each allowed two runs in their relief outings before Neil Wagner tossed 2.1 scoreless innings to keep the game close. Wagner struck-out five.

On Tuesday, the A's released Midland catcher Yusuf Carter. He was batting .169 with two homers in 21 games at the time of his release.

Burlington Pulls Out A Squeaker

Daniel Tenholder stranded the game-tying run at second base in the bottom of the ninth to secure a 5-4 win over the Beloit Snappers. The Bees used eight hits and a walk to score five runs for the win.

Yordy Cabrera drove-in two runs on two sacrifice flies and he had a hit and a run scored. The A's 2010 second-round pick is batting .275 with a 784 OPS in 31 games this season. He is batting .317 with a 903 OPS in May. Douglas Landaeta led the Bees with two hits and two runs scored. He is batting .366 over his last 10 games and he has a nine-game hitting streak.

Blake Hassebrock got the start and he allowed three runs (two earned) in 5.2 innings. He struck-out seven and walked three. Hassebrock's command has been a bit shaky in his past two starts, walking eight in 10.2 innings. He has only 20 walks in total in 50.2 innings this season. Hassebrock's ERA is at 1.42 on the season.

Pedro Vidal got the win with 2.1 scoreless innings in relief. He struck-out three. Vidal has 21 strike-outs in 15.1 innings this season. Tenholder allowed a run in the ninth, but got the save. He had a rare four-strikeout inning in the ninth. The save was his seventh of the year. Tenholder has a 24:3 K:BB ratio this season.

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