Oakland A's MLN: Taylor, Gilliam Shine

Chris Carter made his long-anticipated return to the Sacramento River Cats on Monday, but it was teammate Michael Taylor who stole the show. In Stockton, starter Robert Gilliam dominated, while in Midland, four Rockhounds made plans to travel to San Antonio for the All-Star break.

Taylor Homers Twice, Carter Returns In Sacramento Win

The pre-game focus was on Chris Carter, but it was another right-handed slugger who stole the show for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats on Monday night. Taylor homered twice, lifting the River Cats to a 4-2 win over Salt Lake.

Carter had a solid game in his return to Sacramento. He reached base three times with a single and two walks and an RBI. It was Carter's first game with Sacramento since April 20, when he injured his thumb. Carter had a six-game rehab assignment with the High-A Stockton Ports and he hit three homers and drove-in seven in 24 at-bats.

Andy LaRoche made his Sacramento debut. He was outrighted to Sacramento last week. LaRoche went one-for-three with two walks and an RBI as the DH.

To make room for Carter and LaRoche on the River Cats' roster, the A's sent Josh Horton to Double-A and sent pitchers Ben Hornbeck and A.J. Griffin back to High-A.

Sacramento manager Darren Bush is going to have a challenging assignment finding playing time for all of the Sacramento position players now that Carter has returned and the A's have demoted infielders Kevin Kouzmanoff and LaRoche in recent weeks. On Monday, it was outfielder Matt Carson and Kouzmanoff who were on the bench, as Anthony Recker was behind the plate, Chris Carter was at first, Josh Donaldson was at third, Adrian Cardenas was a second and Taylor and Shane Peterson manned the corner outfield spots, with regulars Jai Miller (center) and Eric Sogard (shortstop) playing in their normal spots.

Gilliam Dominates For Stockton

Starter Robert Gilliam struck-out 12 in 7.2 innings of work to lead the Stockton Ports to a 3-1 win over the High Desert Mavericks on Monday night.

Gilliam put together his best start of the season, allowing only two hits, one walk, one hit-by-pitch and one run. On the season, he has 79 strike-outs against only 20 walks in 83 innings pitched. Gilliam has struck-out at least six in each of his last four starts.

Myrio Richard provided Gilliam all of the support he'd need. Richard had three hits and two stolen bases. He drove-in a run. Michael Choice walked and scored twice and Anthony Aliotti and Ryan Ortiz each chipped in with an RBI.

The game was played at a crisp two hour and 19 minute pace.

Four 'Hounds See Stars

The Midland Rockhounds will have four representatives in San Antonio for the Texas League All-Star game. Outfielder Jermaine Mitchell and first-baseman Michael Spina were named as starters for the game. Shortstop Grant Green was named to the team as a reserve position player, while right-hander Ethan Hollingsworth was named to the All-Star pitching staff.

The 'Hounds lost to Frisco by a score of 13-6 on Monday. Jermaine Mitchell had three hits to raise his average to .372, best in the Texas League. Matt Sulentic homered, while Jeremy Barfield had a triple and Green doubled twice.

Josh Horton was sent to Midland from Sacramento on Monday and to make room for him on the roster, right-hander Jon Meloan was placed on the DL.

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