Oakland A's MLN: Mitchell Moves Up

There has been no better hitter in the Oakland A's system this season than Jermaine Mitchell, who has pounded Texas League pitching all season. The outfielder was finally rewarded for his efforts when he was promoted to Triple-A on Friday night. We have the details of that move and several others in the A's system, plus other news and notes.

Jermaine Mitchell said good-bye to the Texas League and Double-A in style with three hits and two RBIs in five at-bats for the Midland Rockhounds on Friday night. After the game, Mitchell was promoted to Triple-A Sacramento.

He leaves the ‘Hounds with a .355/.453/.589 line in 74 games. He has 15 doubles, 13 triples and 10 homeruns. Including his two hits in two at-bats in the Texas League All-Star game, Mitchell is 12-for-his-last-16. He leads the Texas League in batting average, on-base percentage and triples.

A trio of players made their 2011 Midland debuts on Friday night. A.J. Griffin, Ryan Ortiz and Andrew Carignan were all promoted from High-A Stockton over the past week and all four contributed to the 8-6 Midland win over Arkansas.

Griffin earned the win in his Double-A debut. He allowed three runs on four hits and one walk in 5.2 innings. He struck-out five and allowed two homers. On the season, Griffin has a 2.38 ERA and a 95:15 K:BB ratio in 98.1 innings.

Ortiz collected a double in three at-bats in his Double-A debut. He was also hit-by-a-pitch. The catcher moved up with Griffin this week after batting .340 in 28 games for Stockton. Former Stockton closer Carignan earned his first Double-A save since 2008, when he saved 28. He allowed a run on three hits in an inning of work. Carignan struck-out two. He missed large parts of the 2009 and 2010 seasons recovering from an arm injury.

Brett Hunter, also recently promoted from Stockton, had an important 1.2 scoreless innings of relief in Friday's win. He struck-out three and didn't allow a base-runner in his second appearance for Midland.

In addition to Mitchell, Stephen Parker and Matt Sulentic had big offensive games for the Rockhounds. Parker, playing first base, went four-for-five with a double to raise his average to .275. Sulentic hit his fifth homer of the season and also doubled and singled in five at-bats. He is batting .293 on the year. Jeremy Barfield and Grant Green also had two-hit games.

Before the game on Friday, the Rockhounds said good-bye to reliever Mickey Storey, who was traded by the A's to the Houston Astros. Storey was immediately sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was reunited with former Sacramento River Cats' manager Tony DeFrancesco, who Storey pitched for in 2009. Storey had a 4.03 ERA with 31 strike-outs in 38 innings for Midland this season. He had a scoreless 2.1 inning debut for the Red Hawks on Friday.

Stockton Wins 17th Straight

Despite losing several players to promotion over the past week, the Stockton Ports continue to hum along. The Ports earned their 17th consecutive victory on Friday night with a 3-1 win over the San Jose Giants. Robert Gilliam put together another outstanding start to earn his ninth win of the year.

Gilliam allowed a run on five hits and one walk in six innings. He struck-out eight. Gilliam was aided by a terrific effort from the Stockton bullpen. A.J. Huttenlocker, Chris Mederos and Jose Guzman each tossed scoreless innings to close out the game. Between the three pitchers, they allowed only two hits and struck-out seven in three innings. Mederos struck-out the side in the eighth.

Conner Crumbliss and Rashun Dixon each had two-hit nights to pace the Stockton offense. Dixon also provided the highlight of the night. In the fourth inning, Dixon dropped a bloop single between the right-fielder, first baseman and second baseman. He rounded first aggressively and got about a third of the way to second before deciding to turn back to first. He lost his footing and fell down and was a sitting duck when right fielder Jarrett Parker airmailed the throw to first, allowing Dixon back safely. The play was ruled a single and a throwing error, allowing Dixon to advance to first.

For the second half of the season, the Ports are 9-0 and they are 47-32 overall. Stockton is in first place in their division for the second half of the season and hold a comfortable lead in the wild card.

Sacramento Bullpen Shuffled, Cramed Designated

The Sacramento River Cats saw a number of changes to their bullpen on Friday. The A's recalled right-hander Fautino De Los Santos and officially added Bruce Billings to the Sacramento roster. Billings was acquired by the A's from Colorado on Thursday for Mark Ellis. Oakland also designated Sacramento lefty Bobby Cramer for assignment and sent back right-hander Trystan Magnuson to Sacramento. Cramer had been on the River Cats' disabled list. He has a 4.03 ERA in 22.1 innings for the River Cats and a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 relief innings for the A's this season.

Other News and Notes

- The Burlington Bees routed the Peoria Chiefs on Friday night by a score of 18-4. Every Burlington hitter had a hit and Yordy Cabrera, A.J. Kirby-Jones and Josh Whitaker each homered. Kirby-Jones had four RBIs, Whitaker had five and Juan Nunez and Tony Thompson each had three. Josh Bowman earned the win by allowing four runs in six innings (three came in the first inning) and Jonathan Joseph earned a three-inning save with a scoreless effort that included five strike-outs.

- Vermont Lake Monsters outfielder Xavier Macklin raised his average to .400 with two more hits on Friday night. The 2011 draft pick has 16 hits – including three doubles and a triple – and six runs scored in his first 10 games as a pro.

- Lake Monster outfielder Aaron Shipman had two hits on Friday, as well. Shipman is only batting .167 in his first 11 games, but he has nine walks and four stolen bases.

- Top A's Dominican League prospect Renato Nunez hit his fourth homerun of the season on Friday. Three of those four homers have come in the past six games. He is batting .320 with an 851 OPS in 28 games this season.

- Arizona A's outfielder Kelvin Rojas is seven-for-his-last-eight with a homer, a double, a triple and a walk and seven RBIs.

- A's 10th round pick Dusty Robinson made his pro debut on Friday for the AZL A's. He went hitless in two official at-bats, but he walked three.

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