Oakland A's MLN: Carter Heating Up?

The Oakland A's and Chris Carter have been waiting for the slugger's annual summer hot streak to materialize. With three good games at the plate in a row, is Carter finally hitting his groove? We take a closer look at Carter, the Vermont All-Stars, an award-winner in Burlington, Dusty Coleman, Anthony Aliotti and more inside...

Carter Warming As 'Cats Get Back On Track

Although the 2011 minor league season is nearly complete, Chris Carter has less than half of his normal number of at-bats for any given season. Perhaps then it is no surprise that Carter is still trying to find himself at the plate. The notoriously slow starter has generally found his groove roughly 250 at-bats into any given season. With 264 at-bats under his belt, Carter appears to be getting hot at the plate right on cue.

Although it is a small sample size, Carter last three games offer some encouragement that he is starting to turn it around. He is five-for-his-last-11 with a walk, a very long homerun and a double. The homerun, hit on August 15, was his first since August 2nd in Colorado Springs.

Thanks in part to Carter's recent resurgence, the River Cats are riding a two-game winning streak after dropping eight in a row. On Tuesday night, Graham Godfrey earned his 12th win of the season for Sacramento. He allowed two runs in six innings, striking out seven and walking one. His ERA stands at 2.74 for the season.

Adrian Cardenas had four hits in the Tuesday win to raise his average to .305. Adam Rosales also had a multi-hit game with three knocks. Jordan Norberto earned the save, allowing a solo homerun in two innings, with four strike-outs and one walk.

Joe Newby was handed the loss for Albuquerque. The former A's farmhand was forced to leave the game in the first inning with an injury that he sustained at a play at the plate involving Jermaine Mitchell.

Pan, Urlaub and Peters Shine in ASG

The Vermont Lake Monsters were well represented at the New York-Penn League All-Star game, with five in total participating in the game. Infielder Zhi Fang Pan got the start at second base and he had an impact on the game, collecting an RBI triple in two at-bats. Relievers Jeff Urlaub and Tanner Peters both tossed scoreless innings for the AL team. Nick Rickles and Sean Jamieson also participated. Both players were hitless in two at-bats.

Vermont enters the second half of the season with a two game lead in the Stedler Division.

Coleman Red-Hot in Return to Stockton

Dusty Coleman swung the bat well in a stint with Triple-A Sacramento last week and that has carried over in his return to High-A Stockton. In four games with the Ports, Coleman has eight hits in 19 at-bats. He is now batting .241 with a 733 OPS in 101 games for Stockton this season. In 10 games with the River Cats, the shortstop hit .333 with a 768 OPS.

Stockton earned the win on Tuesday night thanks to a seven-run third inning. It would be all the scoring the Ports would need to beat the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, 7-3. Every Ports' starter had at least one hit except for Leonardo Gil, who walked twice.

Anthony Aliotti extended his on-base streak to 41 games with a two-for-five effort. His streak is third-best in the California League thus far this season. Teammate Michael Choice had the longest streak, at 47 games, end on August 11. During his on-base streak, Aliotti is batting .318 with a .448 OBP. On the season, he is hitting .283 with an 814 OPS.

A.J. Griffin allowed three runs in the first two innings on Tuesday, but settled down and threw three scoreless frames after that. He finished the start with six strike-outs and three walks in five innings of work. Griffin has 132 strike-outs in 141.2 innings this season. He has pitched for all four of the A's full-season minor league affiliates.

Crisotomo Honored

Burlington Bees' outfielder Jose Crisotomo missed the first part of the season with an injury, but he is quickly making up for lost time. The Dominican native was named the Midwest League's Player of the Week for the week of August 8th. During that week, he batted .500 (12-for-24) with two homers and 10 RBIs.

In 35 games for the Bees, Crisotomo is batting .328 with an 842 OPS. He struggled for Vancouver, Kane County and Stockton last season, batting only .254 with a 576 OPS, but he hit .297 for Vancouver in 2009 and .316 for the A's Rookie League teams in Arizona and the Dominican in 2008. The left-hander is 22-years-old.

Other News and Notes

* The AZL A's were pounded on Tuesday by the AZL Giants, 16-8, but it was a memorable game for outfielder Rhett Stafford. Stafford went three-for-three with a homer, a triple and a single and four RBIs. The homer was Stafford's third of the season for the AZL A's.

* AZL A's outfielder Kelvin Rojas is currently second in the league in batting with a .400 average. His 1020 OPS is fourth-best in the league.

* Andy Paz-Garriga, the Cuban-born catcher signed by Oakland out of France this winter, continues to hit well for the DSL A's. He has a five-game hitting streak and is batting .345 with an 857 OPS in 19 games. His OBP is .493 and he has 12 walks.

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