Oakland A's MLN: River Cats, Ports Fall

Memorable 2011 seasons came to an end on a down note for the Sacramento River Cats and the Stockton Ports this weekend. Both teams lost in their league finals, bringing the entire 2011 Oakland A's minor league season to a close.

Sacramento Swept In PCL Finals

A terrific regular season and a stirring comeback in the semi-finals weren't enough to propel the Sacramento River Cats to a series victory in the Pacific Coast League finals. The River Cats were swept by the Omaha Storm Chasers, who won their first PCL title.

Sacramento's pitching couldn't keep up with the Omaha offense during the series. In three games, the River Cats allowed 29 runs. Sacramento managed only 12 runs in total offense.

Despite the disappointing ending, it was a strong season for the River Cats. Sacramento won its division by 17 games and finished with a PCL-high 88 regular season wins. They also forced their way into the finals after overcoming a zero-games-to-two deficit in the PCL semi-finals.

Sacramento slugger Chris Carter led all PCL batters with four post-season homeruns. His 1338 OPS was the best in the post-season, as well. Josh Donaldson also had a strong post-season, putting up a 1066 OPS.

After the series ended, the A's recalled Carter and right-handed starter Graham Godfrey. During the post-season, the A's had also called up centerfielder Jai Miller and catcher Landon Powell.

Stockton Falls In Four Games

The 2011 season will be one to remember in Stockton, even without a Cal League crown. The Ports ran-off an 18-game winning streak during the regular season and defeated the favored Modesto Nuts and the San Jose Giants to reach the Cal League finals. They couldn't keep the magic going in the final series, however, falling to the Lake Elsinore Storm in four games.

Top prospect Michael Choice had a huge post-season for the Ports. The centerfielder hit .426 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 11 games. He also walked four times. Rashun Dixon also had a strong post-season, batting .342 with a .405 OBP.

On the mound, A.J. Griffin stood out in his three starts. In 21 innings, he allowed only three runs in 15 hits and two walks. He struck-out 28 and earned two wins.

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