Oakland A's MLN: Ports, River Cats Hot

The Oakland A's two Northern California affiliates got off to strong starts to their 2012 seasons, finishing each of their first series of the season with a 3-1 record. We review Sunday's action within the A's system inside...

Sacramento Cashes In Against 51s

The Sacramento River Cats finished off an impressive series win over the Las Vegas 51s on Sunday, cruising to a 10-3 win behind a Daric Barton grandslam and a solid pitching effort. The River Cats now take their 3-1 record to Tucson.

Sacramento pounded out 12 hits, with every River Cats' hitter collected at least one hit except for shortstop Brandon Hicks. Barton gave the River Cats an early cushion with a third-inning grandslam that was the big blow in a five-run inning. Sacramento would tack on three more runs in the fourth to separate themselves from the 51s.

Wes Timmons, Grant Green, Stephen Parker and Joel Galarraga each had two hits, while Michael Taylor reached twice with a hit and a walk. Sacramento finished the four-game series with six homeruns and a team batting average of .346.

Tyson Ross got the start for the River Cats. He allowed a run on five hits and three walks in four innings of work, although he didn't strike-out a batter. Carlos Hernandez took over for Ross in the fifth and earned the win by allowing two runs on three hits in three innings. Jim Miller finished off the win with two scoreless innings.

Rockhounds Lose Opener In Springfield

After taking their season-opening series versus the Arkansas Travelers, two-games-to-one, the Rockhounds ran into a buzzsaw in their first game versus the Springfield Cardinals. Springfield pounded out 13 runs and 12 hits en route to a 13-5 win over Midland.

Shawn Haviland had a rough 2012 debut. He allowed seven runs on five hits in 2.2 innings. He gave-up five hits and walked five while striking out two. A.J. Huttenlocker was touched up for two runs in 1.1 innings, both runs coming on solo homeruns. Murphy Smith threw the final four innings for the Rockhounds. He allowed four runs, but none of them were earned, and he struck-out six while walking none in his 2012 debut.

Conner Crumbliss smacked his second homerun of the season and also added a double to lead the Rockhounds' attack. Tyler Ladendorf also had two hits, while Josh Horton reached three times on a single and two walks.

Stockton Finishes Off Storm

The Stockton Ports earned a 3-1 series win over the Lake Elsinore Storm with a 4-1 victory on Sunday. Blake Hassebrock had a strong California League debut and Josh Whitaker continued to pace the Stockton offensive attack.

Hassebrock made it into the seventh inning in his first start of the season, allowing a run on eight hits in 6.1 innings. He struck-out two and didn't walk a batter. Hassebrock was the second starter in a row for Stockton to toss 6.1 innings. T.J. Walz went that distance on Saturday night in his California League debut. Lefty Jake Brown earned his first save of the season with 2.2 scoreless innings. He allowed only a hit and struck-out a batter.

Whitaker, playing in left field, collected two more hits and scored twice, while driving in his fourth run of the season. Miles Head, who drew the start at first base, also had two hits, one of which was his second double of the year.

Stockton showed some speed on the basepaths, swiping three bases in the game. Eliezer Mesa captured his third stolen base of the year, while Whitaker added his second and Nino Leyja swiped his first of the year. Stockton will look to continue its hot start versus Bakersfield on Monday.

Burlington Set To Tackle Wisconsin

After winning their season-opening series, 2-1, in Clinton, Iowa, the Burlington Bees had Sunday off. They will resume game action on Monday at home versus the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Newly acquired prospect Raul Alcantara will make his Oakland A's debut in the game.

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