Griffin's Feat A First For Sacramento
There have been some talented starting pitchers in the history of the Sacramento River Cats franchise: Barry Zito, Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, Gio Gonzalez, Colby Lewis, to name a few. However, not one of those starters ever achieved what A.J. Griffin did for the River Cats on Wednesday night.
Griffin threw a complete game for a second straight start, this time against the River Cats' divisional rival, the Fresno Grizzlies. Griffin was on his game versus the Giants' Triple-A squad. He didn't walk a batter while striking out six and allowing only a single run on six hits. Griffin lowered his PCL ERA to 2.78.
The A's 2010 13th-round pick has put together a strong follow-up to his standout 2011 campaign. In 2011, Griffin pitched for all four of the A's full-season affiliates and he posted a 3.47 ERA with 156 strike-outs and only 32 walks in 160.2 innings. He also dominated for the High-A Stockton Ports in the playoffs. In 2012, Griffin began the year with the Double-A Midland Rockhounds. In seven starts for the 'Hounds, Griffin posted a 2.49 ERA with 44 strike-outs and only seven walks in 43.1 innings.
Griffin got plenty of support from his River Cats' teammates. Sacramento needed only six hits and two walks to score six runs thanks to homers from Grant Green (8), Wes Timmons (2), Stephen Parker (4) and Anthony Recker (1). Recker, incidentally, was making yet another start in left field. He had three hits and two RBIs.
Other News And Notes
- The Midland Rockhounds flex their power in their 10-2 win over the Frisco RoughRiders. Ryan Lipkin (4), Anthony Aliotti (5) and Jeremy Barfield (7) all went deep for Midland. Aliotti also had a double and he scored three times. Michael Spina, Aliotti and Barfield all had multi-hit games and Conner Crumbliss drew four walks. Crumbliss has walked eight times over the past two games and 49 times in 58 games this season. Sonny Gray earned the win with five scoreless innings. He walked four, but he struck-out five and allowed only four hits.
- Homers were the theme of the day in the A's system and that extended down to the Low-A Burlington Bees in their 14-9 win over Quad Cities. Nick Rickles (4), Wade Kirkland (4) and Ryan Pineda (1) all homered for the Bees. But that wasn't the most remarkable part of the boxscore. Instead, it was the walk column that stole the show. Burlington batters managed a remarkable 14 free passes. Rashun Dixon walked a career-high five times in six plate appearances and Aaron Shipman added three walks from the ninth spot in the order. The Bees also had 12 hits, with Eliezer Mesa and Pineda leading the way with three.
- Down 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Stockton Ports looked on their way to another loss to the Bakersfield Blaze. Instead, the Ports' offense ignited in the later innings of the game and scored nine unanswered runs for a 9-6 victory. Chad Oberacker was a force of nature at the top of the line-up. He homered (4), singled and walked twice, and he also stole two bases (12). Oberacker is batting a combined .294 with six homers and an 823 OPS for the Ports and Bees this season. He has a nine-game hitting streak. Miles Head (15) also homered and Beau Taylor and Michael Gilmartin each had two hits. Ryan Doolittle earned the win with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed a single hit and struck-out two. His ERA for Stockton is down to 1.16. Zach Thornton earned his sixth save with 1.1 innings of work. Sean Murphy had his first poor start for Stockton, allowing six runs in five innings, although he did strike-out six.