Modesto A's Notebook - July 22, 2004

<b>This is a free preview of premium content.</b><br> The Modesto A's, who won the North League division first half championship, dropped 1.5 games off the pace in the second half race with a tough 6-5 loss. Find out about the Baby A's struggles with runners in scoring position and what members of the 2003 draft are performing well in this edition of the Modesto A's Notebook...

The Modesto A's mimicked their parent ballclub, wasting numerous scoring opportunities while dropping a tough game to the Bakersfield Blaze, 6-5. Keith Perez started the game for the Baby A's, giving up single runs in each of the first three innings. He settled down in his last two innings, limiting the damage to those three runs over five innings. Perez actually left the game with the lead, as Modesto tied the game at three on an Andre Ethier double and a Brian Stavisky homerun in the third inning. Modesto took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a wild sequence. Newly acquired first baseman Mayobanex Santana lead off the inning with a single. Second baseman Lloyd Turner followed with a double; however, Santana was thrown out at home trying to score from first. Turner advanced to third on the throw home, but was unable to score on Ethier's flyball to center (becoming the first of a number of runners the Modesto A's were unable to bring in from third with less then two outs). The A's were bailed out of their bad situational hitting, however, when Bakersfield starter Samuel Walton uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Turner from third.

Bakersfield regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning off of reliever Jared Burton, who was the eventual losing pitcher. The Blaze scored two runs in the inning on a one-out single, double and sacrifice fly. Modesto tied the game again in the bottom of the sixth inning on a solo homerun by third baseman Isaac Garcia. Shortstop Omar Quintanilla and designated hitter John Suomi followed with singles, but the rally died there when Santana grounded into an inning-ending double play. Bakersfield scored the decisive run on the top of the seventh inning. The A's had yet another opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when Turner lead off the inning with a double. Ethier flew out to leftfield, but Turner was unable to advance to third. He did move to third on Stavisky's groundout to shortstop, but he was stranded at third.

Elvis Avendano relieved Burton in the eighth inning and threw two shutout innings to finish the game. Modesto had chances to tie the game in each of the last two innings, but failed to get a run across. Modesto stranded a runner at second in the bottom of the eighth. Then in the bottom of the ninth inning pinch hitter Eddie Cornejo hit a lead-off double and was sacrificed over to third base by Turner. However, Ethier struck out and Stavisky flew out to rightfield to end the game.

Notes

Brian Stavisky's third inning homerun was his seventh homerun of the season. He has a team leading 27 doubles and has compiled a .509 SLG thus far this season. He is hitting .338 on the year.

Despite his poor situational hitting tonight, outfielder Andre Ethier has had a good season, cementing his position as one of the A's top outfield prospects. Ethier is hitting .301 with 41 XBH and 42 BB against 59 Ks.

Omar Quintanilla continues to hit at a high level. Quintanilla, one of the A's first round draft picks in the 2003 draft, has followed up a strong first season -- where he hit .341 at Vancouver and .417 in a short stint in Modesto -- with a good second season for the Baby A's. The former University of Texas product is hitting a solid .311 with 7 homeruns, 25 doubles and 5 triples. However, a position change might be in order for Omar, as he has committed 24 errors at short this season already.

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