Modesto A's Notebook - August 18, 2004

<b>This is a free preview of premium content.</b><br> The North Division-leading Modesto A's broke out of a recent losing streak to take a 6-2 victory over the Stockton Ports. Read about the victory and a trio of Modesto sluggers having good seasons in this edition of <i>Modesto A's Notebook</i>...

Modesto A's Notebook The Modesto A's upped their second-half record to 33-18 with a 5-2 victory over the Stockton Ports. The series is a battle of the first and second place teams in the North Division of the California League. Modesto increased their lead over Stockton to three games with the victory over Stockton. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Baby A's.

Starter Keith Perez notched the victory for Modesto, throwing a solid 6 and two-thirds innings. Perez yielded only two first inning runs, as he scattered seven hits. He raised his record to 6-1 and lowered his ERA to 4.06. Perez has split time this season between the rotation and the bullpen. The A's bullpen picked Perez up by tossing two and two-thirds shut-out innings to close out the game. Leonard Landeros bridged the gap between Perez and closer Chris Shank with one and one-third shut-out innings. Landeros entered the game with a runner on first and two outs in the seventh, but he stranded the runner by striking out Stockton's third place hitter Patrick Boyd.

The A's offense got going early, as rightfielder Jason Perry doubled to lead-off the inning. John Suomi advanced Perry to third and he was driven in by a single from shortstop Isaac Garcia, halving the Stockton lead. Recently demoted John McCurdy then picked up his first hit since being sent down from Midland, as he doubled in Garcia to tie the game at 2.

The A's took the lead for good in the third inning when leadoff hitter Lloyd Turner drew a walk to start the inning. Marcus McBeth singled to move Turner to second and they both moved up a base on Brian Stavisky's slow grounder to first. Perry was hit by a pitch and then Suomi drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly.

Modesto picked up their final two insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two-outs, Stavisky singled and Perry was hit by a pitch for a second time. Suomi drove in his second and third run of the game with a ringing double to centerfield.

Notes

John McCurdy had two hits (both doubles) and one RBI in the game. That had to be a relief for the A's former first round pick, as he had gone his first two games in Modesto without getting a hit. McCurdy has struggled all season and has yet to hit the way the A's thought he was capable of when they drafted him in 2002, forcing his demotion to Modesto. The third baseman will likely have one more season to prove to the A's that he can hit at a professional level before he falls off of their organizational depth chart altogether.

John Suomi has quietly put together an excellent offensive season for the A's. The 2000 22nd round draft pick is old for his league (24), but the Canadian catcher/DH has held his own in his first season with Modesto. He has a team-leading 81 RBIs to go along with his .294 batting average and a 42 XBH.

Brian Stavisky, a 2002 sixth round pick and 2003 Midwest League All-Star, has scalded the ball this season to the tune of a .342 BA with 17 homeruns and 74 RBIs. Stavisky has slugged an impressive .553%, as well.

No one, however, has slugged as impressively as outfielder Jason Perry. Perry, who started the season in Midland but was demoted after a slow start, has destroyed California League pitching since joining the A's. The former Toronto Blue Jays farmhand has driven in 64 runs in 64 games and has hit 19 homeruns during that same span. He has a .701 SLG and a .339 BA. Perry was named to the Arizona Fall League roster by the A's this week. A strong showing in the AFL will erase the effects of his rough start at Midland this season and will firmly place Perry near the top of the A's list of organizational outfield prospects.

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