A's MLN: Another Perfect Day For The Affiliates

The Oakland A's may be struggling, but their minor league affiliates have been playing well. The A's system had another perfect day on Wednesday, as all four teams used strong offense and good starting pitching to gain victories. Two A's minor league starters earned their first victories and two others extended their unbeaten streaks. Find out who had good games and how the Stockton Ports helped the Sacramento River Cats win on Wednesday in this edition of A's Minor League Notebook...

Short-handed Sacramento Captures Fifth Straight

Not even a nasty case of a stomach virus could keep the Sacramento River Cats from winning their fifth straight game. The River Cats were down to nine available position players at the start of the game because Dan Johnson, Jack Cust and Matt Watson were shelved with stomach illnesses and Adam Morrissey was designated for assignment on Tuesday. Consequently, the River Cats had to dip into the Stockton Ports' roster to field a full line-up. Despite missing four of their top offensive players, the River Cats still managed to pound out 12 hits and nine runs in their 9-6 win over Oklahoma.

Stockton infielder Francis Gomez was brought up to Sacramento on Tuesday when Morrissey was removed from the A's 40-man roster. He got the start on Wednesday when infielder Andrew Beattie was forced to play in right-field in place of the ill Watson. Gomez took advantage of the chance to show his skills in AAA, going 2-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored. The Ports' back-up catcher, Jed Morris, was also summoned to Sacramento when the stomach bug prevented both of the River Cats' first basemen/designated hitters from playing. Starting pitcher Britt Reames was in the original line-up as the River Cats' DH, but Morris arrived from Stockton right before the game to take Reames' place in the batting line-up. Morris also made his presence felt, going 1-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Both players will likely head back to Stockton within the next two weeks.

Shortstop Mike Rouse paced the Sacramento offense with three hits to raise his batting average to .316. Centerfielder Freddie Bynum and third baseman Bobby Smith each drove in two runs. Starter Seth Etherton had a strong outing, throwing six innings. He allowed only one run and four hits while striking out seven and walking one. He left the game with the River Cats' leading 6-1, but had to watch as Nick Mattioni and Steve Smyth combined to allow four runs in the 8th inning to narrow the Sacramento lead to 6-5. Newly promoted Jairo Garcia came on with two outs in the 8th to face Rangers' top prospect Ian Kinsler. Garcia struck out Kinsler to preserve the lead and Etherton's first win of the season. The River Cats responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning to give them a 9-5 advantage. Garcia allowed one unearned run in the bottom of the 9th, but held on to earn his first save for Sacramento.

Before the game, the River Cats announced that relievers Chris Mabeus (back) and Billy Sylvester (shoulder) were placed on the disabled list. Sacramento now sits one game back of Tucson for the Pacific South division lead.

Red-Hot Midland Wins Again

The Midland Rockhounds got some offensive support from the bottom of their order en route to their seventh win in their last nine games. Midland's eighth and ninth place hitters each drove in three runs and hit homers to power the Rockhounds' nine-run, 18-hit attack. Starter Matt Lynch upped his record to 4-0 with a 5.2 inning effort. Newly recalled closer Alex Santos struck out the side in his Midland debut.

Outfielder Matt Allegra has had a rough start to his season, but he had a big game on Wednesday. The slugger went 3-5 with a solo homerun, a double and a single. He also scored two runs. Lloyd Turner has been playing more regularly since Andrew Beattie was promoted to AAA. The increased playing time paid off on Wednesday when Turner turned in a 3-4 game. He homered and singled twice, driving in three runs.

The Midland offensive attack was balanced throughout the line-up. Every starter had at least one hit except for the Rockhounds' hottest hitter, Andre Ethier. Catcher Jeremy Brown snapped a slump with three hits and second baseman Mark Kiger doubled twice. The Rockhounds now have the best record in the Texas League at 22-11 and they hold a four-game lead over San Antonio in the Western Division.

Dallas Braden Goes The Distance

Stockton-native Dallas Braden must not enjoy pitching in front of his hometown fans because with the way he is pitching, he may be on his way to Texas soon. Braden had his best start of the season on Wednesday night, tossing the first complete game in Banner Island Ballpark history. Stockton took the game 5-1 over the San Jose Giants.

Braden allowed a solo homerun and a single in the first inning, but settled down thereafter. Over the next eight innings, Braden allowed only three hits, a hit-by-pitch and one walk. He finished the game with 11 strikeouts and only that one walk. Braden is now 6-0 on the season with a sparkling 2.68 ERA. He has struck out 64 in 43.2 innings and has walked only 11.

Every Stockton starter had a hit. Dustin Majewski, Luke Appert, Danny Putnam, Daric Barton and Luis Perez all had two hits each. Struggling former first round pick John McCurdy hit his third homerun of the season and Appert broke out of his slump with a homer and an RBI single. Majewski went 2-5 to raise his team-leading batting average to .325.

Walk This Way: Base On Balls, Wayment Lead Kane County To Victory

The Kane County Cougars have struggled with their bats for much of the season, but on Wednesday, they used their eyes to rack up the runs. The Cougars collected nine walks to lead them to a 8-4 victory over South Bend. Kory Wayment had three hits and his first homerun to lead the Cougars' offense. First round draft pick Michael Rogers earned his first victory of the season with five innings of work.

Second baseman Kevin Melillo picked up two hits and his 31st walk in 31 games. Melillo has been an on-base machine this season. He is hitting .287 on the year and has an on-base percentage over .450. Melillo leads the team in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Nick Blasi stole his team-leading sixth base during Wednesday's win.

Oakland Clubhouse Top Stories