Oakland A's MLN: Barton, Herrera Heating Up

After luke-warm starts to their seasons, top Oakland A's prospects Daric Barton and Javier Herrera are starting to heat up. The pair had good games again on Sunday and helped lead their respective teams to victory. Find out how the A's prospects fared throughout the system in this edition of A's Minor League Notebook.

Hot-Hitting Herrera Paces Kane County; Cougars Back to .500

Less than a week ago, top prospect Javier Herrera was hitting .186 and the Kane County Cougars were struggling to score. Since then both Herrera and the Cougars have picked up the offensive pace with good results. Herrera led the Cougars to another win on Sunday, 6-5 in 10 over Clinton.

Herrera launched a mammoth two-run homerun in the second inning and scored the game-winning run in the 10th when he plowed over Clinton catcher Kevin Richardson to jar the ball loose. Herrera went 2-5 on the day and is now hitting .263 with three homers and 18 RBIs in only 19 games played. The speedy Herrera has played all three outfield positions this season.

The Cougars were looking at a second-straight loss to Clinton when they entered the 9th inning down 5-4. However, Kane County pushed the game into extra-innings when Kory Wayment scored on Ryan Ruiz's one-out single. Kane County won the game when Herrera reached on an error in the 10th and scored on Nick Blasi's game-winning single.

Kevin Melillo drew two more walks on Sunday, raising his season total to 33 in only 35 games played. Eddie Kim chipped in with an RBI single and Myron Leslie lined an RBI double. Reliever Rob Semerano picked up the win in relief after working 1.2 scoreless innings. Semerano now has a 2.70 ERA on the season. The Cougars are now 18-18 on the campaign.

Barton, Three Others Power Stockton to Victory

The Stockton Ports broke a four-game losing streak in a big way on Sunday, using an eight-run second inning to pound the Modesto Nuts, 14-9. Daric Barton, Kurt Suzuki, Vasili Spanos and Dustin Majewski all homered for the Ports. Danelin Acevado picked up the win despite allowing seven runs (six earned) in 5.2 innings pitched.

Barton got the Ports' eight-run second inning started with the first of his two walks. Danny Putnam followed with a single and both men scored on Vasili Spanos' third homer of the season. The slugging infielder is hitting .299 on the season with 20 RBIs. Luke Appert followed with a double, John McCurdy singled and Luis Perez knocked home Appert with an RBI single. With one-out, Eddie Cornejo drove in McCurdy with an RBI ground-out to up the score to 5-2. Kurt Suzuki drew a walk and then Barton scored his second run of the inning when he launched a three-run homer.

It was Barton's second homerun in the past three days. After a somewhat slow start to his season, Barton has begun to heat up. He has raised his batting average to .266 and is striking the ball with more authority. The eagle-eyed Barton has walked 24 times in 35 games and has an OBP of just under .400.

The Ports padded their lead in the 4th inning when catcher Kurt Suzuki launched his second homerun of the season. The Ports catcher is hitting .286 on the season. Centerfielder Dustin Majewski hit his eighth homerun of the season in the 8th inning. Majewski has been one of the Ports steadiest offensive performers this season. Majewski leads the team in homeruns, batting average (.317) and is second in RBIs (26). Every Port hitter had at least one hit and scored at least one run on Sunday.

Sacramento Loses Slugfest; Snaps 8-Game Winning Streak

Sacramento had seven runs, 10 hits and back-to-back-to-back homers, but it wasn't enough to prevent the River Cats from snapping their eight-game winning streak. Newly acquired Steve Sparks had a rough Sacramento debut, allowing seven runs in five innings to earn his first loss of the season.

The River Cats' middle of the order continues to shine. Shawn Garrett, Jack Cust and Dan Johnson combined to go 8-14 with three homers and four RBIs. All three homers came back-to-back-to-back to lead-off the 3rd inning. Johnson went 3-5 on the day with his 30 and 31st RBIs of the season. Cust hit his team-leading 8th homerun of the season and is now hitting .313. Garrett led the team with four hits to raise his average to .313.

The River Cats dropped to 21-17 and are now one game back of first place Tucson in PCL's Pacific Conference Southern Division. Sacramento and New Orleans meet again on Monday. The River Cats starter is yet to be determined and could be the newly acquired Ryan Glynn, who was picked up from Toronto on Sunday.

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