A's MLN: Colamarino Officially On Fire

Midland has been by far the best team amongst the A's affiliates this season. The Rockhounds' offense, in particular, has been outstanding. The Midland hitters were at it again on Thursday, posting yet another big game. Find out the details of the Rockhounds' win and the rest of the day's action in this edition of A's Minor League Notebook...

Midland Powers Up Again In Big Win

Brant Colamarino hit his fourth homerun of the week and drove in half of the Rockhounds' 12 runs, as the red-hot Midland hitters continued their on-slaught on Texas League pitching. The Rockhounds had 16 hits and scored in double-digits for the second straight game, as they downed Arkansas, 12-7.

Colamarino added a triple along with his 11th homerun of the season. He leads the Texas League in RBI with 45 and is tied with teammate Jason Perry and two other hitters for the league-lead in homeruns. The slugger is also tied for second in the league in triples with four. The University of Pittsburgh product could be taking his big bat west soon to replace the newly recalled Dan Johnson at Sacramento. Colamarino was promoted from A-Modesto to AA-Midland after 50 outstanding games last season.

Colamarino is hardly the only hot hitter on the Rockhounds. Steve Stanley followed a 5-6 game on Wednesday with a 4-5 outing on Thursday. Stanley has struggled most of the season but has now raised his batting average to .291. Brian Stavisky also added two hits to bump up his batting average to .329. Jason Perry (3-5) and Andre Ethier (3-5) also had big games. The Rockhounds are hitting over .300 as a team and are first in Texas League team hitting in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, homeruns, runs batted in, doubles and hits.

Another strong aspect of the first-place Rockhounds has been their bullpen. The bullpen threw four shut-out innings in relief of starter Matt Lynch to keep the Arkansas offense at bay with seven runs. Lynch went five innings and allowed seven runs, but only three were earned thanks to two errors by Lynch himself. Middle reliever Kyle Crowell took over for Lynch in the sixth, working three shut-out innings. He allowed only two hits. Alex Santos, who has been unhittable this season at both Stockton and Midland, finished off the game with a scoreless inning. Santos has yet to allow a run in seven appearances with the Rockhounds. He has 11 strikeouts and has allowed only two walks and three hits over eight innings of work. The Rockhounds are 30-17 this season and they have a four game lead in the West Division.

Sacramento Goes Up Big; Holds On For Win

It isn't often that a team enters the ninth inning leading by eight runs and ends the ninth inning needing a save from its closer, but Sacramento managed to pull off that rare feat on Thursday. Sacramento gained a series split with Iowa with a 12-10 win.

John Baker had a clutch two-out, two-run double and went 2-5. After a nightmarish April, Baker has had a strong May and has raised his batting average from the low .100s to .235. Outfielder Javier Herrera had a strong game, as well. The recent low-A Kane County call-up went 2-4 with a walk, three runs and a run batted in. Herrera has been impressive in his short stint in AAA ball, collecting five hits in 12 at-bats. The youngster has driven in three runs in the past two games.

Knuckleballer Steve Sparks had an up and down outing. He managed to survive 5.1 innings in which he allowed ten hits, three walks and two homers, but limited the damage to only four runs. Victor Moreno relieved Sparks with one-out and two-on in the 6th and worked out of that jam. He then went on to throw two more scoreless innings. Moreno has a 1.31 ERA on the season.

Billy Sylvester came on in the 9th in relief of Moreno, but he was unable to retire a batter. He walked two and hit a batter before departing. Nick Mattioni took over for Sylvester and was equally ineffective. He allowed two homeruns, including a grandslam. By the time Mattioni left the game, the score had narrowed from 12-4 to 12-10 and there was only one out in the inning. Closer Jairo Garcia came on and restored order, striking out two of the three batters he faced to earn his fourth save since joining the River Cats. Sacramento now heads home for a weekend series. They are expected to welcome rehabbing Bobby Crosby, as the shortstop continues to work his way back into playing shape.

Stockton Falls To High Desert

The Stockton Ports' new relievers faltered in their first appearances, as Stockton fell to High Desert, 9-5. Shortstop Bobby Crosby made what is likely his last appearance with Stockton and went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI. He leaves Stockton for a weekend series in Sacramento. Crosby collected three hits in nine at-bats for Stockton.

Vasili Spanos had a good day at the plate. He hit his fifth homerun of the season, a two-run shot. The homerun accounted for his 28th and 29th RBI of the season. He also drew two walks. Luke Appert and Eddie Cornejo had multi-hit games for Stockton. The Ports had nine hits in total.

Starter Chris Dunwell was battered in his outing. He allowed six runs in five innings, including four homeruns. He did strike out six batters. Scot Drucker and Connor Robertson both made their Stockton debuts after being recalled from Kane County earlier in the day. Drucker allowed one run on three hits in two innings. He struck out three. Robertson had a rougher outing. He allowed two runs in 1.1 innings of work, walking two and striking out none. He also committed a throwing error on a pick-off play. Stockton is now 22-24 on the season.

Light-Hitting Kane County Falls Again

Entering Thursday night's game, Kane County was hitting a meager .235 as a team. The Cougars could manage only six hits and three runs on Thursday and fell to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers by a score of 6-3.

Kory Wayment provided most of the Cougars' offense with a two-run homerun in the fifth inning. It was Wayment's third homer of the season. Wes Long drove in the Cougars' only other run with a two-out single in the third. Newly activated Jose Pineda picked up a hit in three at-bats. Pineda has been an offensive bright spot since being activated from extended spring training on Monday. He has five hits in 16 at-bats and has been hitting in the clean-up spot for Kane County during the past two days.

Ryan Ford picked up the loss for the Cougars, allowing four runs in 5.1 innings of work. Ford has a 4.69 ERA on the season. Steve Sharpe relieved Ford with one run in and two runners on in the sixth inning. Sharpe allowed both of Ford's runners to score and then gave up another run of his own, turning a 3-1 Cougars' lead into a 5-3 deficit. Jose Corchado, making his Kane County debut after being demoted from Stockton earlier in the day, allowed a run in one inning of work.

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