Meyer Returns; Sacramento Cruises Again
The Sacramento River Cats won for the 11th time in 12 games, as they beat the hapless Las Vegas 51s by a score of 9-5.
Dan Meyer: Meyer made his long-awaited return from the DL on Thursday night, although it wasn't as a starter. He appeared in the eighth inning as a reliever and had a rough go of it in his first action since May. Meyer allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning. He gave up one hit and a walk and struck out a batter. Meyer is working his arm back into shape and will be stretched out slowly back into the starting rotation.
Jack Cust: Cust collected three hits and two doubles for the River Cats on Thursday. The doubles were Cust's 16th and 17th of the season.
Shawn Garrett: Garrett got the River Cats' offense off to a good start with a grand-slam in the first inning. The homerun was Garrett's seventh of the year. He went 2-4 and is hitting .288 on the season.
Jimmy Serrano: Serrano learned on Thursday morning that he was named to the AAA All-Star team and he followed that news with a good outing. He earned his eighth win of the year by allowing only two runs in six innings.
Jairo Garcia: Garcia's return to AAA was a successful one. After a brief stint with Oakland, Garcia returned to the minor leagues on Thursday just in time to earn his seventh save of the year for Sacramento. Garcia came on in the 8th inning with the bases loaded and two-out and he wiggled out of that jam. He then worked a perfect inning in the ninth to close it out for the River Cats. He struck out the side in the 9th.
Braden, Midland Win Again
Midland got the second half of the season off to a good start with a 5-2 win over Tulsa, breaking a six-game losing streak.
Dallas Braden: Braden picked up where he left off with a solid outing against Tulsa. He earned his sixth win as a Rockhound by allowing one run on four hits in six innings. He did walk four, but he struck out four, as well. Braden's ERA for Midland is now a tidy 2.48.
Alex Santos: Santos also continued his strong season with yet another shut-out inning on Thursday. He recorded his eighth save in nine tries with a scoreless 9th inning. He struck out one and walked one. On the season, Santos has whiffed 46 batters in 36.1 innings split between Midland and Stockton.
Vasili Spanos: Spanos made his AA debut a successful one, as he clubbed a homerun in three at-bats. Spanos earned a promotion to Midland after hitting .315 for Stockton with 10 homers and a .431 OBP. The corner infielder played first on Thursday for the Rockhounds.
Stockton Rallies Late, But Fall In Extras
Stockton managed 13 hits and clubbed two homeruns, but it wasn't enough, as the Ports lost to Rancho Cucamonga 5-4 in 11 innings.
Brad Knox: Knox allowed three runs in 6.1 innings pitched and was in-line for a win before reliever Scot Drucker allowed one of Knox's runners to score. Knox had allowed only one run when the Quakes' slugger Brandon Wood clubbed his 25th homerun of the year in the 6th to give the Quakes a 2-1 lead. Stockton took back the lead with two runs in the top of the 7th, but Knox and Drucker combined to allow two runs in the bottom of the 7th. Stockton tied it with one run in the 8th to get Knox off of the hook for the loss. Knox has a 3.52 ERA on the season.
Daric Barton: Sluggers Danny Putnam and Barton went back-to-back in the 7th inning to give the Ports' a temporary 3-2 lead. Barton went 4-5 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk in the game. The homerun was his 8th on the season. He is now hitting .310 on the season. Barton started the game at third base for the first time this season and later moved to first. Barton was starting at third in the place of Vasili Spanos, who was promoted to AA-Midland before the game. Barton also learned before the game that he would be representing the A's organization in the annual Futures Game, which showcases the minor league's brightest prospects in an All-Star Game before the MLB All-Star Game.
Luis Perez: Perez missed the first part of the season after testing positive for a banned substance, but he is quickly erasing the memory of that suspension with a strong showing for Stockton. Perez went 3-5 with a double to up his batting average to .311 on the year.
Offense Goes Silent In Kane County Loss
Kane County ended the first half of the season playing well and hitting better then they had all season. However, they reverted to their early first half form on Thursday, as the Cougars managed only three hits in their 8-1 loss to Clinton.
Cliff Pennington: A's first round draft choice Cliff Pennington made his debut on Thursday. It was a quiet one, as Pennington managed only one walk in three at-bats. He was replaced in the bottom of the sixth inning after he was thrown out trying to steal second base.
Michael Rogers: Rogers earned his first loss in June, breaking a string of five consecutive strong starts. Rogers allowed three earned runs in 5.2 innings. He struck out two and walked two, while allowing eight hits. His season ERA now stands at 4.11.
Nick Blasi: Blasi accounted for the Cougars' only run on Thursday with a homerun in the top of the second inning. The homerun was Blasi's second of the year. He also threw out a runner at second base from his position in left-field. Jose Pineda, the Cougars' right-fielder, also threw out a runner from the outfield.
Vancouver's Defense Leads Team To Win
Thanks to a couple of outfield assists and an outstanding starting performance from Joe Scott, the Vancouver Canadians upped their record to 2-1 with a 3-2 victory over Yakima.
Joe Scott: After allowing a first inning, two-run homerun, Scott was nearly flawless for the rest of his outing. He ended up throwing seven innings, allowing just those two runs on four hits. He struck out four. Scott was aided by his defense, as outfielders Chalon Tietje and Jose Garcia threw out runners at second base to nullify budding rallies. Scott was making his first appearance for Vancouver after appearing in four games for Kane County earlier in the season. Scott was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2004, but missed the entire 2004 season with a broken wrist. Scott was primarily a position player at Seton Hall, but his live arm allowed him to make a successful switch to pitching during his senior season.
Wilber Perez: The Canadians' second baseman was the offensive star on Thursday, as he drove in two of the Canadians' runs and scored their third run. Perez went 2-4 with a stolen base. Stolen bases were the theme of the day for Vancouver. The Canadians stole three bases on the evening, including one by Perez, one by Frank Martinez and one by Tietje.
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