A's MLN: Meyer Improving; Cougars Playing Well

The road to recovery is getting shorter for Sacramento starter Dan Meyer. Meyer made his longest appearance since returning from the disabled list and it was his most effective. The promising young lefty threw 50 pitches in three innings of work, and the River Cats used a late rally to beat Salt Lake. In Kane County, the tandem of Eddie Kim and Tom Everidge led the way in the Cougars' win. Find out all of the details in the day's action in this edition of A's Minor League Notebook…

Meyer Starts, Offense Finishes In River Cats' Win

A 1-1 pitchers' duel quickly unraveled into a slugfest in the seventh inning, as the River Cats and the Stingers combined to score 14 runs in the final three innings of the game. Sacramento would come out on top by a score of 9-7. Dan Meyer started the game, although he was on a strict pitch count and he wasn't expected to go more than three or four innings. Sacramento got exactly three innings out of the lefty, who had his most effective outing since he returned to the active roster.

Meyer struck out the first two batters and allowed only one unearned run in those three innings. He struck out three and walked one. Second baseman Andrew Beattie booted what could have been an inning-ending double play ball in the second inning. Without that mistake, Meyer would have breezed through his outing. As it was, he handled the high-scoring Salt Lake offense effectively.

Sacramento pulled away from Salt Lake by scoring eight combined runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Bobby Smith's three-run homerun capped the River Cats' five-run eighth. Jack Cust went 2-3 with two runs scored and a walk. He is hitting .288 on the season. Mike Rouse drove in his 50th run of the season and Shawn Garrett netted his 45th run batted in with a sacrifice fly.

Reliever Jairo Garcia came on in the ninth with Sacramento winning 9-2. He seemed to lose focus with the large lead and he struggled badly with his command. Garcia walked two sandwiched around a pop out and then coughed up a three-run homer. He then allowed two singles and a walk, leading to another run. Britt Reames came on at that point and allowed an unearned run on a throwing error before getting the final two outs to close out the win and collect his second save. Chris Mabeus earned his fifth win with two innings of relief. He allowed only one unearned run.

Kim, Everidge Leads The Way

Eddie Kim and Tom Everidge have been sharing playing time all season. On Friday, both players got into the starting line-up and the Cougars reaped the benefits. Kim and Everidge combined to go 4-8 with five RBI and three runs scored. Kim hit his eighth homerun of the season in the third inning, a two-run shot, and Kane County earned the win, 11-5.

After hitting only .230 through the All-Star break, Kim has been hitting very well since the second half of the season started. He has his average up to .250 and has driven in 31 runs in only 43 games played on the year. Everidge has raised his average from .240 in early June to a season-high level at .282. The Cougars are now 4-4 in the second half. Ryan Ford earned his seventh win of the season with five innings of work. He allowed two runs on six hits and three walks. Ford is 7-4 with a 4.80 ERA on the year.

Barton Still Swinging As Ports Return From Break

For Stockton first baseman Daric Barton, the All-Star break couldn't have come at a worse time. Going into the break, Barton was the hottest hitter in the minor leagues, so the last thing he would have wanted was time off. However, he appeared anything but rusty in his first game back in action. Barton went 2-5 and he hit the ninth inning, game-winning double in the Ports 4-3 win over Visalia.

Dustin Majewski had a productive day at the top of the batting order. He went 3-5 with two doubles and his 44th RBI of the season. He also threw a runner out at home from centerfield. Danny Putnam scored the game-winning run and had a double and a walk in four official at-bats. Putnam was the Ports' sole All-Star. Shortstop Eddie Cornejo upped his batting average to .283 with two hits in four at-bats.

Scot Drucker earned the win with two strong innings in relief of starter Brad Ziegler. Drucker allowed only one hit and he struck out two in those two scoreless innings. Jared Burton worked a perfect ninth for his third save of the year.

Red-Hot Vancouver Wins Again

The Vancouver Canadians improved to a league-best 8-3 with a 5-2 win over the Everett Aqua Sox. Eleventh round draft pick Steve Kleen continued his strong start to the season with a 2-3 day at the plate. Through six games played, the Pepperdine alum has four doubles and four runs scored and a .368 batting average. Kleen had an outstanding final season at Pepperdine, driving in 56 runs in 57 games played.

Wes Long also had a big day for the Canadians. Long, who struggled at Kane County to start the year, went 4-5 with two doubles and a run scored. The talented third baseman hit .345 for the A's Rookie League team last season. He was a 29th round pick in 2004.

Joe Newby earned the win with five innings of two-hit, one-run baseball. He also struck out four. Mike Mitchell earned his second save with a scoreless ninth inning. He struck out two batters in the frame. He has yet to allow a run in 6.1 innings of work this season.

Midland Stifled By League-Leading Staff

Midland's vaunted offense was largely silenced by Corpus Christi's Texas League-leading pitching staff until a two-run rally in the ninth inning. However, the rally wasn't enough, as the Rockhounds fell, 4-3. All four of Corpus Christi's runs came on homers off of Midland starter Steve Bondurant, who fell to 5-6 on the season. Midland relievers Kyle Crowell and Evan Fahrner combined to throw four scoreless innings to keep the game close.

Centerfielder Steve Stanley was the lone offensive bright spot for Midland. He reached base five times, going 3-3 with a double and two walks. However, the next five batters in the Midland line-up went hitless, and Stanley failed to score a run despite being on base so much. Stanley is hitting .322 on the season and his OBP is over .400 for the season. He is making a strong bid to return to Sacramento at some point this season.

Mark Kiger also had a good day at the plate, going 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored from the lead-off spot. Kiger has struggled at the plate for much of the season, but his fortunes seem to be changing a bit. He changed his uniform number on Tuesday and hit his first homer of the season in that game. He has turned in some productive games since then and is now hitting .248 on the season.

Sullivan Rocked In Rookie League Rehab Assignment

Starter Brad Sullivan had a rough second appearance in Rookie League play, surrendering seven earned runs in only three innings of work. The former first round pick struck out four, but was undone by a five-run second. Reliever Victor Luces allowed only one run in four innings of work, but Leandro Noboa coughed up seven runs (two earned) in the ninth and the Rookie A's lost, 16-4. The Rookie A's committed seven errors and managed only six hits in the loss to the Rookie Angels.

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