Oakland A's MLN: Buck Signs On; Kim To DL

The Oakland A's win over the Texas Rangers moved them one step closer to a playoff spot and put them two games over .500 for the first time this season. Starter Rich Harden was nearly perfect and earned his first complete game shut-out of his young career. The A's minor league pitchers were not as effective on Thursday, as a number of affiliates saw their opponents put up big numbers. Get all the day's news in this edition of Oakland A's Minor League Notebook...

The A's are whittling down their list of unsigned players. Last week, the A's announced the signing of pitcher Jared Lansford and this week they signed pitcher Craig Italiano and outfielder Travis Buck. Both Lansford and Italiano are high school pitchers and they will be headed to the A's Rookie League team in Arizona. Buck will take batting practice with the A's on Friday and then will be assigned to either Vancouver or Kane County on Saturday. The A's have now signed 30 of their first 33 picks. Only high schoolers Vincent Mazzaro and Jake Hammons and Louisiana-Monroe outfielder James Bennett remain unsigned.

Outfielder Matt Watson remained red-hot, but the Sacramento River Cats lost a shoot-out to Colorado Springs, 12-8. Watson, who homered and drove in three during the PCL All-Star Game on Wednesday, homered again and drove in three of the River Cats' runs. The homer was Watson's 11th of the regular season. Jack Cust also homered, his 14th of the year. Charles Thomas and Shawn Garrett collected two hits a piece. Starter Dan Meyer had a rough outing. He had allowed one earned run heading into the sixth inning, but gave up two baserunners before being pulled for Keith Saipe. Saipe allowed both runners to score. In total, Meyer allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and four walks in five plus innings. He struck out five and allowed a homer.

The Midland Rockhounds dropped a high-scoring game, 8-6, to Wichita. Daric Barton went 2-4 with two RBI. He is now hitting .414 with five doubles and seven RBI in only nine games in AA. Jason Perry picked up his second straight multi-hit game, going 2-3 with two doubles to raise his batting average above .250 against. Starter Drew Dickinson allowed six runs (three earned) in four innings, but received a no-decision. Reliever Brad Weis got the loss when he allowed two runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings of work.

Starter Brad Knox turned in his best effort of the 2005 campaign and the Stockton Ports' offense was red-hot in their 10-0 demolition of Visalia. Knox threw seven shut-out innings. He struck out four and walked two, while allowing five hits. Knox now is 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA for Stockton. Kevin Melillo continued his assault on California League pitching. The second baseman went 2-5 with a homer and three RBI from the lead-off spot. The homer was Melillo's 13th of the season. He is now hitting .302 between Kane County and Stockton. Richie Robnett also homered and went 3-5 with three runs scored. Lloyd Turner made his first start in leftfield in the place of the injured Danny Putnam. Turner went 4-5 with a run scored.

The Kane County Cougars scored two touchdowns in their narrow 16-15, 10 inning win over Beloit. First baseman Tom Everidge paced the offense with four hits, including two doubles and three RBI. Everidge has been red-hot since the beginning of June and he is now hitting .298. He will be receiving a lot more playing time, as the Cougars announced before the game that Eddie Kim is headed to the DL. Kim strained his right oblique muscle during Wednesday's game. Kim had been red-hot at the plate and was on his way to a huge second half of the season. Cliff Pennington went 2-5 and scored three runs from the leadoff spot. Javier Herrera scored three runs and threw out a runner at third base. Luis Perez, Myron Leslie, Jose Pineda and Nick Blasi also had multi-hit games.

The Cougars also announced before the game that catcher David Castillo was activated from the suspended list. Castillo had been suspended during spring training for a repeat violation for a banned substance.

The Vancouver Canadians dropped a tight game to Everett, 7-5. Ty Bubalo hit his first homerun of the season. DH Chad Boyd went 3-5 in the losing effort. Boyd is hitting .311 on the year. He also stole his third base of the year. Chris Tritle also stole a base (his seventh) and he went 2-4.

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