Oakland A's MLN: High School Stars Debut

It was 109 degrees in the desert, but the heat didn't prevent Oakland A's 2005 draft choices Jared Lansford and Craig Italiano from making their professional debuts. In the steamy confines of Raley Field, it was Matt Watson's bat that was bringing even more heat to the Sacramento evening. Freddie Bynum made history for Sacramento on Friday night, as the River Cats squeaked out a win over Tucson. Find out the details of these games and more in this edition of Oakland A's Minor League Notebook…

Lansford, Italiano Debut For Rookie A's

Top draft choices Jared Lansford and Craig Italiano made their much anticipated debuts on Friday night. Both debuts were successful, as each hurler threw a shut-out inning. Lansford started the game and he struck out two of the three batters he faced. Italiano relieved Lansford in the second inning and induced two groundouts and recorded a strikeout. Both will be brought along slowly in the desert heat.

Watson, Bynum Red-Hot In Sacramento Heat

Freddie Bynum made River Cats history on Friday with a hit in his 19th straight game and Matt Watson went deep twice in the River Cats' 7-6 win over the Tucson Sidewinders. Watson had his fourth multi-homer game of the season for Sacramento. The two homers give him 13 on the season. He also had three RBI to up his season total to 60.

Bynum's sole hit was a sixth inning triple. He breaks a Sacramento team record held by four other players for longest hitting streak. Adam Morrissey was the most recent River Cat to hit safely in 18 games, which he accomplished last season. Bynum is having a breakout season. He is hitting .306 with 14 stolen bases and an 800 OPS. The speedy utilityman has played both middle infield positions and all three outfield slots for Sacramento this season. The 25 year old was the A's top pick in 2000.

Mario Ramos picked up the win with three shut-out innings in relief of starter Mike Ziegler. Ramos struck out four and walked only one. He didn't allow a hit. Brant Colamarino hit his seventh homerun of the season and Andrew Beattie got his batting average over .300 with a 2-4 evening.

Usual Suspects Propel Midland Win

Midland used a little star power to push them to an 8-3 win over Corpus Christi. Daric Barton and Andre Ethier each had three hits and homeruns and Jason Windsor picked up his third AA win of the season. Ethier raised his batting average to .332 with a 3-4 night. He hit his 14th homer and scored twice. Barton launched a second inning, three-run homer and scored twice. He is now hitting .340 since his July 4 promotion to AA and he has nine extra-base hits in 15 games.

Windsor went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. He struck out four and walked two. Catcher Casey Meyers also had three hits for Midland. The ASU alum and former All-Pac Ten player has been an offensive force when he has played this season. He has only appeared in 36 games, but he is hitting .346 with five homers and six doubles. Brian Stavisky had two hits and he collected his 58th RBI of the year. The defending Cal League MVP is hitting .303 on the year.

Melillo Still Streaking

Stockton second baseman Kevin Melillo extended his hitting streak to 29 games with a hit on Friday night. Melillo has hit safely in all 17 games he has played in since joining Stockton on July 4. He came to Stockton with a 12-game hitting streak at A-Kane County. The plucky second baseman is hitting .313 this season. The Ports didn't muster much offense on Friday night, however, as they fell to Lancaster, 3-2.

Buck Continues Hot Start

A's supplemental first round pick Travis Buck is off to a hot start to his professional career. The ASU alum went 2-4 with two runs scored and one RBI in Vancouver's 12-5 loss to Eugene. Buck is 7-17 (.412) since joining the Canadians on Tuesday.

It was a rare bad pitching performance from the normally stellar Vancouver staff. Joe Newby and Jose Corchado combined to allow 11 runs (8 earned) in 2.1 innings pitched. Jason Ray and Brad Davis were solid, however. Davis allowed only one unearned run in 3.1 innings of work. Ray struck out three of the four batters he faced in his 1.1 innings of scorless baseball. Davis has yet to allow an earned run in 17 innings of work and Ray has a 1.59 ERA in 11.1 innings.

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