Oakland A's MLN: Kane County Flirts With History

During his three-year career with Seton Hall, Joe Scott made only 14 appearances on the mound. Most of his time with the Pirates was spent at third base. So it is probably safe to say that he never dreamed in college that he would be on the verge of throwing a no-hitter. However, that was almost the case on Monday, as Scott threw seven no-hit innings before turning the game over to the bullpen. Find out the details of Scott's stellar performance and other news from around the organization…

Joe Scott is the kind of player everyone roots for. Coming out of college, Scott was a decent hitting third baseman with a cannon for an arm and a little bit of pitching experience. He was also undrafted. But the A's took a flier on the New Jersey native's big right arm and decided to convert him into a pitcher. Unfortunately for Scott, his development was pushed back some when he broke his right wrist and he missed the entire short-season.

Scott began the 2005 season at extended spring training regaining the strength in his wrist and working on his pitching mechanics. He joined the Vancouver Canadians on June 21 and made four starts for the Canadians in his professional pitching debut. Scott went 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in those starts before being promoted to low-A Kane County on July 12.

Since joining the Cougars, Scott has split his time between starting and relieving. He has struggled with his command, walking 24 batters in only 40 innings before Monday night's game. He had also allowed 44 hits over that span, so it didn't seem likely that Scott would be a candidate for a no-hit bid this season.

It all came together for Scott on Monday night, however. The rangy right-hander had his big fastball working and had good command. Over seven innings, Scott allowed only three walks and he struck out five. Scott got stronger as the game went on, as he set down the final 10 batters he faced. The effort lowered Scott's Kane County ERA from 4.73 to 4.02.

Reliever Trent Petersen took over for Scott in the eighth inning and retired the first four batters he saw before allowing back-to-back soft line-drive singles. Petersen set down the final two batters to preserve the shut-out and give the Cougars an 8-0 win over Beloit. Petersen struck out five batters in his two frames of work. He has now struck out 41 batters in 45 innings since arriving in Kane County on July 4th. He began the season at Stockton.

Nick Blasi, David Castillo and Ryan Ruiz each had two runs batted in to pace the Cougars' offensive attack. Blasi also swiped his 17th stolen base of the season. He is seeing the bulk of the playing time in centerfield in Javier Herrera's absence. Lead-off hitter Cliff Pennington went 2-4 with a double and a run scored. The 2005 first round pick is now hitting .283 on the season.

Other Notes

-- Midland's two best pitching prospects are out for the rest of the season for precautionary reasons. Starters Jason Windsor and Dallas Braden have both been shut-down for the remainder of the year with sore pitching arms. Neither has an injury, but both have thrown the most innings of their careers and the A's want to be cautious with their development. Braden finishes the season with the most wins in the organization, as he went a collective 15-5 for Stockton and Midland. The left-hander struck out 135 batters in 140.2 innings of work and catapulted himself up to the top of the A's minor league pitching prospect lists.

Windsor finished with a sub-par 5-8 record, but he pitched much better then his record would indicate. The Cal-State Fullerton alum demonstrated pinpoint control, as he allowed only 31 walks in 112 innings. He also struck out 103 on the season.

-- Former number two draft choice Adam Johnson has had a rough start to his Oakland A's career. The ex-Twin 2000 first round pick was roughed up again on Monday night. He allowed five earned runs in five innings of work, one start after allowing six runs in 2.2 innings of work in his first outing. On the plus side, Johnson did strike out six, while walking only one. Johnson had spent the season in Independent baseball before being signed by the A's earlier this month.

-- Lloyd Turner's solo homerun was all the Ports would need to eek out a win over San Jose, 1-0. Turner's fifth-inning blast was his fifth homerun of the season and was the Ports' only extra-base hit. Justin Crowder, who has spent most of the season as a reliever, got the start and worked five shut-out innings before yielding to Jeff Muessig. Crowder earned the win by allowing three hits and a walk while striking out six. Muessig struck out five in three innings of work, bridging the gap to closer Jared Burton. Burton, who has been outstanding this season, allowed only a walk in working a scoreless ninth inning. It was Burton's 21st save of the season. His ERA sits at 2.73 on the year. Stockton is clinging to a three-game lead in the North Divison over San Jose for the second half title.

-- 2005 draft choice Craig Italiano was uncharacteristically wild on Sunday. The Flower Mound High School graduate had walked only four batters in his first 13.2 innings of work. He then allowed three walks in only two innings on Sunday. Italiano has given up a number of hits in his work in Phoenix, but he has also made hitters miss his high-90s fastball. He has struck out 21 batters in 15.2 innings and he has yet to allow a homerun. Both Italiano and fellow high school pick Jared Lansford have been impressive thus far this season, showing good command.

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