Oakland A's MLN: Pitching Leads Affiliates To Wins

Pitching was the name of the game on Wednesday throughout the A's organization. While Joe Blanton was an unlucky, but brilliant loser on Wednesday, a number of A's farmhands were matching his brilliance. Find out what kind of performances Mike Madsen, Mike Ziegler, Shane Komine and Trent Peterson put together in this edition of Oakland A's Minor League Notebook…

Steady Sacramento Beats Fresno

The Sacramento River Cats scored one run in every inning except the seventh in their 7-3 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies. Jermaine Clark hit a homerun and a triple and Jack Cust also went deep in the game. The homer was Clark's fourth of the season and Cust's 19th. Designated hitter Matt Watson went 3-5 with three doubles and an RBI. His batting average is up to .315 for the season. Andrew Beattie also chipped in with two doubles.

Mike Ziegler had a strong start, pitching six shut-out innings to earn his sixth win of the season. He struck out four and allowed only five hits. Reliever Chris Mabeus was touched for two runs in his only inning of work and Ron Flores allowed a solo homerun in the eighth. He did strike out the side, however. Flores is expected to join the A's when rosters expand on Thursday.

Newly signed Andy Shibilo worked a scoreless ninth, striking out one batter. Shibilo is a long-time minor league veteran who was in the Mexican Independent League until being signed by Oakland. Shibilo has been with the St. Louis, San Diego, Boston, Seattle and Chicago Cubs organizations during his seven year minor league career. He has a 42-46 career record with a 4.26 ERA in 717 minor league innings.

Melillo, Komine Shine In Midland Whitewash

Kevin Melillo has been a god-send all season; Shane Komine has been a recent revelation after a season filled with injury rehabilitation. Both were big contributors in the Rockhounds' 10-0 blanking of the Frisco Roughriders. Melillo connected for a grand slam in the 8th inning and added a double in his five RBI night. The second baseman is hitting .292 with five homeruns and has driven in 28 runs in 31 games for the Rockhounds. On the season -- which has seen him play for low-A Kane County and high-A Stockton before his promotion to AA -- Melillo has 22 homers and 87 RBI.

Komine has been winding his way back into top form since returning from a rehabilitation for Tommy John surgery in late June. The Hawaii native won his second game for the Rockhounds by tossing seven shut-out innings. He allowed only three hits and two walks and he struck out four. In five starts for Midland, Komine is 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 31.1 innings. He has walked only seven. Komine will be heading to Arizona this fall to get more innings in.

Andre Ethier continued his breakout season by collecting three hits to raise his average to .319. Ethier has 18 homers, 79 RBI and a .391 on-base percentage this season. Daric Barton also added two doubles and two RBI. Barton is hitting .320 with 18 doubles and 33 RBI in 52 games for Midland. He has 85 RBI on a season that has been split between Stockton and Midland. His on-base percentage still sits well over .400. Both sluggers will join Komine in Arizona this fall.

Putnam On Verge Of Hitting The Century Mark

Stockton left-fielder Danny Putnam has been a run-producing machine this season and he could be the first member of the A's organization to reach 100 RBI with another run batted in. Putnam drove in three runs (his 97th, 98th, and 99th of the year) and hit his 15th homerun of the season in the Ports 6-5, 10-inning victory over Modesto. Putnam had three hits in total and he raised his batting average to .308. Vasili Spanos also had three hits to bring his Single-A average up to .314.

Down one (5-4) in the bottom of the ninth inning, Putnam and the Ports railed to tie the game off of reliever Scott Beerer. Catcher Jed Morris hit a ground-rule double to right-center to start the ninth inning. The double was Morris' 24th of the season. He advanced to third on a Kurt Suzuki bunt and came around to score on Putnam's single to center.

The game went to the bottom of the 10th still tied at 5 after Elvis Avendano worked a scoreless top of the inning. Luke Appert worked his third walk of the game to begin the 10th. Lloyd Turner forced Appert out, but then Turner advanced to second on a walk to Eddie Cornejo. Morris then walked to load the bases and Suzuki delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly to center. Stockton still has a three game lead over San Jose for the second half division title.

Buck Keeps Rolling, Cougars Staying Alive

The Kane County Cougars are keeping their playoff hopes alive and Travis Buck is a big part of the reason why. The 2005 supplemental first round pick has been on fire since joining the Cougars and he was a big part of the offense again on Wednesday in the Cougars' 7-2 win over Southwest Michigan. Buck reached base three times and scored twice. His batting average is .371 for the Cougars. Myron Leslie had three hits and two RBI and Nick Blasi blasted a two-run homer, his fourth homer of the season. Blasi also threw out a runner at second base from the outfield.

The Cougars also received a boost from the return of All-Star Javier Herrera. Herrera had been on the DL with a wrist sprain. The Venezuelan native was the DH on Wednesday and he went 2-4 with an RBI and a walk. Starter Trent Peterson was very effective against the Whitecaps. He worked 6.1 innings and allowed only two runs on six hits. The win was his seventh of the year. Mike Mitchell and Dan Fyvie combined to throw 2.2 scoreless innings to preserve the Cougars' win. They sit 1.5 games out of first.

Madsen Brilliant Again In Vancouver Win

Vancouver starter Mike Madsen has been nearly flawless since being drafted out of Ohio State University and he was outstanding again on Wednesday night in the Canadians' 5-1 win over Everett. Madsen was supported by left-fielder Chad Boyd, who hit a grand slam and a double and stole a base. Boyd went 3-5 on the night to raise his average to .286.

Madsen was the real story, however. He was perfect through 3.2 innings when he allowed a double to Reed Eastley. He then walked J.B. Tucker before striking out Daniel Santin to end the inning. Madsen would not allow another base runner before being removed after seven shut-out innings. In total, Madsen struck out ten and allowed only that fourth inning double and walk. The win was his sixth of the season and he lowered his ERA to a microscopic 1.68.

The Canadians lost the shut-out when reliever Raj Madej allowed two hits, a walk and a run before being lifted with two outs in the ninth. Brad Davis came on and allowed one more hit, but then retired the final batter to earn his fourth save. Davis has a 0.56 ERA on the season. The C's are clinging to a half-game lead in their division.

Oakland Clubhouse Top Stories