Oakland A's MLN: Roster Moves

Mike Rouse wasn't the only player to get a promotion on Friday. The Oakland A's made a number of moves throughout their system. We have a run-down of those moves, plus the details on all of the day's action -- including the crazy double-header in Sacramento -- inside this edition of Oakland A's Minor League Notebook…

Friday Is Moving Day In Oakland A's System

A number of players moved around in the Oakland A's system on Friday. The most notable transaction involved infielder Mike Rouse, who finally broke through to the major leagues. The former Fullerton stand-out had been stuck in Sacramento for two and a half seasons while he watched Oakland acquire or promote numerous infielders ahead of him. Rouse finally got the break he had worked so hard for on Friday when he got the call to Oakland.

Rouse made the wait worthwhile with a major league debut for the storybooks on Friday. He had a tough task in his first at-bat, going up as a left-handed hitter against future Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson. Rouse was up to the task, however, singling to right. He would score later in the inning. In his next at-bat, Rouse worked a walk, stole second and went to third on the throw and then scored on a shallow sacrifice fly to right. He would double in his third at-bat and single in his fourth to give him a 3-3 day with a walk and two runs scored.

Rouse replaced left-handed reliever Randy Keisler on the Oakland A's roster. Keisler was optioned back to Sacramento. He had a 4.50 ERA in 11 appearances for the A's this season. He may return to Oakland in a few weeks when the A's need another bullpen arm.

Sacramento also welcomed another pitcher to their roster on Friday. Right-hander Ben Fritz, one of the A's first round picks in 2002, was promoted from AA-Midland. Fritz was 1-4 in 12 starts for Midland with a 3.30 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 71 innings. He missed most of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Starter Mike Madsen was promoted from A-Stockton to AA-Midland to replace Fritz in the Rockhounds' rotation. Madsen, a 2005 draft choice, was 3-3 with a 4.47 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 52.1 innings for Stockton this season. Catcher Raul Casanova also joined the Midland roster from AAA-Sacramento. Midland also announced this week that Brad Ziegler would be joining Kevin Melillo, Vasili Spanos and Kurt Suzuki as Texas League All-Stars.

Double-Dip: Sacramento Makes Wild Comeback In First Game, Gets Completely Blanked In Second

The Sacramento River Cats split a wild double-header versus Portland on Friday night. The River Cats won on Thursday night after scoring six in the ninth to tie the game and winning on a sacrifice fly in the tenth. They duplicated their comeback in the first game of the double-header, scoring three in the bottom of the ninth to beat Portland, 5-4. However, their bats would fall completely silent in the second game, as Portland used three pitchers to hurl a seven-inning perfect game.

Former San Francisco Giants reliever Jim Brower was on the short-end in the ninth inning again on Friday after allowing the River Cats to tie the score in the ninth on Thursday. Brower allowed three runs on five hits in the final frame on Friday and only retired one batter. Doug Clark was the hero in Game One, singling in the game-winning run in the ninth. He also walked twice in the game. Nate Espy went 2-4 and hit his fifth AAA homerun of the season. Charles Thomas had two hits in three at-bats, including the tying hit before Clark's game-winner.

Ron Flores earned the win for the second straight night with one scoreless inning of relief. Starter Shane Komine was very strong, allowing only two runs in 6.1 innings. He struck out seven and walked only two. Santiago Casilla allowed two runs in 1.2 innings of work. Although it finished in nine innings, the game was officially an extra-inning affair, as minor league double-headers involve seven inning-regulation games.

In the second game, the River Cats could get nothing going against Ryan Meaux, Aquilino Lopez and Cla Meredith. The three Beavers combined for a perfect game, striking out seven between them. Kazuhito Tadano took the loss in his first start since early April. The former Cleveland Indian allowed four runs (three earned) in 4.2 innings of work. The effort actually lowered his ERA on the season down to 9.82. John Birtwell relieved Tadano and he allowed one run in 1.2 innings of work. He struck out six and walked two. Birtwell has been quite impressive for the River Cats. This is only the second outing in 13 in which the Harvard alum has allowed a run for Sacramento.

Midland Drops Sixth Straight

Midland has been dropping some close games lately, but on Friday they suffered from an old-fashioned butt-whopping. The Rockhounds scored two in the first, but Corpus Christi answered with seven in the bottom of the inning and Midland never recovered. They dropped the game, 9-2.

Starter David Bradley had a rough outing, lasting only 2.1 innings. He allowed eight runs on 10 hits, although only two of the runs were earned. Jared Burton, Justin Crowder, Jeff Muessig, Connor Robertson and Anthony Rawson combined to go 5.2 innings in relief. They allowed only one run on three hits between them. Muessig worked a scoreless frame to drop his AA ERA to 2.08.

Travis Buck and Vasili Spanos each had two hits and Brian Stavisky had three hits to pace the Midland offense. Buck added his 10th AA double and Spanos doubled twice to give him 19 on the season. Stavisky drove-in both Midland runs and raised his AA average to .296. He has driven-in three runs since being sent down to AA 10 days ago.

Stockton Arrives Home Late, Drops Game Early

The Stockton Ports arrived home from their Southern California road-trip at 4:00 a.m. on Friday and it showed on the field, as they lost to Visalia by a score of 10-2. Starter Ryan Webb was tagged for eight runs (seven earned) in three innings of work in his worst outing of the season. Brad Davis worked three scoreless innings in relief, but Randy Rapp allowed two runs to bring the Oaks total to 10.

On offense, catcher Landon Powell had a big game for Stockton, going 3-4 with his eight double of the season. He is hitting .288 on the year. Haas Pratt, fresh off of the DL, had a double and scored both of Stockton's runs and Gregorio Petit went 2-4. Cameron Coughlan and Cliff Pennington had RBIs for Stockton.

Kane County Wins Again, Lansford Back On Track

Jared Lansford shook off his first bad start of his young career and came back strong, allowing only one unearned run in six innings in the Cougars' 3-2 win over Wisconsin.

Lansford scattered five hits and walked none on his way to his fifth win of the season. He struck out three. Lansford had allowed six runs in 4.2 innings of work in his previous outing. Relievers Rob Semerano, T.J. Franco and Brad Kilby combined to throw two innings to bridge the gap to closer Steven Sharpe, who has been Mr. Automatic this season for Kane County. Sharpe nailed the door shut with a scoreless ninth to give the Cougars their 38th win of the season.

Nick Blasi led the Cougars' hitting attack with two hits in three at-bats. He also walked twice. Mike Massaro also reached base three times, setting the table for Steve Kleen and Anthony Recker to drive-in all three runs. Recker's RBIs came on a two-run homer, his fifth of the season.Jeff Baisley had a rare hitless night, but he walked twice and Justin Sellers collected his 10th double of the season.


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