Oakland A's MLN: Stokes Slam Helps 'Cats

The Sacramento River Cats haven't had too many long losing streaks in their history. Faced with a three game losing streak on Tuesday, the River Cats wasted no time ending their losing ways.

Newcomer Jason Stokes hit a grand-slam and drove-in five and staff ace Jason Windsor pitched a gem as the Sacramento River Cats moved back to .500 with a 9-1 win over the Portland Beavers.

After winning their first two games, Sacramento stumbled in their next three contests. The River Cats needed a big win and they got one on Tuesday, jumping on the board early and never looking back.

Sacramento got on the board in the second inning when Brian Stavisky doubled with one-out and Stokes followed that with an RBI single. Sacramento extended that lead with a four-run outburst in the third inning.

The River Cats rally was even more impressive as it all came with two-outs. Hiram Bocachica singled to start the rally and Daric Barton followed with a single of his own. After a wild pitch moved-up the runners, Kurt Suzuki delivered with a big two-RBI single. Lou Merloni walked and then Stavisky doubled both runners in.

That was all of the support that Windsor would need, but the River Cats would give him a little more cushion for good measure. In the bottom of the fifth, Stokes launched his first homerun of the season, a grandslam. Stokes was acquired by the A's right before the start of the minor league season. The former top Marlins prospect has been looking for the power stroke that has alluded him a bit the last two seasons.

Windsor lasted 7.2 strong innings. He was economical with his pitches, throwing only 94 in the outing. He walked two and struck out four. Windsor had a shut-out going until the eighth inning when he allowed his only run. Connor Robertson came on and finished off the final 1.1 innings of the game.

In addition to Stokes, a number of River Cats had big games at the plate. Barton went 2-2 with two walks and two runs scored. Stavisky finished with two hits, a walk and two runs scored and Suzuki drove-in two.

In Other Action:

- The Midland Rockhounds lost their first game of the season, but it only took them a few hours to get back in the win column. Midland split a double-header with Arkansas, dropping the first game 9-1 and winning the second game 4-3. Landon Powell homered in the second game, his first of the year. The Rockhounds walked-off a winner in the second game when Eddie Cornejo doubled home Gregorio Petit in the bottom of the seventh (the final inning of the minor league double-header). Jeff Baisley had three hits in six at-bats in the double-header and is hitting .471 on the year.

- The Stockton Ports were shut-out on Tuesday, falling to Bakersfield by a score of 5-0. The Blaze scored four in the second and the Ports never recovered. Javier Herrera had his first two-hit game of the season. Four Blaze pitchers combined on the six hit shut-out. Robert Semerano for the Ports was outstanding in relief, allowing one hit in four shut-out innings.

- Kane County is still looking for their first win of the season after losing to Beloit, 4-2. Starter John Herrers threw five scoreless innings, but Pat Currin and Ron Madej couldn't hold the lead. Matt Sulentic had two hits, including a double, his first of the season.


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