The Sacramento River Cats starting rotation was altered on Thursday, when the A's promoted left-hander Dallas Braden to Sacramento and released right-hander Kevin Olsen. Braden made his Triple-A debut as a starter for the River Cats on Thursday night. He was outstanding, allowing only three hits and one walk in six shutout innings. He struck-out seven.
Braden has been nothing short of outstanding this season. In addition to Thursday's gem, Braden had two starts with Double-A Midland. He allowed only three runs on five hits in 12 innings. He struck out 13 and walked only three. Braden could be following in the same path that Jason Windsor took in 2006 when he started the season in Midland and ended up in Oakland after a stop in Sacramento.
Olsen was let go after two poor starts with the River Cats. The former Florida Marlins hurler allowed 18 hits and 10 earned runs in 9.2 innings.
Midland Welcomes Colamarino, Foley
The Midland Rockhounds added first baseman Brant Colamarino and reliever Travis Foley to the roster on Thursday. To make room for Colamarino and Foley, the A's sent reliever Josh Alliston to Stockton and placed starter Kevin Deaton on the disabled list.
Colamarino is back with Midland for his fourth season. He spent parts of 2004 and 2005 with the Rockhounds and all of the 2006 season in Midland. Colamarino hit .285 with 17 homers and 91 RBI for Midland last season. He made a brief appearance as a defensive replacement in the Rockhounds' 10-4 victory over San Antonio.
Foley was acquired by the A's from the Cleveland organization this week. The 23-year-old was selected in the fourth round of the 2001 draft by the Indians out of high school. He has a career record of 39-28 with a 3.51 ERA in 507.2 career minor league innings. Foley has a good career strikeout rate of 8.45 per nine innings. He was a starter early in his career, but he has been used a reliever the last two seasons. The right-hander had yet to make an appearance in the minors this season.
Stockton Adds Bondurant
In addition to Alliston, the Stockton Ports also added left-hander Steve Bondurant. Bondurant missed virtually all of last season after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery.
Bondurant has been a starter throughout his career, but he is expected to move into the bullpen. He earned a win as a reliever in his Ports' debut on Thursday, throwing two scoreless innings in Stockton's 7-2 win over Bakersfield.
- Stockton's Ben Jukich is still searching for his first win, but he has pitching extremely well for the Ports. Jukich had a no-decision on Thursday, when he threw five strong innings against Bakersfield in a game the Ports would eventually win. Jukich allowed one unearned run on three hits and no walks. He struck out four. In three starts, Jukich has allowed five earned runs in 16 innings and has struck out 12 against only two walks.
- Luke Appert is red-hot right now. The Ports' DH raised his average to .529 with a 4-4 performance on Thursday. He also walked. Appert doubled and drove-in a run. He is 18 for 34 this season.
- The Midland Rockhounds have gotten off to a good start offensively, especially at the top of their line-up. Lead-off hitter Vince Faison had three hits and scored three runs on Thursday, raising his average to .314. Danny Putnam (.317), Jeff Baisley (.368) and Richie Robnett (.256/864 OPS) each had two hits on Thursday. Jason Perry collected his first homer of the season and raised his average to .350.
- Marcus McBeth blew his first save of the season, but he recovered to earn the win as the River Cats beat the Portland Beavers by a score of 6-5. Braden left the game after six innings with a 5-0 lead. However, Santiago Casilla allowed four runs in the seventh inning and McBeth gave up a solo homer with two-outs in the ninth.
- Antonio Perez homered in the top of the 10th and McBeth worked a scoreless bottom of the inning to secure the win. Daric Barton snapped out of a slump with a 3-5 night with two doubles and two RBI. In addition to his homer, Perez also had a double and two RBI. Kevin Melillo had two hits and three walks out of the lead-off spot.
- Kane County dropped another game, this time by a score of 8-3. The Cougars are 1-11 to start the season.