Oakland A's MLN: Petit Leads Midland Win

The Midland Rockhounds' hot start to the season continued on Tuesday, despite losing Danny Putnam and Dallas Braden to recent promotions. We have the details on their win, as well as details on Dan Johnson's second game in Sacramento and the return of two pitchers from extended spring training to the Stockton roster.

Midland Routs Corpus Christi; Petit Has Big Game

Gregorio Petit led a 17-hit Midland attack in the Rockhounds' 11-5 victory over the Hooks. Petit had four hits in five at-bats and he drove-in two runs out of the lead-off spot. The shortstop collected his third double and his first stolen base of the season. Petit has been hot of late and has brought his average over the .300 mark to .309.

Centerfielder Richie Robnett had a big game out of the second spot in the order. He went 3-6 with two doubles, two RBIs and two RBIs. After a slow start, Robnett has his average up to .279. The slugger has hit safely in nine out of his last 10 games and he has 11 extra-base hits in 61 at-bats.

Vasili Spanos, Myron Leslie, Brant Colamarino and Brian Snyder each had two hits. Colamarino had his first three RBIs of the season. Jason Perry added his second homer of the season and he had two walks. The Rockhounds walked nine times in the game.

Michael Rogers was on the hill for his first start of the season after three relief appearances, and he lasted only 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks. Brad Ziegler took over for Rogers and earned his second win of the season with 2.1 scoreless innings of work.

Lefty Brad Kilby made his Midland debut with two-outs in the sixth inning and worked 1.1 scoreless innings for the Rockhounds. Kilby was promoted from Stockton yesterday. He struck out three and he allowed one hit. While in Stockton, Kilby struck out 16 in only 8.1 innings.

Travis Foley allowed one earned run (two total) in the final two innings of the game. Foley was acquired from the Cleveland organization last week.

Sacramento Squeaks Out Sweep; Johnson Homers

For the second day in a row, the Sacramento River Cats monopolized on a late Las Vegas 51s error to squeak out a win. The victory moved the River Cats seven games over .500 for the first time this season. It also gave Sacramento a three-game sweep of the 51s. The first game of the four-game series was rained out.

First baseman Dan Johnson, in his second game of his rehabilitation assignment, put the River Cats ahead in the bottom of the fifth inning with a three-run homer. For the second consecutive game, Johnson reached base three times, this time going 2-3 with that homer and a walk. With the Oakland A's mounting injury problems, Johnson might not be in Sacramento for long.

The River Cats finished with 10 hits. In addition to Johnson, Antonio Perez and Kevin Melillo each had two hits. Luis Ramirez, up from Stockton to make a spot start in place of the recently promoted Dallas Braden, pitched 3.1 innings. He allowed one earned run (two runs in total) on seven hits and one walk. Ramirez struck out four.

Shawn Kohn relieved Ramirez and he threw 2.2 scoreless innings. He was in-line for the win after Johnson's homerun. However, David Shafer and Erasmo Ramirez combined to allow three runs to Las Vegas in the top of the eighth to put the River Cats down 5-3.

Sacramento stormed back in the bottom of the inning, however. The River Cats loaded the bases with one-out for Lloyd Turner. Turner hit a grounder to shortstop Sergio Garcia that could have been an inning-ending double-play. However, Garcia threw the force attempt into right-field, scoring two runs and putting Sacramento back into a tie. J.J. Furmaniak then placed down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to put the River Cats back in the lead, 6-5.

That was all of the lead that Marcus McBeth would need. The River Cats closer had a one-two-three inning, striking out Choo Freeman to end the game. The save was McBeth's fifth of the season. McBeth has a 1.80 ERA in eight appearances. He has allowed two earned runs in 10 innings on seven hits and three walks. He has struck out six.

With Johnson needing to get time at first base, Jason Stokes DHing and Lou Merloni on the DL, Daric Barton was pressed into action at third base for the first time in a number of years. Barton played third in high school, but has primarily been a first baseman or catcher in the pros. He made one fielding error at third on Tuesday.

Ports Fall Short; Tharpe, Muessig Debut

The Stockton Ports have been streaky this season. After putting together an impressive seven-game winning streak, the Ports now suddenly find themselves mired in a three-game losing streak. Starter Ben Jukich allowed four runs (two earned) in the first inning and the Ports offense was unable to recover, as Stockton lost to Inland Empire by a score of 4-3.

Jukich has not been helped by his defense thus far this season and he was let down again on Tuesday. A fielding error by Cliff Pennington contributed to the four-run first by the 66ers. Jukich recovered after that inning to throw four scoreless innings, finishing the game with five innings pitched, four runs allowed (two earned) on seven hits and a walk. He struck out three.

Jukich was relieved by lefty Derek Tharpe, who was making his season debut after missing all of last season with injury. Tharpe threw two scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing one hit. Jeff Muessig, who missed the second half of last season with injury, also made his regular season debut on Tuesday. Like Tharpe, Muessig threw two scoreless innings. He struck out one and walked one.

The Ports couldn't muster much offense against Inland Empire. They scratched out a run in the first when Javier Herrera doubled home Pennington from first. They remained off the scoreboard until the sixth, when the Ports scored two runs on a double by Frank Martinez. The RBIs were Martinez's team-leading 14th and 15th of the season.

Luke Appert extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the ninth inning. He also walked twice. Appert is batting a minor league leading .490. Steve Kleen, Justin Sellers and Herrera were all hit by pitches in the game.

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