On Saturday, the Sacramento River Cats came up short in an extra-inning slugfest. On Sunday, the ‘Cats came up a foot short in a pitching duel.
On Saturday, the River Cats jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the second inning, but they were unable to hold on and fell in the 11th inning by a score of 10-8. On Sunday, the River Cats were down early 2-0 and were never able to climb out ahead, as they fell by a score of 3-2. The River Cats came up inches short of a dramatic come-from-behind win on Sunday, as J.D. Closser's bid for a game-winning, two-run homer was caught at the 403 foot sign in straight-away center to end the game.
Kevin Melillo: 4-8, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K.
Melillo was back in the lead-off spot this weekend and he produced for the River Cats, reaching base six times in two games. Melillo has his average back up to .284 and his OPS is 871.
Shane Komine: 1 GS, 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K.
Komine was the tough-luck loser on Sunday. He allowed a two-run homer in the second, but was otherwise outstanding in the game. Komine has been off to a rough start this season, but he has been better lately. He has allowed six runs in 20.1 innings over his last three starts. Last season, Komine had a rough start and then caught on fire in June and July.
Nick Blasi: 3-8, 1 R, 1 K.
Blasi is continuing his hot run with Sacramento. He has hit safely in seven of his last 10 games and he has had multi-hit games in four of those contests. Blasi has moved into centerfield with the departure of Hiram Bocachica and Mark Kotsay.
* The movement between Sacramento and Oakland continued this weekend. On Friday, the River Cats got infielder Donnie Murphy back from Oakland, where he had been for a week. Murphy was replaced in Oakland by Mark Kotsay, who was rehabbing in Sacramento for the past 10 days. On Sunday, the River Cats lost another member of their bullpen, as Santiago Casilla was recalled to Oakland in place of Jay Witasick, who was designated for assignment. Casilla debuted in Oakland on Sunday and struck out three of four batters he faced. The River Cats have seen four relievers depart for Oakland this season: Connor Robertson, Ron Flores, Erasmo Ramirez and Casilla.
* Daric Barton has been seeing some time at third base lately, but he was back at first on Friday night when he jammed his left wrist trying to tag out a runner. Barton, who missed most of last season with a fractured elbow sustained in a collision at first base, missed Saturday and Sunday's games.
* Left-hander Dallas Braden made his first start in more than two weeks on Friday. Braden had been sidelined with a nasty case of bronchitis. He was limited to 60 pitches by the A's, but he was dominant in his shortened performance, striking out seven in three shut-out innings.
Midland Takes Both Games Versus Wichita
The red-hot Rockhounds continued their stellar first half play with two more wins this weekend. Solid starting pitching, good relief and some timely hitting allowed Midland to move to 34-17 on the year.
On Saturday, Midland used a three-run rally in the ninth inning to break open a 2-2 game and win by a score of 5-2. Landon Powell's RBI base-hit gave Midland the lead. Luis Ramirez started the game and allowed one run in 5.2 innings. After Danny Borrell allowed a run in one inning of work, Dan Denham and Steven Sharpe combined to retire all seven batters they faced. Denham earned his first win and Sharpe earned his ninth save.
On Sunday, Midland over-came a 2-1 seventh inning deficit to win by a score of 4-2. The Rockhounds scored three in the seventh, two coming on Richie Robnett's sixth homer of the year. Starter Ben Fritz was outstanding, allowing two runs in 6.2 innings to earn the win. Mario Ramos earned a save with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Ben Fritz: 1 GS, 1 W, 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
Fritz ran his record to 6-1 with a strong performance on Sunday. The former 2002 first round pick is quietly putting together a strong season for the Rockhounds. His six wins lead the team. He has allowed three runs or less in all but one of his 11 starts this season.
Gregorio Petit: 5-9, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K.
Petit is continuing to post break-out numbers at the plate. His average is at .326 and he has a respectable .374 OBP. Over the last 10 games, Petit has walked as much as he has struck out and he has hit safely in eight of those 10 games.
Landon Powell: 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K.
Powell has struggled much of the season, but he had a strong series against Wichita. In three games, Powell had five hits in 11 at-bats and he drove-in five. He also had a homerun, his fourth of the season.
* Danny Borrell, the newest Rockhound, made three appearances this week. The lefty allowed two runs in 3.1 innings of work. He has three walks and five strikeouts thus far in his Midland career.
Stockton Takes One Of Two
Stockton dropped their homestand finale on Saturday, but rebounded to take the road-trip opener in San Jose on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Ports got down early to Modesto and couldn't make up the difference, as they fell by a tally of 10-5. Vince Mazzaro was touched for four runs in 4.2 innings and reliever Derek Tharpe was rocked for five runs (two earned) in 2.1 innings. On Sunday, Stockton headed on the road and pulled out a 5-3 win over their rivals, the San Jose Giants.
Anthony Recker: 3-7, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K.
Recker has been the Ports' offensive MVP for much of the season, and that strong performance continued this weekend. Stockton's catcher has driven-in 12 over the past 10 games. He is batting .305 on the season with a 920 OPS.
Cliff Pennington: 2-8, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K.
After a slow start to the season, Pennington has settled into the lead-off spot for the Ports. He has scored 42 runs in 54 games and has 28 RBI. He has a 1:1 BB:K ratio and six stolen bases on the season.
Adam Thomas: 1 G, 1 W, 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
Thomas was added to the Ports' roster this week and he has responded with two relief appearances and two wins. He has not allowed a run in 4.2 innings and he has six strikeouts and no walks.
Pat Currin: 1 G, 1 SV, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K.
Currin joined the Ports in early May after an outstanding April in Kane County and he has been a relief ace for the Ports. He allowed four runs in his first outing, but he has allowed only one run in 20 innings since then. He has 22 strikeouts in 20.1 innings and three saves.
* The Ports have announced that former Oakland Raider great Fred Biletnikoff will be an honorary coach at the California/Carolina League All-Star game that will take place at Banner Island Ballpark on June 19. "Girls Next Door" star Bridget Marquardt will also be an honorary coach for the game.
* IF Isaac Omura joined the team from Kane County this week. Omura had one hit in four at-bats in his Ports' debut.
* Starter Ben Jukich's tough luck continued on Friday. He threw six shutout innings on Friday and left with a 2-0 lead. However, the Ports coughed up the lead in the ninth, costing Jukich a chance for the win. He is 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA this season. He has 37 strikeouts against 13 walks in 47.1 innings thus far.
Kane County Loses Two
Kane County's tough season continued this weekend with two more losses. The Cougars lost in extra-innings on Saturday and in regulation on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Cougars showed some late life by tying the game with a run in the bottom of the ninth inning. However, Kane County was unable to push across another run in extras and Clinton scored in the 11th to take the game, 7-6. On Sunday, Kane County couldn't generate much offense, and fell quietly to Clinton by a score of 5-2.
Jermaine Mitchell: 2-9, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K.
Mitchell is batting .343 with two homers and three triples over his last 10 games. That performance has brought up his average to .291.
Larry Cobb: 4-9, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K.
Cobb is working on a modest four game hitting streak during which he has scored six runs. The second baseman is batting .270 over his last 10 games.
Branden Dewing: 1 G, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
Dewing has been the Cougars' most effective reliever this season and he has shown the ability to pitch multiple innings like he did on Saturday and pitch in situational outings. For the season, Dewing has a 0.67 ERA in 27 innings.
* Samuel Hernandez and David Castillo made their 2007 Kane County debuts this week. In two games, Hernandez has one hit in seven at-bats and Castillo has two hits in seven at-bats. With Jake Smith expected to miss the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, Castillo should see a lot of playing time behind the plate for the Cougars.
* Reliever Shane Presutti joined the Cougars on Thursday from extended spring training. In his first appearance with the Cougars, he allowed two hits and a walk in 1.1 scoreless innings. He struck out one batter.