Oakland A's MLN: Brown Walks-Off

It took three months, but Travis Buck is finally a Sacramento River Cat: at least for a day. Buck, who was supposed to start the season in Sacramento before a surprise call-up to the bigs on Opening Day, was in Sacramento on a rehab assignment and he got to play in a thriller. We have the details on that game, James Simmons' second appearance and more inside...

Brown, River Cats Big Winners On Thursday

For awhile, Thursday night's River Cats game looked like it was going to be one that got away for Sacramento. Holding a 5-0 lead in the seventh inning, Sacramento almost let the game slip away from them. However, Daric Barton and Jeremy Brown teamed up with a little help from pinch-runner Lloyd Turner to make the River Cats a winner in the bottom of the ninth.

The game was knotted at 0-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning when the River Cats exploded for five runs. The big blows in that inning were a two-run double by Jason Perry and a two-run homerun by J.D. Closser. The homer was Closser's 12th of the year.

That inning put the River Cats comfortably ahead thanks to another outstanding pitching performance from Dallas Braden. Braden went four innings, allowing only one hit and one walk. He struck out eight. He left having only thrown 61 pitches. It wasn't clear why his outing was so short, although he could be a candidate to take Joe Kennedy's rotation spot in Oakland next week.

Braden has been outstanding since returing from Oakland, where he had been pitching out of the bullpen. In two starts with Sacramento, Braden has struck out 18 and walked only two in 10.2 innings. He has allowed only one earned run and four hits over that span.

With Braden out early, it was up to the River Cats' bullpen to bring home the win. The bullpen has been stalwart in recent weeks for Sacramento, but it stumbled on Thursday. Ryan Meaux worked a scoreless fifth and Brad Ziegler worked a scoreless sixth, but then he ran into trouble in the seventh. He combined with Ron Flores to allow three runs in the seventh to tighten the game at 5-3.

Sacramento answered in the bottom of the seventh, thanks in part to a rehabbing Travis Buck. Buck, who went on the DL in late June with a badly bruised thumb, should be back with the A's very soon. The promising rookie played seven innings in right field. He went 1-4 with an RBI triple that drove home Gregorio Petit from third. The triple was initially ruled an error, but changed later to a hit. Petit had two hits in the game.

That run put the River Cats up 6-3, but Jeff Gray and Ruddy Lugo were unable to hold the lead. They combined to allow three runs in the top of the eighth. Lugo escaped the ninth unscored upon, giving the River Cats a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth. The inning got off to a good start when Daric Barton doubled to start the inning. It was his second hit of the game, raising his average to .323. He also walked. Barton was pinch-run for by the speedy Lloyd Turner. After a Dee Brown fly-out out, Turner was still at second when Jeremy Brown stepped to the plate. Brown, who was playing third base for the injury depleated River Cats, singled on a groundball up the middle and Turner beat the throw home for the 7-6 win.

The win was Sacramento's sixth in a row and ninth out of 10 games. After struggling to field a full team for much of the season, Sacramento figures to be getting some reinforcements soon. In addition to Buck, reliever Connor Robertson is also rehabbing with Sacramento. Reliever Mike Mitchell should be returning to the River Cats soon, as well. Dee Brown returned to the River Cats after a stint with Oakland and clearing waivers. He had been designated for assignment last week.

Other Notable Performances:

- James Simmons had another flawless outing and the Midland Rockhounds won a rain-interrupted game by a score of 5-2. Simmons was making his second pro appearance and, like he did in his first outing, he threw two scoreless frames. He didn't allow a hit or a walk and he struck out two in a game that featured a one hour and 53 minute rain delay. Bobby Cramer got the win in relief with 2.2 scoreless innings of his own. He struck out one. Brian Snyder (7) and Vasili Spanos (9) hit homers for the Rockhounds, who also received a double from Cliff Pennington and a triple from Luke Appert.

- Mike Mitchell made his Stockton debut, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Ports from falling by score of 5-2. Mitchell allowed one run on two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Ryan Webb got the start and he gave up four runs in four innings of work. Chad Boyd had a big game, collecting two hits and his fifth stolen base of the year. Justin Sellers and Steve Kleen also had two hits. Kleen played third base in the game. He has primarily been in the outfield or at first this season.

- Salem-Keizer romped over Vancouver on Thursday night, winning by a score of 12-4. Dusty Napoleon was one of the few highlights for the Canadians. He went deep for his first professional homer and had a walk and a single. Corey Brown also had two hits, his second straight multi-hit game. Brown has a 915 OPS in 19 games for the Canadians.

- The A's Rookie League team was throttled by the Giants Arizona squad, 17-0. Kyle Christensen struggled in the start, allowing five earned runs in 2.1 innings. Kevin Deaton pitched for the second straight day and posted another scoreless inning. He should be returning to full-season ball soon. Mike Lissman had two hits, including a double, to raise his average to .269. Marcos Luis had a single in his only at-bat. He has been the Arizona A's best offensive player this season. The 21 year old is hitting .323 with a .391 OBP in 62 at-bats for the A's Rookie League team.

- The injury bug has hit the Midland Rockhounds. Myron Leslie has been placed on the DL with tendonitis in his left knee and Steven Sharpe has been placed on the DL with elbow soreness.

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