Oakland A's MLN: Comebacks & Debuts

The Midland Rockhounds, who were so good during the first half of the season, have found big wins hard to come by in the second half. On Thursday night, they found some of that first half magic and staged a big comeback. We have the details on that win, as well as the River Cats' late loss, the debuts of Josh Horton, Mike Affronti and Travis Banwart and more.

Midland Stages Comeback

Down 5-1 in the seventh inning, things did not look good for the Midland Rockhounds, but a big seventh inning turned the game around for Midland. Richie Robnett and Myron Leslie hit two-run doubles in the seventh and Anthony Recker had three hits to pace the Rockhounds. Ben Fritz earned his ninth win despite allowing five runs in six innings of work and Midland won by a score of 9-5 over San Antonio.

The Rockhounds offense was potent on Thursday. Midland had 16 hits and six starters had multi-hit games. Robnett and Recker led the way with three hits apiece. It was Robnett's second three-hit game in three days. Recker had his first multi-hit game in awhile. The catcher has struggled since his promotion to Double-A, but he may be pulling himself out of it. He has reached base at least twice in each of his last three games.

Vince Faison, filling in for a banged up Javier Herrera, went 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Faison is six for his last 10 with three extra-base hits. Luke Appert, Brant Colamarino and Eddie Cornejo were the other three Rockhounds with multi-hit games.

Fritz didn't have his A-game working, but the bullpen picked him up. Travis Foley, recently sent back to Midland from Triple-A Sacramento, worked two perfect innings, and he struck out two. David Shafer had a perfect ninth inning with two strike-outs. Shafer struggled at Triple-A Sacramento, but he has been good since being sent down to Midland. He has allowed three runs in 10.1 Double-A innings with nine strikeouts.

Horton, Banwart Debuts In Kane County

Thursday was a celebration of the A's 2007 draft class. Second round pick Josh Horton made his debut with Kane County after being promoted from Vancouver earlier in the day. Fourth round pick Travis Banwart made his first pro start. And 2007 picks Sean Doolittle and Matt Smith had big games offensively in Kane County's 6-3 win over Fort Wayne.

Horton was excellent in his debut in full-season ball. The North Carolina alum hit second and went 2-4 with a run scored, a double and an RBI. He has been an on-base machine since he turned pro. Horton has reached base at a .432 clip in 15 pro games.

He had help from his Cougar teammates offensively on Thursday. Jermaine Mitchell reached three times and scored twice and Toddric Johnson had two hits. Matt Smith homered, his first as a pro, and Sean Doolittle had a two-run double.

Banwart allowed a lead-off homer in his first start as a pro, but he settled down after that. The Wichita State alum worked three innings, allowing one run on two hits. He struck out two and walked none. James Heuser, who had been in the starting rotation before Thursday, earned the win with five solid innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and he struck out six against no walks. Scott Moore earned the save with a scoreless ninth, his 11th of the year.

Meyer Shines, But Sacramento Falls Short

Dan Meyer worked into the eighth with a five-hit shut-out, but the Sacramento offense was silent and the lefty was hung with a tough no-decision. Gregorio Petit broke-up Memphis' bid for a no-hitter in the eighth inning with a single, but Sacramento fell on a ninth inning, walk-off single by a score of 1-0.

Meyer was very good for his fourth straight start. The lefty, who has struggled with pitch counts this season, was very efficient, throwing only 87 pitches in 7.1 innings. He allowed five hits and one walk and he struck out two. Meyer's ERA now sits at 3.57.

Brad Ziegler retired the final two batters in the eighth inning and the first batter in the ninth inning before walking a batter with one-out in the ninth. Ron Flores took over for Ziegler and walked the only two batters he faced. Jeff Gray came on to try to get Sacramento out of the mess, but he allowed a walk-off single. Sacramento has lost two in a row after winning six straight.

Depleted Stockton Loses To Modesto

Playing without Justin Sellers and Isaac Omura, the injury plagued Stockton Ports dropped an 8-4 decision to their rivals, the Modesto Nuts. Sellers is day-to-day, while Omura will likely miss the rest of the season with a broken thumb. In their place were Mike Affronti and Lloyd Turner. Affronti made his High-A debut after being promoted from Kane County earlier in the day. He had a double and a run scored in four at-bats in his Stockton debut. Turner hit lead-off and played second base. He went 1-4 with a double and a run scored.

Steve Kleen was the offensive leader for Stockton. He had three hits in four at-bats. Kleen was playing at third base, a new position that he has been seeing time at frequently over the last few weeks. Kleen has his average up to .269. Jon Zeringue had two hits and two RBI and Jose Pineda had an RBI double.

Starter Michael Rogers disappointing season continued on Thursday. He allowed six earned runs (eight total) in 4.1 innings, raising his ERA to 8.88. Jeff Muessig and T.J. Franco combined to toss 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, but the Ports were unable to dig themselves out of the eight-run hole.

Brown Homers, But C's Fall

Corey Brown continued his assault on Northwest League pitching with his eighth homer, but the Canadians fell short versus Boise by a score of 7-4. Brown's only hit in four at-bats was a solo homer. He is hitting only .237, but he has a .360 on-base percentage and a .581 SLG. His eight homers lead the team.

J.D. Pruitt also homered and he drove-in two runs. The homer was Pruitt's second of the season. Justin Frash had the C's only two-hit game and Michael Richard reached base three times with a hit and two walks. Richard is now batting .305 with a .362 OBP and 16 stolen bases in 21 games.

Scott Hodsdon was solid in his five innings of work, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out four and lowered his ERA to 3.77. Hodsdon's bullpen could not keep Vancouver in the game, however. Lance Sewell took the loss (his first) by allowing three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings. He walked one and struck out three.

Aaron Jenkins allowed two runs in .2 innings of work. After not allowing a run during his first five appearances, he has given up six runs in his last two outings. He hadn't made an appearance since July 15. Fabian Gomez stopped the bleeding with a scoreless eighth, but the Canadians couldn't mount a ninth inning comeback.

Rookie A's Lose In 11 To Pads

The Rookie A's blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning and then lost when the Padres' Rookie team scored a run in the 11th. Adam Klein and Dan Wentzell each had two hits and Mike Lissman drove-in two runs in the losing effort. Klein reached four times with two hits and two walks and he scored twice and stole three bases. Klein has a .522 OBP and 17 stolen bases.

Angel Sierra, who has struggled all season, had a good game at the plate. The speedy Puerto Rican native collected his first double and he walked and scored two runs. He also stole his first base. Lissman also added a stolen base.

Ronny Morla allowed two runs in five innings of work. Morla has been solid this season. After allowing two runs in 8.2 innings for the A's Dominican League team, Morla has posted a 2.03 ERA in 31 innings of work for the A's Rookie League team. He has walked only six against 25 strikeouts in the Rookie League.

Juan Villegas worked three scoreless innings before running into trouble in the ninth and allowing two runs. Carmelo Reyes was hung with the loss by allowing a run in the 11th after pitching a scoreless 10th.

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