Oakland A's MLN: Affronti Leads Ports

The Oakland A's minor league system had a down night, as the affiliates went 2-4. Esteban Loaiza made his return to the mound, while Mike Affronti and Greg Dowling had big nights at the plate. We have the details inside...

Affronti Sparks Stockton Comeback

Infielder Mike Affronti has been red-hot since his promotion to High-A Stockton and that continued on Wednesday, as Affronti had a career night in the Ports' 6-5 come-from-behind win against Modesto.

Affronti, who was playing second base for the first time since his promotion after starting every other game at shortstop, was in the lead-off spot for Stockton. In five at-bats, Affronti went 4-5 with a triple and three RBI. His final hit helped set-up the game-tying and winning runs in the Ports' eighth inning rally, as he singled to load the bases with one-out. Darryl Lawhorn walked to force in the tying run and Steve Kleen drove-in the winning run with a sacrifice fly.

Patrick Currin earned the win with 1.2 innings of relief work. He didn't allow a hit or a walk and he struck out two. Kevin Deaton got the start for Stockton and he allowed two runs on three hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked two. Michael Rogers followed Deaton with a solid effort, working two scoreless innings and striking out three. Adam Thomas blew the lead, however, allowing three runs (two earned) in one-third of an inning.

Frank Martinez had a big game at the plate. Martinez had two hits, including his 22nd double of the season, and he scored two runs. Chad Boyd also added two hits and a double. Tom Everidge had two hits to extend his hitting streak to six games.

Justin Sellers appeared in his first game since July 24 and he got the start at short. He went 0-2 with a walk before being replaced late in the game by Lloyd Turner.

Loaiza Throws Well, But River Cats Fall Short

Esteban Loaiza had a solid rehab start for Sacramento, but the River Cats' bats were silent and Sacramento fell to New Orleans by a score of 4-1.

Loaiza threw 4.2 scoreless innings in his outing, tossing 61 pitches, 39 for strikes. He struck out three, allowed three hits and walked one. He was also the beneficiary of three double-plays.

Loaiza was relieved by Kazuhito Tadano, who allowed two runs in two innings of relief. Tadano had been working out of the rotation until July 27, when he was moved back to the bullpen. He was hung with the loss, evening his record with Sacramento to 5-5.

Tadano left the game with the River Cats down by a score of 2-1. The one run came off of the bat of Danny Putnam, who doubled home J.D. Closser in the fifth inning. Putnam went 2-3 on the evening to raise his average to .247.

Connor Robertson kept the River Cats close with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed one hit, struck out a batter and picked off a runner. He also benefited from a caught-stealing courtesy of Closser, who threw out two runners on the evening. Jermaine Van Buren took over for Sacramento in the top of the ninth. He allowed New Orleans' final two runs.

Sacramento's offense could manage only five hits. Putnam was the only River Cat with a multi-hit game. Daric Barton went 1-2 with two walks. Sacramento currently has a four game division lead over Tucson.

Dowling Keys Kane County Comeback

Greg Dowling capped a brilliant night at the plate with a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Cougars a 4-3 win over Burlington.

Dowling went 3-3 with a walk, three RBI and two runs scored. He also doubled. Catcher Gustavo Rosendo was the only other Cougar with a multi-hit game, as he went 2-4.

Jason Fernandez got the start and he pitched well once again. He allowed three runs on four hits in 6.2 innings, striking out nine and walking two. Fernandez now has a 2.86 ERA on the season. Despite his good outing, Fernandez was in-line for the loss until Dowling's eighth inning heroics.

After Eric Sheridan threw one-third of an inning -- walking three and striking out one -- Nick Walters came-on with two-on and no one out in the eighth and got three outs without allowing a run to score. He earned his third win of the season and he lowered his ERA to 2.63. Closer Andrew Carignan worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to earn his third professional save. He has worked four scoreless innings in his professional career thus far.

Midland Quiet In Loss

The Rockhounds' offense was silent on Wednesday, as Midland fell to Frisco by a score of 5-0. Ben Fritz was hung with his ninth loss of the season after allowing four runs (two earned) in seven innings.

Jerry Blevins relieved Fritz and he struck out five in two innings. He allowed a solo homer in the ninth, but struck out five of the seven batters he faced. He now has 13 strikeouts in 7.2 innings for Midland.

Midland managed only three hits, one each from Anthony Recker, Cliff Pennington and Jeff Baisley. All three hits were singles.

Vancouver Loses In Extras

Vancouver scored single runs in the eighth and ninth to force extra innings, but fell to Everett in 11 innings by a score of 12-10.

The Canadians collected 10 hits and 12 walks in the wild game. Danny Hamblin went 2-3 with two doubles, two RBI and two walks. The RBIs were Hamblin's 37th and 38th of the season. Justin Frash, Matt Sulentic and Michael Richard each had two hits in the game, as well. Richard also walked twice and scored three runs. Richard is batting .307 with a .393 OBP for Vancouver this season. Dusty Napoleon drove-in the game-tying run in the ninth for Vancouver with a sacrifice fly.

Vancouver's pitching staff had a rough evening. Scott Hodsdon allowed seven runs (six earned) in 3.1 innings. Pedro Figueroa allowed a run in two innings and Chad Kerfoot allowed two runs in 1.2 innings. Jose Guzman was solid in his three innings of scoreless relief, but Bryan Collins was hung with the loss after he allowed two runs in the 11th inning.

Rookie A's Lose Wild One

The A's Arizona Rookie League team lost a 6-2 lead in the seventh inning and fell short with their comeback, losing to the Giants by a score of 9-7.

Carlos Arrieche went 2-5 with two runs scored to raise his Arizona average to .351. Mike Lissman hit a two-run homer, his second as a pro, and Raymond Rodriguez (the 17 year old Puerto Rican draftee) hit his first homer of the season and had two hits. Francisco Tirado also had two hits for the A's.

Scott Dunn started the game for the A's and he struck out three in a scoreless inning of work. It was his first outing during the regular season in 2007. Dunn was signed as a 40-man roster player by the A's this spring, but he suffered an injury during spring training and was eventually dropped off of the A's 40-man roster.

Kyle Christensen took over for Dunn in the second and was solid again. The 18 year old right-hander threw five innings and he allowed two runs on three hits. Only one of the runs was earned. He struck out six and walked two. Christensen has struck out 45 in 42.2 innings this season.

Keith Eusebio came on in the seventh inning and was unable to hold the lead. He allowed six runs (four earned) in two-thirds of an inning. Jonathan Joseph allowed a run in a third of an inning. Santiago Cruz and Hector Garcia each threw an inning of scoreless relief, but the A's were unable to complete the comeback.

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