Friday Night Lights: Good Pitching Performances
The A's received a quartet of strong pitching performances from Brad Knox, Trevor Cahill, Luis Ramirez and Jason Glushon on Friday night.
Knox took a no-hitter into the seventh inning for the River Cats and wound up allowing only two hits and one run in seven innings to earn his eighth Triple-A win of the season. Knox walked three and struck out five. Knox has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last three starts, all wins.
The River Cats' bullpen did their part in getting Knox the win, working a scoreless eighth and ninth to deliver the 4-1 victory over New Orleans. Brad Ziegler (one-third of an inning) and Ron Flores (two-thirds of an inning) combined to pitch a scoreless eighth and Ruddy Lugo worked a scoreless ninth for his team-high 10th save of the season. Lugo has an 0.45 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 20 innings since being sent down to Sacramento from Oakland in late June.
Offensively, Dee Brown was the star for Sacramento. He went 4-4 with a homer. He now has 10 homers in 49 games for the River Cats. Nick Blasi had two hits and two RBI and Lou Merloni had a run-scoring double for the River Cats.
In Stockton, Luis Ramirez put together a solid performance for the Ports in their 8-1 win over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Ramirez threw seven shut-out innings to earn his third win for the Ports. He struck out eight and walked one. Ramirez has shuttled between Midland and Stockton and between the starting rotation and the bullpen all season.
Nick Walters, in his Stockton debut (more on that later), allowed one run in two innings. He walked two and struck out one.
Jose Pineda had another big night offensively for Stockton. He homered for the third time in two games, going deep for the 19th time this season. He had three hits, two RBI and a double. Raul Padron also had three hits and Frank Martinez and Lloyd Turner each chipped in two hits. Chad Boyd reached base twice, drove-in two runs and stole his eighth base of the season. His average is up to .277 on the year. Tom Everidge launched a solo homerun, his 23rd of the season.
Justin Sellers played a full game for the first time since injuring himself on July 24. He had been starting games, only to be lifted in the middle innings recently. Sellers played at DH and had a triple and a run-scored in four at-bats.
For Kane County, Trevor Cahill turned in another outstanding performance. Strong pitching performances are starting to become old hat for the 2006 second round pick. Cahill worked 6.2 solid innings, allowing one run on five hits, in the Cougars' 9-1 win over Great Lakes.
Cahill struck out six and walked three during his outing. He earned his seventh win against four losses and lowered his ERA to 3.58. He extended his streak to four straight starts of allowing just one run in his outing. Over his last 10 starts, Cahill has allowed more than three runs only twice and he is 6-3 with a 3.28 ERA over that span. On the season, he has struck out 79 in 75.1 innings and is holding opposing batters to a .249 BA.
Scott Moore took over for Cahill in the seventh and worked a scoreless 2.1 innings. Moore has struggled since the All-Star break, but the All-Star closer appears to be back on track. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 4.2 innings of work.
Toddric Johnson had a big game for Kane County. Batting lead-off, Johnson went 2-5 with a three-run double that turned the tide for the Cougars in the sixth inning. Johnson is batting .342 over his last 10 games. After struggling badly in May and June, Johnson hit .293 with an 820 OPS for the month of July.
Jermaine Mitchell reached base three times, drove-in two and stole his 16th base of the season on Friday. Sean Doolittle, the A's supplemental first round pick this season, had three hits in five at-bats, and Josh Horton, a second round pick for the A's, walked three times. Horton has walked nine times in nine games for the Cougars and 17 times in 23 games as a pro this season.
In Arizona, Jason Glushon was the tough-luck loser despite an excellent performance at Phoenix Muni. Glushon allowed two runs in six innings, but the A's fell to the Royals' Rookie team by a score of 2-1.
Glushon came on in the second inning after rehabbing pitcher Scott Dunn threw a scoreless first inning. He has thrown two scoreless innings during his rehab thus far. Glushon struck out three and walked none in his six innings. Hector Garcia and Francisco Pena each threw scoreless frames in relief.
The A's didn't have much offense on Friday. Mike Lissman and Ben Barrone each had a double and Angel Sierra had a single and a stolen base to account for all of the A's offense. Carlos Arrieche's nine-game hitting streak came to an end with an 0-3 performance. The infielder is bating .339 with an 866 OPS for the A's. He hit .251 for them last season.
- Midland scored five runs, but came up short, losing to Corpus Christi by a score of 8-5. Vasili Spanos had two doubles and two RBI and Richie Robnett had two hits in five at-bats to pace Midland. Robnett is batting .316 over his last 10 games and he hit .288 with an 864 OPS for the month of July.
- The Vancouver Canadians also put a five-spot on the board, but came up short to Yakima by a score of 10-5. Shane Keough scored two runs and reached base twice, while Corey Brown had three hits and two RBI. Danny Hamblin and Dante Love each added two hits and an RBI for Vancouver. Michael Richard reached three times with a hit and two walks. The shortstop has a .402 OBP for the C's this season.
The A's made a few roster moves on Friday. At the big league level, Oakland placed third baseman Eric Chavez on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back injury. He had already missed seven games before being placed on the DL.
He was replaced on the roster by infielder J.J. Furmaniak, who paid instant dividends for the A's. Furmaniak came off of the bench in the eighth inning as a pinch-runner and scored a run in the A's pivotal eighth inning rally thanks to a head's-up base-running play. Furmaniak has been outstanding all season for the River Cats. He has a .291 average with 15 homers and 21 stolen bases in 101 games for Sacramento. He has been extremely versatile, playing at second, short, third and in the outfield. Furmaniak had been hitting .357 over his last 10 games for Sacramento before the recall. It is his third stint with the A's this season, although he has had only one at-bat.
Kevin Melillo, who had been on the DL for nearly a month with a sprained right wrist, returned to the River Cats' active roster on Friday. Melillo played third base for Sacramento and went 0-3 with a walk in three at-bats.
In the lower levels, the A's swapped a pair of relievers between Kane County and Stockton. Lefty Nick Walters moved up for the second time this season, going from Kane County to Stockton. Walters, who was released by the White Sox earlier this season and signed to a free agent contract by the A's, has been outstanding for Oakland this season.
He began the year in Vancouver, where he allowed two earned runs in 5.2 innings. He was then promoted to Kane County, where he was a stalwart in the Cougars' bullpen. He posted a 3-0 record and allowed only 14 base-runners in 13.2 innings of work. He struck out 12 and walked one for Kane County. He made his debut for Stockton last night (see above) and allowed a run in two innings.
Sam Demel, the A's third round pick this season, was sent from Stockton to Kane County. Demel is a hard-throwing reliever who projects to be a closer or late-inning set-up man in the major leagues. He had been assigned directly to Stockton after signing his first pro contract, but he struggled with his control with Stockton. He walked 15 in 14 innings for the Ports and he had a 7.07 ERA. His stuff was good, however, and Demel struck out 13 in those 14 innings. He'll work on smoothing out his mechanics in Kane County.
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