Oakland A's MLN: River Cats Move Closer

The Oakland A's minor league system had a strong day on Tuesday, winning five out of six games. We have the details on the playoff pushes for the River Cats, Rockhounds and the Cougars, as well as the rest of the day's action inside...

Meyer, River Cats Lower Magic Number To Three

Dan Meyer received only two runs of support on Tuesday, but he made them stand-up, earning his eighth win in a 2-1 victory over Colorado Springs. Brad Ziegler, Ron Flores and Jeff Gray combined to close-out the win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief.

Meyer allowed only three hits and one run in 6.2 innings. The lefty struck-out six and didn't allow a walk. Sixty-one of his 90 pitches went for strikes. The only blemish Meyer allowed was a Jayson Nix solo homerun in the second inning. He lowered his ERA to 3.28 for the River Cats. Meyer has allowed only three runs in 12 innings since returning to Sacramento from his stint in the major leagues.

The River Cats didn't manage much offense, but it was enough. Gregorio Petit went 1-1 with a walk and a sacrifice. He scored both of the River Cats' runs. Kevin Melillo went 2-3 and drove-in both runs, his 48th and 49th RBIs on the season. Melillo has struggled for much of the second half with a wrist injury, but he still has a 791 OPS for the season. Melillo and Daric Barton each doubled. The doubles were Melillo's 23rd and Barton's 37th of the season.

Meyer received some help from his bullpen. Ziegler came-on with one-on and two-outs in the bottom of the seventh and he struck out Nix to end the inning. He retired first two batters in the top of the eighth and then gave way to Ron Flores, who recorded a strike-out to end the inning.

Closer Jeff Gray came-on in the ninth inning. He immediately got into hot water when rehabbing speedster Willy Taveras hit an infield single off of Gray's glove to start off the inning. However, Gray came back in a big way, striking out former A's first round pick Omar Quintanilla. Jeremy Brown threw-out Taveras attempting to steal second on the third strike of Quintanilla's at-bat. Gray then retired slugger Joe Koshansky on a ground-ball to first to end the game. The save was Gray's 12th of the season.

Sacramento lowered its magic number for a division title to three with the win.

Recker Powers Midland To Win In Extras

After a hot first half with High-A Stockton, catcher Anthony Recker has struggled for much of the second half with Double-A Midland. However, he appears to be coming around over the last few games and just in the nick of time for the Rockhounds. On Monday, Recker hit a game-winning homerun for Midland. On Tuesday, he hit two homers, one of which won the game for Midland in the 11th inning by a score of 6-5.

It was a back-and-forth game in San Antonio. The Missions took a two-run lead in the bottom of the third, only to see Midland tie it in the top of the fourth on Recker's first homerun of the evening. Starter Kevin Deaton was touched up for two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, giving San Antonio a 4-2 lead. Both teams would score single runs in the sixth.

Midland mounted a comeback in the top of the eighth inning. Myron Leslie singled to lead-off the inning. Tom Everidge followed with his first Double-A double, scoring Leslie. He would later score on a wild pitch to tie the game. The game would remain tied until the top of the 11th, when Recker launched a homerun that wound-up being the difference in the game.

Brad Kilby earned the win for Midland with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed three hits, but didn't allow a walk and he struck out four. Kilby has a 3.02 ERA for Midland in 62.2 innings this season. He has struck-out 64 over that span. David Shafer allowed two hits in the bottom of the 11th, but he shut the door for his eighth save of the season.

Recker was the offensive star of the game for Midland, driving in three and reaching base three times. Myron Leslie and Vince Faison each had three hits. Both Everidge and Justin Sellers collected their first career Double-A doubles. Midland is a half-game out of the wild-card lead in the Texas League playoff race.

Stockton Falls To Inland Empire In Tight Loss

Stockton went ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the first, but they couldn't maintain the momentum and lost to Inland Empire by a score of 6-5. Brad Davis took the loss for the Ports to even his record at 6-6.

Jon Zeringue had a big game for Stockton, going 2-3 with his 13th homerun and driving-in four. Zeringue has 41 RBI in 50 games for Stockton. He reached base four times and raised his average over the .300 mark to .301. Lloyd Turner and Chad Boyd also turned-in two-hit games for Stockton. Newly promoted infielder Carlos Arrieche went 1-4 with his first High-A stolen base. Arrieche hit .311 in 32 games for the A's Rookie League team before being promoted to Stockton over the weekend.

Davis allowed five runs in 5.1 innings of work. He struck-out two and walked two. Jeff Muessig allowed one run in 2.2 innings of relief and he struck out three. Patrick Currin turned in a scoreless ninth to lower his ERA to 4.88.

Kane County Wins A Thriller, Moves Within A Game Of Playoff Spot

Kane County blew a nine-run lead, but came out ahead in a wild 10-9 win over Peoria. The Cougars' defense imploded in the seventh and eighth innings as they coughed-up that large lead. However, they scratched out a run in the top of the ninth to re-take the lead for good.

The Cougars got on the board early and had a 9-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Alexander Valdez was the early offensive star, as he drove-in two runs on two RBI singles. Jermaine Mitchell also contributed early, collecting two hits and scoring two runs. Greg Dowling had two hits and an RBI in helping the Cougars build the big lead.

Travis Banwart was cruising through six innings. He didn't allow his first hit until the fifth inning and had a shut-out through six. However, he allowed three hits and there were two errors in the seventh and he was chased from the game after allowing five runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks in 6.1 innings of work. He struck out five and lowered his ERA to 2.25. Nick Walters came-on in relief of Banwart and he allowed two unearned runs in one inning of relief. Andrew Carignan came in to stop the bleeding in the eighth inning, but he too was touched for two unearned runs. Three of the runs in Peoria's four-run eighth inning came on a passed ball and two wild pitches.

Kane County didn't stay down long, however. Tied 9-9 in the top of the ninth, Kane County struck quickly. Mitchell collected his third hit of the night and it was the biggest, a lead-off double. Mitchell advanced to third on a Josh Horton ground-out and then came around to score on a fielder's choice by Haas Pratt.

Carignan stayed on in the ninth inning and worked a scoreless frame. He would earn the win, by allowing one hit and two unearned runs in 1.2 innings of work. He walked one and struck out four.

Pruitt, Keough Power C's To Win Over Salem-Keizer

J.D. Pruitt had four hits and drove-in two and Shane Keough drove-in three as Vancouver routed Salem-Keizer by a score of 7-2. Pruitt and Keough both homered for the C's and Brent Lysander earned the win with six strong innings of work.

Pruitt fell a triple shy of the cycle and he scored two runs out of the lead-off spot for Vancouver. The on-base machine raised his batting average to .212 and his on-base percentage to .480. Keough also raised his average to .212 with his two hits. The centerfielder is riding a seven-game hitting streak and is 13 for his last 37 (.351 BA).

Michael Richard reached base twice and he stole his team-leading 24th base of the season. Grant Desme went 1-4 and stole his first pro base. Justin Frash reached twice and scored two runs.

Lysander earned the win by allowing two runs on five hits in six innings. He struck out two and walked two. Chad Kerfoot threw two scoreless innings of relief. He has allowed only two runs over his last 12 innings of work and he has a 12:1 K:BB ratio over that stretch. Lee Land worked a scoreless ninth. He has started his pro career with 12.1 scoreless innings.

Rookie A's Pound Rangers

The A's Rookie League team routed the Rangers' club on Tuesday, rolling to an easy 11-2 win. Adam Klein scored four times and Marcos Luis had a career-high four hits to pace the A's offense. Starter Juan Villegas worked six strong innings to earn his third win of the season.

The A's were assisted by a porous Rangers' defense that committed seven errors. The A's also had 11 hits and four walks. Klein reached base four times, walking three times and doubling in two official at-bats. He leads the Arizona Rookie League with an on-base percentage of .478. Luis had four hits and three RBI. He doubled twice. It was the second consecutive strong game for Luis, who has seven hits in his last two games. The 21-year-old is batting .305 for the A's.

Mike Lissman had two hits and two RBI. He has 26 RBI on the season and is batting .302. Leonardo Gil had two hits and a double, as well.

Villegas earned the win with six innings of work. He allowed six hits and two runs (one earned). He struck-out six and walked two. Carlos Hernandez had two scoreless innings in relief, striking out two and walking one. He has worked 7.1 scoreless innings in a row since returning from the disabled list. Carmelo Reyes worked a scoreless ninth to close-out the game.

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