Oakland A's MLN: Cougars Clinch

Wednesday proved to be a perfect day on the Oakland A's schedule. Not only did the big league club earn a win over the New York Yankees, but all four of the team's full-season affiliates found themselves in the win column. For one A's affiliate, it was an extra-special win. We have the details on all of the A's Wednesday minor league action inside...

Cougars Headed For Post-Season Baseball

The Kane County Cougars have used strong pitching to sit comfortably above the .500 mark for most of the season. It was only fitting then that the Cougars received another outstanding pitching performance in their 3-1 win over the Clinton Lumber Kings, a win that clinched Kane County its first playoff spot in two years.

Scott Deal, who began the year in the bullpen, tossed 5.1 innings in his longest outing of the year. He allowed only three hits and one run, while walking two and striking out two. Deal moved to 4-2 on the season with the win.

Reliever Chad Kerfoot ensured that Deal would earn the win with an outstanding outing out of the bullpen. He threw 3.2 scoreless frames, allowing only one hit and striking out four. Kerfoot earned his third save of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.08 on the year.

The Cougars didn't manage much offense against Rangers' prospect Blake Beaven, but it was enough. Kane County scratched out two runs in the sixth inning, one coming on a bases-loaded double-play by Justin Frash and the other came on a single by Dusty Napoleon. Kane County tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning with a run scoring by Larry Cobb on a wild pitch.

Cobb led the way by collecting three hits in four at-bats to raise his season average with Kane County to .319. The Midwest League All-Star played out in centerfield on Wednesday. Michael Richard, Frash and Napoleon each had two hits in the win.

The victory was the Cougars' 39th of the season and guaranteed that there would be some post-season games for Kane County in 2008. Before the game, the Cougars announced that catcher Jonathan Johnston was moved to the temporary inactive list and catcher Dante Love was added to the roster from extended spring training.

News and Notes

- Sacramento used homeruns from the first two batters of the game (Ryan Sweeney and Brooks Conrad) to jumpstart a 5-2 win over the Tucson Sidewinders. Lefty Dallas Braden earned his first win of the season for Sacramento with two innings in relief of Lenny DiNardo, who pitched the first four innings of the game for the River Cats. Jerry Blevins earned his eighth save of the season with two-thirds of an inning of scoreless pitching. Sweeney had a huge game as he winds down his rehab assignment. The outfielder had three hits, including a double and a homer. He also walked once and drove-in two runs. Sweeney is hitting .414 in his rehab assignment. The River Cats walked eight times in the game, with three going to Casey Rogowski and two to Joe Gaetti.

- Myron Leslie had four hits, including his eighth homerun, and three RBIs in the Midland Rockhounds' 5-2 win over Frisco. Todd Donovan had three hits, while Brian Snyder added two doubles and Jon Zeringue had two hits, including his 11th homer of the season. Chris Farley earned his second win with four scoreless innings of relief. He didn't allow a hit or a walk and struck out three. Andrew Carignan earned his eighth save of the year with a scoreless ninth inning.

- The Stockton Ports used some walk-off magic in defeating the Bakersfield Blaze for a second consecutive evening. Mike Affronti singled with one-out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Ports a 5-4 win. Both Affronti and Chris Carter (who scored the winning run) collected two hits and a walk. Darryl Lawhorn hit his eighth homer of the year and drove-in two. James Heuser earned the win with a scoreless 10th inning. Jason Fernandez allowed three runs in six innings, but he didn't factor into the decision.

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