Oakland A's MLN: Italiano, Brown 'Stars'

The Midwest League All-Star game took place on Tuesday night, and Kane County's Craig Italiano and Corey Brown put forth solid efforts in the midseason showcase. We have details on that game, Vancouver's opener, the homer barrage in Sacramento and more inside…

Italiano, Brown Shine In Midwest League ASG

With a 30 minute rain delay and one extra inning, it was easy to forget the first inning heroics of Kane County's Craig Italiano and Corey Brown in the Midwest League All-Star game by the end of the night. However, the two Cougars All-Stars had a big impact early in the game for the West team, which wound-up beating the East team by a score of 5-4 in 10 innings.

Italiano, the big right-hander and former 2005 second-round pick of the Oakland A's, got the start for the West team. Italiano has been brilliant this season, going 7-0 with a 1.09 ERA and 76 strike-outs in 66 innings during the first half of the season. He was efficient in his one inning outing for the West team on Wednesday, retiring the side in order on nine pitches.

Brown, the A's 2007 supplemental first round pick, got the starting nod in left-field for the West team. He got the offense going early, singling in two runs in the top of the first inning. He would later walk and went 1-2 with a walk and two RBIs in the game. On the season, Brown is batting .258 with 10 homers and an 820 OPS.

Kane County first baseman Greg Dowling and infielder Larry Cobb also made appearances in the All-Star game. Both players when 0-2. Cobb actually appeared in the game as an outfielder, the position he played in college and during his first pro season in 2006. He was converted into an infielder in 2007.

Vancouver Falls In Opener

The Canadians offense was quiet on Opening Night for the A's short-season affiliate. Vancouver was shut-out through eight innings by the Tri-City Bandits before scratching across a run in the ninth to make the score 5-1.

Right-hander Ronny Morla got the start for the C's. He was strong early, allowing only one run through five innings. However, he allowed the first two runners to reach in the sixth inning and both would come across to score, as reliever Inoel Deaza was touched for two homeruns in the Tri-City four-run sixth inning. Morla allowed six hits, three earned runs, one walk and five strike-outs in five-plus innings.

Edgar Tejeda was impressive in relief of Deaza – who was charged with two runs in one inning – throwing three hitless frames. He allowed only a hit batter and struck-out eight in those three innings.

The C's didn't manage much offense, but DH Jareck West was the star with two doubles and a walk in three official at-bats. He drove-in the C's only run of the game. West was the only Canadians hitter to reach more than once in the game.

Other News And Notes

-- A's 2007 top pick James Simmons was pulled after just four innings and 62 pitches on Tuesday night, as the A's are keeping the right-hander on a strict pitch count as he builds back his arm strength after a DL stint for "dead arm." He allowed five hits and two runs in four innings in Midland's 6-5 win over Frisco. He struck-out four and walked one.

-- Brad Knox is scheduled to start for the Rockhounds' tonight. He was sent down to Midland from Triple-A Sacramento to stay on rotation, as the River Cats have had a number of pitchers added to their starting rotation of late (Lenny DiNardo and Dallas Braden being two). Knox is 5-2 with a 4.64 ERA in 66 innings for the River Cats this season. He won nine games for Sacramento last year. Danny Borrell was placed back on the DL to make room for Knox on the Midland roster. Borrell, who has been struggling with shoulder pain, made only one appearance for the Rockhounds before landing on the DL. He allowed two runs in one inning.

-- Tom Everidge cracked his 14th homerun of the season and he went 3-5 with two RBIs in the Rockhounds' win on Tuesday. Everidge finishes the first half of the season with 58 RBIs. Javier Herrera made his season debut and went 1-4 with a run scored before leaving the game in the 7th inning. Anthony Recker raised his average to .293 with a 3-4 effort. He hit his 17th double and collected his 40th RBI. Recker finishes the first half of the season with an 845 OPS.

-- A's 2006 top pick Trevor Cahill will join the Midland Rockhounds pitching rotation this week, likely on Thursday. The 20 year old right-hander went 5-4 with a 2.78 ERA and 103 strike-outs in 87.1 innings for the High-A Stockton Ports during the first half of the season. Cahill was named to the California League All-Star team and leaves the Ports as the Cal League's strike-out leader.

-- Sacramento blew a six-run lead when Fresno tagged River Cats' starter Dan Meyer for seven runs in the fifth inning, as the River Cats fell by a score of 7-6. Meyer had cruised through 4.2 innings before allowing five hits and seven runs after two were out in the inning. He never did record the final out of that frame. The River Cats began the game well when Travis Buck and Donnie Murphy homered back-to-back to lead-off the game. It was Buck's first at-bat since returning to Sacramento from Oakland. Murphy would homer again later in the game. He is batting .235 with four RBIs in his rehab assignment. Buck finished the game with a 2-4 night and a walk. He is hitting .344 for the River Cats this season. A's 2005 top pick Cliff Pennington reached base twice with an RBI single and a walk. He also stole his first base in Triple-A and raised his Triple-A average to .304. Pennington played second base on Tuesday after starting most of his games with the River Cats at short.

-- Graham Godfrey and the Stockton pitching staff were roughed up on Tuesday night by the first-half division champion San Jose Giants. Godfrey lost his first game for Stockton this season by allowing eight runs in only 2.2 innings. Branden Dewing (four runs in 2.2 innings) and Jason Glushon (two runs in 3.2 innings) were also hit around. The Ports didn't manage much on the offensive-side of the ledger, with the exception of Chris Carter, who went 2-4 with his 16th homerun of the season. He is now tied with Sean Doolittle for the team-lead in that category.

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