Oakland A's MLN: Rockhounds Strong Late

The Midland Rockhounds are making late-inning rallies a regular feat. For the third straight game, Midland put up big crooked numbers in the final two frames of the game. We have the details on Midland's win and all of the other action in the A's minor league system on Wednesday...

Midland's Offense Continues To Cruise Late

After two straight eighth inning comebacks, the Midland Rockhounds found themselves with a rare lead going into the late innings. Despite the lead, the Rockhounds' hitters still found some late magic, putting the game away with six runs in the top of the ninth inning to lead Midland to an easy 10-1 victory over Corpus Christi. The Rockhounds are now 70-58 on the season and sit a half game ahead of Frisco for the Texas League's South Division second half title.

Early on, it was pitching that set the tone for Midland. Starter James Simmons had one of his best starts of the season on Wednesday. The A's top pick in 2007 went 7.1 innings and allowed only one run on three hits. He struck-out 10 and walked only two to lower his ERA to 3.29 for the season. Jared Lansford earned the save with 1.2 innings of relief. He has now worked 18.2 scoreless innings in Double-A.

On offense, outfielder Javier Herrera had another big game. A day after going 5-6 with six RBIs and two homers on Tuesday, Herrera had two more hits, another homer and three RBIs on Wednesday. He also was hit by a pitch. Herrera now has an 866 OPS for the month of August.

Todd Donovan, Richie Robnett, Sean Doolittle, Jed Morris, Myron Leslie and Adrian Cardenas each added two hits in the win. Midland has won five straight games and eight of nine.

News and Notes

* Sacramento used another ninth inning comeback to narrow its magic number to two. The River Cats overcame a one-run deficit in the ninth to beat rival Fresno by a score of 6-5. Brooks Conrad hit a two-run homer in the ninth, his 25th of the season, to give Sacramento the lead, and Gregorio Petit tripled in the tying run in that frame. Casey Rogowski and Jeff Baisley each had three hits, while Chris Denorfia, Conrad and Matt Murton each added two hits. Lenny DiNardo started the game and allowed two runs in five innings. Jay Marshall earned the win with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief and Brad Kilby saved his first game of the season. He allowed a run in the ninth.

* Jeremy Barfield had three hits and three RBIs, but Vancouver fell to Eugene by a score of 9-5. Barfield raised his average to .288 on the season and he has 38 RBIs, tops on the team. J.D. Pruitt added two hits in the loss.

* The A's Rookie League team lost to the Brewers by a score of 6-5 in 10 innings. Franklin Hernandez raised his average to .325 with three hits – two doubles and a triple – in five at-bats. Ryne Jernigan went 4-4 and a rehabbing Jesus Guzman added two hits in the loss. Mickey Storey had an outstanding relief appearance. He only allowed a hit in 3.1 innings. He struck-out seven and lowered his ERA to 2.70.

* Stockton also fell in extra innings, losing to Modesto in the 11th inning by a score of 5-4. Matt Spencer (5) and Chris Carter (36) each homered for Stockton. Spencer had three hits in the game and he raised his Stockton average to .331. He also stole his sixth base for Stockton. Frank Martinez, Mike Massaro and Josh Donaldson each had two hits in the late loss. Scott Moore got the start in the game and allowed four runs in six innings. He struck-out three. Patrick Currin threw two scoreless innings and James Heuser had a scoreless inning of work before Jose Fragoso allowed a run in one inning to earn the loss. The winning run came after Fragoso walked the lead-off man. That runner advanced to third with a stolen base and an error on Donaldson. The runner then scored on a wild pitch by Fragoso.

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