Oakland A's MLN: Gordon Dazzles For Stockton

Derrick Gordon has been a reliever most of the season, but he starred as a starter on Thursday night. We have the details on his performance, Chris Carter's chase for 40 homeruns, Midland's pennant push, Travis Buck's rehab, AFL and HWB assignments and more inside...

Gordon, Carter Cruise Past Lancaster

Only pitch count could stop Stockton starter Derrick Gordon on Thursday night in the Stockton Ports' 6-1 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks. The lefty has spent the majority of his season as a reliever, so he was only able to go five innings against the JetHawks. He breezed through those five frames, however, allowing only two walks and no hits. Gordon struck-out five.

The no-hitter was lost in the sixth inning when reliever Mike Benacka came in. Benacka was solid in relief, however, allowing only that one hit and a walk and striking out four in three innings. Kristian Bell would lose the shut-out in the ninth inning when he allowed an unearned run.

Fortunately for Stockton, that run was way too little, too late for Lancaster. The Ports got on the board in the second inning when DH Chris Carter launched his 39th homerun of the season, a deep shot over the tall batter's eye in centerfield. It was his third straight game with a homer. He would go 2-3 in the game and score two runs.

Stockton added two more runs in the fourth inning when Matt Spencer hit his sixth homerun since joining the Ports. It was a two-run shot. He has hit in five straight games. The game remained at 3-0 until the eighth inning, when the Ports scored three times to put the game away. Josh Donaldson had a two-run double and had two hits in the game. He is now batting .335 with the Ports. Frank Martinez had two hits, including a triple, and Josh Horton also added a triple.

Midland Sees Playoff Lead Slip Away

The return of Brett Anderson wasn't enough for the Midland Rockhounds to hold off the San Antonio Missions. The Rockhounds dropped a tough 6-4 game to the Missions, their third straight loss against San Antonio. Midland now stands a half game behind San Antonio for the final playoff spot. The Rockhounds square off against San Antonio again on Friday.

Anderson struck-out nine and walked only one in six innings, but he allowed nine hits and four runs in his first start since he returned from the Beijing Olympics. One of the biggest hits Anderson allowed was to former teammate Brian Snyder, who hit a two-out, two-run double in the third inning for San Antonio.

Midland was down 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Rockhounds battled back for three runs to take a 4-3 lead. They would lose that lead in the fifth inning, as Anderson allowed another two-out run to tie the game at 4-4.

The game remained tied until the seventh inning when reliever Jared Lansford came into the game. Lansford had not allowed a run in 22.1 Double-A innings, but he didn't have his best stuff on Thursday night. The right-hander allowed single runs in the seventh and the eighth innings. In 1.1 innings of work, Lansford gave up one walk and five hits.

On offense, the Rockhounds had 10 hits, but could manage only four runs. Javier Herrera hit a lead-off homerun in the first inning, his eighth of the year. Anthony Recker had two hits and two RBIs and Jesus Guzman also added two hits. Sean Doolittle had three hits in five at-bats to raise his Double-A average to .267.

Winter Assignments

Preliminary rosters for the Arizona Fall League and the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League have been set and a number of the A's highly regarded prospects are scheduled to play in those leagues.

Five A's prospects are currently on the roster of the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the AFL and the A's have two more open spots for pitchers that they will fill in the next few weeks. Right-handers Andrew Carignan and Andrew Bailey, infielder Adrian Cardenas, catcher/infielder Josh Donaldson and first baseman/outfielder Sean Doolittle are the five players that the A's have designated for the AFL right now. The AFL season will begin on October 7th.

Two A's prospects will be spending their winters in Hawaii: Stockton sluggers Chris Carter and Corey Brown. Last year, the A's sent right-hander Jared Lansford and outfielder Jermaine Mitchell to the HWB. The season begins on September 27.

Other News And Notes

- Josh Outman and the Sacramento offense gave the River Cats an early lead and the bullpen held on to it late, as Sacramento beat Tacoma by a score of 8-6. Outman had his best start as a member of the A's organization. In 5.1 innings, he didn't allow a run and he gave-up only four hits and two walks while striking out seven. Wes Bankston hit his 20th homerun and his first triple and drove-in three. Brooks Conrad also drove-in three. Danny Putnam had three hits and Aaron Cunningham had two hits in the win, Sacramento's 81st of the season.

- Travis Buck had four more hits – including his first homerun – in his fourth rehab game with the A's Rookie League club. He now has 10 hits in 15 at-bats. Nino Leyja had two doubles and scored two runs, while Rashun Dixon had three hits and a stolen base. Keyter Rodriguez hit his second homerun of the season, but the AZL A's lost to the AZL Rangers by a score of 10-5.

- Shawn Haviland didn't allow a run in 4.1 innings and he struck-out seven, but the Vancouver Canadians dropped a tight game in 10 innings, 2-1. David Thomas hit his first homerun of the season to account for Vancouver's only run. Jeremy Barfield had two hits and a stolen base in the loss.

- Kane County lost a heart-breaker to Beloit when the Cougars allowed two runs in the bottom of the ninth to lose the game, 3-2. Toddric Johnson had two hits and two RBIs, while Jake Smith also had two hits. Scott Hodsdon was brilliant in his start, throwing six scoreless innings. He allowed only three hits and struck-out five and lowered his season ERA to 2.92.

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