Oakland A's MLN: Italiano Improves

The Sacramento River Cats were the only Oakland A's affiliate to come out on top on Thursday night, and they had to work overtime to get the victory. We have details on the Thursday slate of games inside...

Pennington, River Cats Walk-Off Winners

Cliff Pennington hit a bases-loaded fielder's choice in the bottom of the 10th inning that drove home the Sacramento River Cats' winning run in a 7-6 game versus the Portland Beavers.

Pennington has reached base in each of the eight games played this season. The infielder walked three times in the game and he has a .414 OBP on the season. He scored two runs.

The River Cats' offense was busy on Thursday. A day after only scoring once, Sacramento scored seven times on 11 hits. Eric Patterson hit his first homerun of the season. It was a lead-off homer. He also walked once and scored twice. Chris Denorfia had two hits and Daric Barton drove-in three runs and hit his second double of the season. Jack Hannahan, Anthony Recker and Gregorio Petit each had two hits.

James Simmons got the start for Sacramento. The right-hander allowed four runs (three earned) over five innings. He allowed six hits and a walk and struck-out four. It was an improvement for Simmons, who allowed six earned runs in 3.1 innings in his first Triple-A start.

Chad Reineke allowed two runs in 1.1 innings of work, while Chris Schroder threw 1.2 scoreless innings. Jeff Gray earned the win with two hitless innings. He struck-out two. Gray has already finished three of Sacramento's four wins this season.

Midland Nipped By Arkansas

The Midland Rockhounds scored four times in the second inning of their ballgame against the Arkansas Travelers, but they were unable to push across anything else and fell by a score of 5-4.

Jason Fernandez allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings of work in his second start of the season. He struck-out one, walked four and allowed two homeruns. Arnold Leon and Sam Demel combined to throw four shut-out innings to keep the Rockhounds close. Leon allowed only two hits in his three innings and Demel allowed a hit and had a strike-out in his one inning of work.

Midland had their chances to tie the game or take the lead. The Rockhounds were 4-12 with runners in scoring position. Josh Horton had two RBIs to lead the Midland offense. Chris Carter reached base four times with three walks and a base hit. He also stole his first base of the year.

Corey Brown continued his hot start to the season. The Midland centerfielder went 2-4 to raise his average to .389. Brown, who struck-out 168 times in 134 games last season, has four strike-outs in five games.

Stockton Falls To 0-8

The Stockton Ports are still looking for their first win of the season, but at least they are pitching better lately. For the third straight game, the team allowed only three runs, but they still wound-up with the loss, as the offense is in a deep slumber.

Craig Italiano had his best outing for Stockton since joining the Ports midway through last season. The tall right-hander had his big breaking ball working all night and he struck-out six in five innings of work. Italiano allowed only two runs on two hits and three walks, but he was stuck with the tough-luck loss. He had allowed four runs in 2.1 innings of work in his previous outing against San Jose this season.

Derrick Gordon was brilliant in relief of Italiano. He worked three scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and striking out six. Chad Kerfoot was touched for a run (a homer by Giants' top prospect Angel Villalona) in his one inning of work.

Stockton could manage only one run on five hits against Madison Bumgarner and friends. Shane Keough has been the lone offensive brightspot for Stockton in the early going. He drove-in the Ports' only run and went 2-4 to raise his average to .318. Toddric Johnson had a double and scored Stockton's only run. The team was 1-7 with runners in scoring position.

Kane County Falls To Cedar Rapids

The Kane County Cougars found themselves down by four runs in the second inning of their ballgame against Cedar Rapids. They were able to get the score to 4-3, but eventually would fall by a score of 6-4.

Matt Fitts, who had a strong Opening Day start, struggled in his second outing. He allowed four runs (three earned) in four innings on two hits and five walks. Fitts struck-out two. Michael Hart threw two scoreless innings of relief, but Kenneth Smalley allowed a run in two innings and Jose Guzman allowed an unearned run in one inning of work.

On offense, Grant Desme had a break-through game after starting the season 0-20. He went 4-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Desme is trying to shake off the rust after missing virtually all of last season.

No other Cougar had more than one hit. Dusty Coleman collected his second double of the season and drove-in two runs. The Cougars were 2-9 with runners in scoring position.

Roster Notes

According to Oakland A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman, the A's made a few moves involving players who had retired recently. Danny Hamblin, Lee Land and John Quine had all been placed on the voluntary inactive/retired list last season after announcing their retirements. All three were activated off of that list this week and then released. This frees all three of these players to sign with any organization or independent league team if they should choose to continue their careers in the future.

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