Oakland A's MLN: Boom Goes The Dynamite!

Tuesday night was an evening to remember for the Oakland A's organization. Jeremy Barfield went off, Vince Mazzaro was nearly perfect, Carlos Hernandez was unhittable, Josh Donaldson continued to rake and the A's offense finally woke-up on a perfect Tuesday evening.

Barfield Goes Long--Thrice

Jeremy Barfield put together the best offensive performance of the early season, blasting three homeruns in the Kane County Cougars' 13-1 wipe-out of the Burlington Bees.

Barfield's season got off to a quiet start, as he began the year at extended spring training, recovering from a pulled hamstring. He loudly introduced himself to the baseball world on Tuesday with a career day. In four official at-bats, Barfield homered three times and walked and drove-in seven runs. He hit a deep flyball in his only unsuccessful at-bat. Barfield is 11-for-his-last-17 with four homeruns and 10 RBIs.

Barfield had plenty of support up-and-down the Cougars' line-up. Mitchell LeVier also homered, his second of the season, and Franklin Hernandez added three hits. Hernandez is now batting .300 on the year. Grant Desme had two hits and scored three times, while Jason Christian also added two hits.

Cougars' starter Ben Hornbeck didn't need the support, however. He was brilliant once again, allowing only three hits and two walks in six shut-out innings. He struck-out six and lowered his season ERA to 1.23. Hornbeck has allowed only 16 hits in 29.1 innings and he has 37 strike-outs against nine walks.

The Cougars are now 20-11 on the season and they have a 1.5 game lead over Clinton.

Mazzaro Nearly Perfect

Vince Mazzaro was inches away from combining with Santiago Casilla on a perfect game in Sacramento's 3-0 win over Albuquerque. After Casilla worked a 1-2-3 first inning in his second rehab appearance, Mazzaro took the mound and threw eight scoreless innings. He didn't allow a hit until the seventh inning. That hit came within inches of being caught on a dive by outfielder Danny Putnam.

Mazzaro didn't allow another base-runner and wound-up with five strike-outs and only one hit allowed in eight innings. It was easily his best outing of the season, and maybe his minor league career. He earned his first win of the season and lowered his season ERA to 3.41.

Aaron Cunningham hit his first homerun of the season in support of Mazzaro. He also doubled. Cunningham is four-for-nine with four runs scored, two doubles, a homer and two RBIs in two games since returning from the disabled list. He is batting .381 in five games this season.

Adrian Cardenas also added a double and he went 2-for-3. After a slow start at Triple-A, Cardenas is four-for-his-last-eight. He has a four game hitting streak, during which he has had a double in each game. Putnam went 1-for-3 in his 2009 Sacramento debut.

The River Cats (17-15) have a one-game lead in the PCL South Divison over Fresno.

Hernandez Out-Duels Former NL All-Star

The Stockton Ports are now officially in the middle of their first strong streak of the season. With a 2-0 win over Inland Empire, the Ports have now won four of their last five games to move to 10-22 on the season.

Carlos Hernandez was unhittable in his best start of the season. The lefty tossed six hitless innings to earn his second win of the season. He struck-out eight and walked two and he lowered his season ERA to 5.45. Hernandez had allowed 12 runs in his last seven innings before Tuesday's outing.

The Ports had a no-hitter until the eighth inning, when reliever Justin Friend allowed a lead-off single. He quickly erased the runner on a double-play. It would be the only hit of the game for Inland Empire. Friend worked two scoreless innings and Jonathan Hunton earned his fifth save of the year with a scoreless ninth.

The Ports had to beat a big name on the mound to earn the win. The Inland Empire starting pitcher was Dodgers' right-hander and former Giants' star Jason Schmidt. Schmidt was effective, but wild, allowing only three hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings, but he walked four. Schmidt is on a rehab assignment.

Jermaine Mitchell single-handedly provided all of the offense the Ports would need in the first inning. Mitchell walked with one-out and then stole second and came all of the way around when the throw from the catcher was wild. Mitchell walked three times in the game.

Toddric Johnson went 2-for-4 and Christian Vitters had a hit in four at-bats in his season debut.

Midland Wins Big Before Big Crowd

The Midland Rockhounds put on a clinic of good hitting and pitching before a crowd of more than 6,000 fans on Kids Day in a 9-1 win over Frisco.

The Rockhounds jumped out to a five-run lead in the first inning and never looked back. Starter Jason Fernandez put together his second consecutive outstanding outing, working six strong innings to earn his fourth win. He allowed one run on five hits and he struck-out four while walking two. This outing came on the heels of an eight-inning, two-run performance by Fernandez in his last outing.

Midland's offense was led by Josh Donaldson (who got the start at third base rather at catcher) and Josh Horton, who each had three hits. Horton is now batting .301 on the season. Donaldson is five-for-his-last-nine with five RBIs and two walks. He is batting .259 with an 811 OPS on the season.

Chris Carter also added two hits and Corey Brown drove-in two runs on the same day he was named the Texas League's Player of the Week.

The Rockhounds (18-14) have a 1.5 lead in their division over Corpus Christi.

A's Blast Royals In Support Of Cahill

The Oakland A's decided not to let their affiliates have all of the fun on Tuesday night. The A's dormant offense came alive against Luke Hochevar and the Kansas City Royals, scoring a season-best 12 runs in a 12-3 win. Rookie Trevor Cahill earned his second major league win with six strong innings. Cahill allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks and he struck-out two. The rookie has a 3.69 ERA in 39 innings this season.

Cahill had a lot to work with in the game. After the A's scored a run in the first inning on a Jason Giambi double, Oakland exploded for its biggest inning of the season, scoring seven runs in the second inning. That chased Hochevar, who was making his 2009 major league debut after posting an 0.90 ERA for Triple-A Omaha.

Every A's starter reached base at least once and all of the starters had at least one hit except for Adam Kennedy. Orlando Cabrera had his best day as a member of the A's, collecting three hits and four RBIs in five at-bats. Kurt Suzuki had two hits, including his 12th double of the season, to raise his average to .325. He also stole his first base of the year. Matt Holliday had two RBI singles and two walks, and Jack Cust blasted his team-leading fifth homerun. Cust's homer came in the seven-run second inning. It was a three-run blast.

The A's in total had 13 hits and walked six times. The team moved to 12-18 and dropped the Royals to 18-15. Oakland is still five games back and in last place in the AL West.

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