Oakland A's MLN: Pitching Shines

The offense was minimal, but there were a number of outstanding pitching performances from Oakland A's prospects on Wednesday night.

Godfrey K's 11 In Midland's Win

Graham Godfrey had his best outing of the season on Wednesday night in the Double-A Midland Rockhounds' 9-4 win over Northwest Arkansas.

Godfrey struck-out 11 batters in 6.1 innings to earn his fourth win of the season. He didn't allow an earned run and he walked two while allowing four hits. Godfrey lowered his season ERA to 3.86 with the outing. After getting off to a slow start this season, Godfrey has pitched better of late. Over his last seven starts, Godfrey has gone at least six innings in five of those starts. During the month of May, Godfrey is 3-1 with a 2.94 ERA with 28 strike-outs in 33.2 innings.

Godfrey got plenty of help from the offense. Midland pounded out 13 hits and nine runs. Adrian Cardenas went 2-2 with three walks to pace the offense. He scored two runs. Josh Horton had two hits and four RBIs, while Alexander Valdez drove home two. Corey Brown and Archie Gilbert also added two hits a piece. The Rockhounds moved to 25-20 on the season.

Sacramento Splits; Mazzaro and Simmons Shine

Vince Mazzaro continued his domination of the Pacific Coast League in the first game of a double-header, while James Simmons turned in a strong outing in a losing effort in the nightcap.

Mazzaro earned his second win of the season with six strong innings versus Iowa in Game One of the double-header. He allowed only one unearned run on four hits and a walk. Mazzaro struck-out six and lowered his ERA to 2.38. Over his last four starts, Mazzaro has allowed only one earned run in 27.2 innings. He has struck-out 21 and has walked only four over that span. Jay Marshall earned the save with a scoreless inning (minor league double-headers involve seven-inning games).

Mazzaro didn't need much run support, which was a good thing, since he didn't get much. Sacramento managed only three runs in Game One, but it was enough. Daric Barton and Eric Patterson each homered and Gregorio Petit had two hits. Mazzaro had to bat twice in the game when catcher Eric Munson left the game early, necessitating Anthony Recker's switch from DH to catcher, which meant the River Cats had to lose their DH for the rest of the game. Mazzaro went 0-2 with two strike-outs in his debut as the River Cats' clean-up hitter.

In Game Two, James Simmons also put together a strong pitching performance, but it wasn't enough, as Sacramento was shut-out in the 2-0 loss. Simmons allowed two runs on six hits in five innings in the tough-luck loss. The start lowered his ERA to 5.32. Simmons has put together three consecutive solid starts after a slow beginning to his season.

Cougars Blanked In 1-0 Pitcher's Duel

Pedro Figueroa allowed only one run in five innings of work, but he was stuck with the loss, as the Cougars were shut-out by the Great Lake Loons. Figueroa struck-out five and walked two in the outing. Jason Ray and Scott Deal combined to throw three scoreless innings to keep the game close.

On offense, the Cougars managed only five hits. Steve Kleen had two of them. Franklin Hernandez walked twice and was hit by a pitch. After not drawing a walk during the month of April, Hernandez has drawn 10 walks during the month of May.

Ports Bats Explode In Bakersfield

The Stockton Ports collected 10 runs and 15 hits in their 10-5 win over the Bakersfield Blaze on Wednesday night. Second baseman Jemile Weeks had two RBIs in his 2009 season debut, while Raul Padron, Matt Smith, Shane Keough and Frank Martinez all chipped in with multi-hit games. Martinez doubled twice and drove home three runs.

Tyson Ross got the start and was effective in his four-inning outing. The right-hander allowed a first inning run but nothing more. He gave-up only two hits and a walk and he struck-out three. Patrick Currin got the win in relief, allowing one earned run in 2.2 innings. Justin Friend, Nick Walters and Leonardo Espinal pitched the final 2.1 innings to finish off the win.

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