Oakland A's MLN: Gordon Delivers Hit, Win

If the Stockton Ports make the playoffs, Monday night's game against Bakersfield will be the one they remember. The Ports, who are chasing the Blaze for a spot in the Cal League post-season, earned a most unusual win in 14 innings on the road at Bakersfield on Monday. We have the details and more inside...

Gordon Plays Hero For Stockton

Derrick Gordon has been an unsung hero for the Stockton Ports all season, but he found his way into the spotlight on Monday night in Bakersfield. The lefty reliever managed not only to earn the win in the Ports' 14-inning classic against Bakersfield, but he also delivered the game-winning hit, a two-out double in the top of the 14th that gave the Ports a crucial 2-1 win over the Blaze.

Stockton is currently chasing Bakersfield for a spot in the California League playoffs. With six games (including Monday's win) against the Blaze over the season's final two weeks, Stockton controls its own destiny to some extent. The Ports certainly looked like a team of destiny on Monday night.

Despite playing in hitter-friendly Bakersfield, the Ports and Blaze played a magnificent pitchers-duel on Monday. Starters Scott Hodsdon for Stockton and Ryan Tatusko for Bakersfield were outstanding. Hodsdon went 7.2 innings, allowing only one run on four hits and no walks. He struck-out 10. Tatusko matched that effort by going six innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks and striking out 11.

Both pitchers had to hand the game off to their bullpens, and both 'pens were equally outstanding. For Stockton, Mickey Storey (1.1 perfect innings), Ben Hornbeck (3 innings/seven strike-outs and one walk), Gordon (1.2 innings/one hit and four strike-outs) and Jason Ray (one-third of an inning/one strike-out) combined to toss 6.1 scoreless innings. They struck-out 14 and walked only one. Bakersfield's bullpen of Dustin Brader and Ryan Falcon worked eight innings, allowing one run on four hits and 11 strike-outs. All told, there were 46 strike-outs in the game.

By the time the game reached the decisive 14th inning, the Ports were in the unusual position of having to bat their pitcher in the fourth spot in the order. Catcher Yusuf Carter was the clean-up hitter for Stockton for 10 innings, but he left the game with an injured hand before the bottom of the 10th inning. Unfortunately for Stockton, back-up catcher Matt Smith had just been used the inning before as a pinch-hitter for DH Christian Vitters. Smith had to come into the game as the catcher, meaning the Ports had to forfeit their DH.

All this meant that it was Gordon who was at the plate for the Ports with two-outs and Grant Desme on first in the top of the 14th. Desme stole second base while Gordon was batting (Desme's 39th of the year). Gordon then came up with the clutch hit the Ports were looking for all night, doubling on a flyball to centerfield.

After his heroics at the plate, Gordon had to come back onto the mound in the bottom of the inning. He retired the first two batters he faced on strike-outs before allowing a single to Joey Butler to right. Stockton manager Aaron Nieckula then turned to Jason Ray to finish the game. Ray allowed a double to the first man he faced, Mauro Gomez, but Butler was able to get only to third. Ray then struck-out Doug Hogan to end the epic affair.

News and Notes

* A's 4th round pick Max Stassi made his Vancouver Canadians debut on Monday night, going 1-2 as the C's starting catcher. He had gone 0-1 with a walk in his professional debut with the AZL A's over the weekend.

* Vancouver closer Paul Smyth was promoted to Low-A Kane County on Monday. Smyth leaves Vancouver with a dominating statline. In 29.1 innings, he allowed only 12 hits, four walks and no runs. He struck-out 37, won one game and saved nine. Vancouver also lost their best hitter to promotion over the weekend, as Conner Crumbliss was moved up to Kane County after posting an 830 OPS for the C's.

* C's outfielder Rashun Dixon had two hits on Monday night in the Vancouver 6-0 win. It was his second consecutive two-hit game. He is batting .290 over his last 10 games.

* Sacramento's magic number to clinch the PCL Pacific South Division remained at three on Monday, as the River Cats fell to Portland by a score of 7-4. Clayton Mortensen was roughed up in the outing, allowing six runs in 4.1 innings.

* Midland first baseman Chris Carter earned his third Player of the Week honor for the month of August on Monday. He was honored for the week of August 17th, when he hit .474 with a homerun and four RBIs. Carter is chasing a Triple Crown in the Texas League. He is currently the league leader in batting, second in homers and third in RBIs.

* Kane County earned an extra-inning win on Monday over Beloit, 4-3 in 10 innings. Justin Murray got the win with two innings of relief.

* Three A's minor leaguers were recently selected in the draft for the Dominican Winter League baseball season. Players eligible are from the DR. Josue Selenes was taken by the Toros del Este in the 10th round, Anvioris Ramirez was taken by Licey in the 12th round and Franklin Hernandez was taken by the Toros in the 15th round. All three players are currently with Kane County.

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