Horton's Big Game Boosts Midland
With only a handful games left in the season, every game is a must-win for the Midland Rockhounds. Josh Horton helped put the Rockhounds in a good position going into the final four games of the season with a big night in the Rockhounds' 3-1 win over San Antonio. The win allowed Midland to maintain its two game lead over Frisco. The Rockhounds will play one more game against San Antonio on Friday and then will take on Frisco for the final three games of the year.
Horton's one-out, two-run homerun in the seventh inning gave the Rockhounds a 3-0 lead over the Missions. Midland had broken the 0-0 tie one batter earlier when Corey Brown singled home Archie Gilbert. Horton's homer wound-up being the difference in the 3-1 win. He also walked twice. Gilbert had two hits, including his big seventh-inning double.
Texas League post-season All-Star Graham Godfrey tossed another gem on Thursday night. He threw six shut-out innings, allowing only six base-runners. The effort lowered his ERA to 3.50, but he was left with a tough no-decision.
Mickey Storey took over for Godfrey and was equally dominating. In two innings, he allowed only two base-runners and he struck-out three. He has yet to allow a run in 5.2 innings with Midland since being called up last week from Stockton. He has a 1.27 ERA and 68 strike-outs in 49.2 innings for all four of the Oakland A's full-season affiliates this year. Storey wound-up the winning pitcher in the game, his first win as a Rockhound.
Jonathan Hunton allowed three base-runners in the ninth inning, but limited the damage to one run in earning his fourth save of the season.
Green Helps Stockton Earn Win Over Red-Hot Blaze
The Bakersfield Blaze have been the California League's best team over the past month, but the Stockton Ports were able to put a brief halt to their winning ways with a 7-5 win on Thursday night. A's 2009 top pick Grant Green paced Stockton with two hits and his first three RBIs as a professional.
Pedro Figueroa got the start for Stockton. He allowed five runs in 6.1 innings, but he pitched better than that run total would indicate, striking out nine. Figueroa has 145 strike-outs in 151.2 innings this season, both career-highs. The win was also Figueroa's 13th of the year, another career-best.
Figueroa's win was preserved by a nice effort from the bullpen. Lance Sewell and Jason Ray combined to toss 2.2 scoreless innings to close out the game. Ray earned his fourth save for Stockton. He has a 1.71 ERA for the Ports this season.
In addition to Green, Matt Smith was the only other Port to record more than one hit. Gabriel Ortiz drove-home two runs and Frank Martinez scored twice. Stockton did most of its damage in the fifth inning when the Ports scored six times.
Before the game, the Ports announced that first baseman Steve Kleen was given the inaugural Dallas Braden Community Award. The award honors a player for his contributions to the community and is an homage to the on-going community work by former Stockton and current A's left-hander Dallas Braden.
House, C's Squeak Out A Win
The red-hot Tyreace House picked up two more hits and the Vancouver Canadians scored three times in the final two innings to earn a 4-3 win over Everett.
House raised his season average to .302 with his two hits. It was his third consecutive multi-hit game. He is nine-for-his-last-16 and is batting .378 over his last 10 games.
House had some help offensively. Ryan Ortiz, Rodney Rutherford and Wilfredo Sosa each had two hits. A's fourth-round pick Max Stassi went 1-4. He is batting .270 in his first 10 games with the C's.
Reliever Max Peterson earned his second win after pitching an inning in relief and Connor Hoehn earned his sixth save with a scoreless ninth. He struck-out two. Hoehn has 24 strike-outs in 17 innings this season.
Kane County Earns Win In Post-Season Tune Up
With their post-season ticket already punched, the Kane County Cougars aren't just playing out the string. The Cougars won their eighth game in their last 11 with an 8-4 victory on Thursday night.
The top three hitters in the Cougars' line-up combined for seven hits and five runs scored and the ninth-place hitter blasted a solo homerun to pace Kane County. Conner Crumbliss raised his Cougars' average to .314 with a 3-4 effort. He also walked and scored three times. Crumbliss has a 947 OPS in 10 games with Kane County and an 847 OPS in 67 games with Kane County and Vancouver this season.
A's fifth-round pick Stephen Parker went 3-3 with two doubles to raise his average to .246. Carlos Arrieche hit his first homerun of the season on the same day he was activated from the disabled list.
Murphy Smith earned his second win by allowing two runs in five innings. Trey Barham had a big outing in relief, pitching two perfect innings. He has a 1.33 ERA this season with 40 strike-outs in 40.2 innings.
Before the game, the Cougars announced that Daniel Thomas was placed on the disabled list, making room for Arrieche on the roster. Thomas has a 5.23 ERA and 23 strike-outs in 20.2 innings with Kane County this season.
Sacramento Falls To Reno
After a scoring binge to start their road-trip, the Sacramento River Cats didn't show much life offensively on Thursday night, falling to Reno by a score of 6-0. It was the River Cats' third consecutive loss.
Sacramento managed eight hits, but couldn't come up with the big one all night. Anthony Recker, Matt Carson and Brett Wallace each had two hits. Wallace had the 'Cats only extra-base hit, a double.
The River Cats used a host of relievers to get through the game, starting with Chris Schroder, who pitched the first three innings. He didn't allow a run and gave-up only two hits. Scott Patterson took over for Schroder, but was touched for four runs in 0.2 innings. Only one of the runs was earned. Patterson and Sacramento manager Tony DeFrancesco were both ejected in the fourth inning.
Newly acquired reliever John Meloan made his Sacramento debut, tossing a scoreless inning. Meloan was claimed off of waivers by the A's on Wednesday.
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