Oakland A's MLN: 'Cats Power To Win

After a rough first six weeks of the season, the Sacramento River Cats may finally be turning a corner. Sacramento earned its second straight blow-out win on Monday night. We review the River Cats' game, as well as the rest of the action in the Oakland A's system, inside...

Tolleson, Carter Power 'Cats To Win

The headline going into Monday night's game for the Sacramento River Cats involved the rehab start for Oakland A's left-hander Brett Anderson. However, it was the River Cats' offense that wound-up stealing the show.

The day after scoring 14 runs, the River Cats scored eight runs on 12 hits to earn their second consecutive win. Steven Tolleson (4) hit two homers and had three hits and Chris Carter (10) had a homer and a double to pace the Sacramento attack. Tolleson raised his average to .305 and his OPS to 869.

Carter drove-in two runs and he has five RBIs in the last two days. His 38 RBIs are the most in the Pacific Coast League. Carter is also second in the league behind former River Cats infielder Brett Wallace in homeruns. Carter played right-field in the game. He has been playing in the outfield with increasing frequency over the past week after playing primarily at first base during the early part of the season.

Matt Carson, Josh Donaldson and Adrian Cardenas also chipped in with two-hit games. Carson is four-for-12 with two doubles and two stolen bases since coming off of the disabled list on Saturday. He missed three weeks with an oblique strain.

Anderson allowed two runs on six hits and a walk in three innings. He threw 57 pitches - 35 for strikes - and he struck-out a batter. Assuming he came out of the start healthy, Anderson is expected to return to the A's rotation on May 29. Anderson tweeted after the game that his arm felt good.

Travis Blackley earned the win for the River Cats with three shut-out innings of relief. He struck-out three and walked one. Henry Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two. He has 17 strike-outs and three walks in 11.1 Triple-A innings this season and has yet to allow an earned run.

Parker, Ports Pummel Rawhide

Stephen Parker had three hits, including his eighth homerun, and drove-in three runs to lead the Stockton Ports to a 7-4 win over Visalia.

Parker's three hits raised his average to .307 and his OPS to 945. He has been especially good this season against right-handed pitchers, batting .330 with a 1027 OPS. Parker has a 595 OPS against left-handers.

Jeremy Barfield also had a good night at the plate. He drove-in two runs and now has a team-leading 31 RBIs. Barfield had a double and two hits in four at-bats and he scored two runs. Toddric Johnson reached base three times and scored twice. He also had an outfield assist and a stolen base.

Justin Murray got the start, but he didn't qualify for a win when he allowed three runs in 4.2 innings. He walked four and struck-out three. Trey Barham earned the win with 1.1 innings of work. He lowered his ERA to 1.73. Fautino De Los Santos, Andrew Carignan and Paul Smyth each pitched an inning in relief. Carignan allowed a solo homerun. Smyth saved his eighth game of the season. He has 28 strike-outs in 28.1 innings this season.

Midland Falls As Hernandez Struggles

A start after tossing five perfect innings, Carlos Hernandez struggled, allowing eight hits and five runs in five innings. He did strike-out five and has 10 strike-outs over his last 10 innings pitched.

Hernandez was stuck with his first loss of the season, as the Midland offense was only able to muster three runs despite collecting 10 hits and six walks. Jeff Baisley led the way with three hits and a walk. He is batting .404 in 16 game since joining Midland from extended spring training. Josh Horton, Matt Sulentic and Alexander Valdez each had two-hit games.

Derrick Gordon was roughed up for three runs allowed in one inning of relief, but Daniel Sattler tossed two scoreless innings. He has a 3.14 ERA in 14.1 innings since joining the Rockhounds from Stockton.

Kane County Limps Home After Loss

The Kane County Cougars finished off a 1-7 road-trip with an 8-4 loss to the Clinton Lumber Kings.

Anvioris Ramirez, making his first start for Kane County after being sent down from Stockton, was roughed up to the tune of eight runs allowed (seven earned) in 4.1 innings of work. Josh Lansford and A.J. Huttenlocker combined to toss 3.2 scoreless innings with seven strike-outs, but it wasn't nearly enough for Kane County to close the gap.

Conner Crumbliss left the game in the third inning after being hit-by-a-pitch. He was replaced by Nino Leyja, who went 1-3. Michael Gilmartin, Myrio Richard and Tyreace House each had two hits to lead the Cougars' offense. One of Gilmartin's hits was a homerun, his first of the season. Richard is batting .344 with an 854 OPS over his last 10 games.


* Sacramento River Cats' outfielder Michael Taylor told OaklandClubhouse.com that he hopes to be back in the Sacramento line-up by the end of this week. Taylor has been out since May 11 with a calf strain.

* Left-hander Ben Hornbeck was sent down to High-A Stockton from Double-A Midland. He took Ramirez's spot in the Ports' rotation. Hornbeck had a 5.87 ERA in 38.1 innings with Midland. He allowed three runs in four innings with six strike-outs in his 2010 Stockton debut on Sunday.

* Catcher Anthony Recker was sent down from Sacramento to Midland to make room for Landon Powell, who was optioned from Oakland to Sacramento over the weekend. Recker was batting .219 for the River Cats. Catcher Dusty Napoleon was sent from Sacramento to Stockton on Saturday. He had three hits in 13 at-bats for the River Cats, including a double and a homer. Napoleon was placed on the Stockton DL on Monday.

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