Oakland A's MLN: Carter, Watson Lead 'Cats

Offense has been hard to come by for Oakland A's minor league hitters in 2010, but the A's minor leaguers had their hitting shoes on on Memorial Day 2010. We have the details inside...

Sacramento Slugs Way To Sweep

The Sacramento River Cats homered five times and overcame an early deficit to defeat the Reno Aces, 11-8 on Monday.

Chris Carter and Matt Watson each had two-homer games, and Brett Harper added the other homerun for Sacramento, who has now won six in a row and is only two games under .500.

Watson finished the four-game set with Reno with nine hits in 17 at-bats. He had five extra-base hits and six RBIs and he walked twice in his first series back with the River Cats since 2006.

Carter's two homeruns gave him a team-best 12 for the season. He also leads the team with 42 RBIs. The two-hit game broke a 1-23 stretch. Carter has an 811 OPS for the season.

Sacramento had 14 hits and overcame an early 5-1 deficit. In addition to Watson and Carter, Corey Wimberly, Eric Sogard and Michael Taylor had multi-hit games. Taylor also added an outfield assist. Harper's homerun in the sixth was a grand-slam. It was his first homer of the season.

Jesus Sanchez made the start for Sacramento. Sanchez was signed over the weekend by the A's to a minor league free agent contract. The 35-year-old left-hander first made his major league debut with the Florida Marlins in 1998. He has a major league career record of 23-34 and a 5.32 ERA. He has pitched in the majors with Florida, the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds and the Colorado Rockies. Sanchez had been pitching for the York Revolution in the independent Atlantic League. The A's signed Sanchez and Val Majewski away from the Revolution.

Sanchez's return to affiliated baseball was a rude one. He allowed seven runs on four hits and seven walks in only four innings pitched. Reliever Cedrick Bowers, in his first game back with Sacramento after a two-week stint with the A's during which he made one appearance, was rusty, walking three in one-third of an inning.

The River Cats were able to get back in the game in the middle innings thanks to the relief work of Jonathan Hunton and Sam Demel. Hunton tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball and Demel followed that with two scoreless innings of his own. Hunton lowered his ERA to 2.60 and Demel lowered his to 1.08. Demel earned the win. He has struck-out 26 and walked eight in 25 innings this season.

Henry Rodriguez battled some wildness in the ninth, walking two, but he kept Reno off of the scoreboard to earn his sixth save of the season and lower his ERA to 0.63.

Midland Steamrolls Naturals

Corey Brown had three hits in his return to Midland and the Rockhounds pummeled the Northwest Arkansas Naturals by a score of 9-1.

Brown had two singles and a triple in five at-bats for the Rockhounds. He was re-assigned to Midland this past weekend after batting only .156 in 34 games for the River Cats. Jermaine Mitchell was sent to Stockton to make room for Brown on the Midland roster.

J.C. Holt had three hits and two RBIs and Matt Sulentic added a three-RBI game to help lead the Rockhounds. Alexander Valdez knocked in two runs to raise his season RBI total to 33.

Starter Anthony Capra had a solid outing to earn the win. He walked four in five innings, but allowed only two hits and he struck-out eight. Most importantly, he didn't allow a run. Capra lowered his ERA to 4.18. He has struggled with command at times this season (26 walks in 47.1 innings), but he has struck-out 43 and has held opposing batters to a .228 average.

Justin Friend, Jason Ray and Derrick Gordon combined to hold the Naturals to one run on five hits over the final four innings to secure the win.

Stockton Cracks Nuts

The Stockton Ports brought out their big bats to earn a 13-8 win over the Modesto Nuts.

Grant Green continued his hot-streak by collecting five hits in six at-bats. He also had a stolen base and two doubles and he raised his average to .303. Green, the A's top draft pick last season, has a seven-game hitting streak. Over his last four games, he is 13-19 with five extra-base hits.

Ryan Ortiz had three hits and three RBIs and Toddric Johnson and Michael Spina each had two-RBI nights. Jeremy Barfield had a four-hit night and Stephen Parker, Spina, Tyler Ladendorf and Michael Richard had two-hit nights. Barfield added yet another outfield assist. He has 11 on the season already, the most of any outfielder in the A's organization.

Starter Shawn Haviland struck-out seven in 5.1 innings, but he allowed eight hits and five runs. Still, it was good enough on this night to earn Haviland his fifth win of the season. He has 66 strike-outs in 61.2 innings this season. Paul Smyth pitched the ninth and added another scoreless inning to his resume. He struck-out two and retired all three batters he faced. Smyth has a 31 strike-outs in 32 innings pitched and a 1.69 ERA on the season.

Kane County Snaps Streak After Rain

Despite an hour-long rain delay, the Kane County Cougars made Memorial Day a good one by breaking their three-game losing streak with a 7-4 win over Clinton. The Cougars had lost 13 of 15 games coming into Monday's contest.

Max Stassi led the Cougars' offense with a 3-3 day. He hit his seventh homer of the season and drove-in two. Stassi has four homers in May and a 948 OPS in day games.

Michael Gilmartin also homered, his second of the season. Kent Walton had three hits, including two doubles, and Myrio Richard had two hits and an RBI. The Cougars swiped three bases, with Stassi (3), Walton (2) and Conner Crumbliss (11) stealing bags.

Ian Krol got the start, but he was taken out after the rain delay (which occurred after the first inning). He struck-out one in a perfect frame. Krol has a 1.90 ERA this season.

Jose Guzman earned the win with 3 innings of relief. He allowed a run on three hits. A.J. Huttenlocker had two innings of scoreless relief and Connor Hoehn earned his first save with 1.1 innings of perfect relief. Jose Pina struggled in his second outing with Kane County, allowing three runs on six hits in 1.2 innings.

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