It wasn't hard to pick out the major league team on the field on Saturday night. The Oakland A's shined against their Triple-A brethren, pushing across nine runs in seven innings to defeat the Sacramento River Cats, 9-0. Tom Milone threw six perfect innings, striking out six batters, and Andrew Carignan worked around two walks to complete what was a rain-shortened, seven-inning no-hit win for Oakland.
Sacramento starter Jarrod Parker, who was auditioning for a spot as the A's fifth starter later this month, struggled in his outing. The right-hander allowed six runs in two innings, walking four and hitting A's catcher Kurt Suzuki in the shoulder. Three of the runs were unearned and came across on a two-base error by centerfielder Grant Green, but Parker did allow a three-run homer to Coco Crisp to account for the three earned runs against him.
Sacramento's defense was also shaky for reliever Justin Souza, as a Chris Bostick error led to two unearned runs in the third inning. Souza would allow just those two unearned runs in his two innings of work. He struck-out four. Pedro Figueroa gave-up the final A's run of the game, allowing a Josh Donaldson solo homerun to centerfield in the fifth inning. Figueroa struck-out two in his one inning of work. Jim Miller and Erick Threets combined to throw two scoreless innings to round out the River Cats' pitching line for the evening.
The A's wouldn't need nearly as many pitchers in their seven innings of work. Milone was masterful in his six innings, allowing only one hard-hit ball (a comebacker off of the bat of Bostick that Milone fielded himself) and he barely broke a sweat in striking out six River Cats. The perfect game was broken up with one-out in the seventh inning when Carignan walked Grant Green. Carignan would walk Brandon Moss later in the inning before working out of the jam. The rain was coming down heavily during the bottom of the seventh and the game was called after the third out of the inning.
The River Cats will next face-off in a two-game set against the A's High-A affiliate, the Stockton Ports, this upcoming Monday and Tuesday. Sacramento's regular season begins in Las Vegas on Thursday night.
The A's square-off against their cross-Bay rivals, the San Francisco Giants, for three exhibition games Monday through Wednesday before starting the US portion of their regular season schedule on Friday. Oakland split the first two games of their regular season with the Seattle Mariners last week in Tokyo, Japan, and they finish the four-game series with the Mariners in Oakland this Friday and Saturday.
Below are exclusive photos from the A's-River Cats game.
ALL PHOTOS BY CHRIS LOCKARD/SCOUT.COM