Oakland A's back-to-back Rookies of the Year Huston Street and Bobby Crosby threw out the ceremonial first pitches on Thursday night. Both Street and Crosby are former River Cats. Since 2000, a total of 93 players have gone from Sacramento to Oakland. Three former River Cats have been named AL Rookie of the Year since 2002.
First baseman Daric Barton made a nice diving stop of a groundball in the first inning on Thursday. Barton will be the River Cats' first baseman in 2006.
Infielders Keith Ginter and Scott McClain took fielding practice at third together before the game. Both non-roster playes are still with the A's in big league camp, but they figure to be regulars for the River Cats this season.
Sacramento fan favorite Nick Swisher returned to Raley Field to a loud cheer. He rewarded the fans with two hits and an opposite field sacrifice fly.
Lefty reliever Ron Flores finished the game off with a scoreless ninth inning of work for the A's. Flores struggled early in camp, but he has turned in four straight scoreless outings.
Starter Rich Harden returned to Sacramento showing the same nasty stuff he had when he was a River Cat. The right-hander threw six solid innings, allowing one run on three hits. He had nine strikeouts.
Reliever Matt Roney made his Sacramento debut, showing off his 3/4 arm-angle delivery. Roney allowed two runs in an inning of work.