Richie Robnett hit 12 homers in 79 games this season before breaking his hand with AA-Midland in mid-July. The powerful outfielder missed the rest of the season and only recently got back into game action at the A's Instructional League camp. When fellow A's prospect Travis Buck was forced to have surgery for a sports hernia, Robnett was tabbed to take his place.
The left-handed outfielder's successful debut had a familiar ring to it. A's prospects Buck and Kevin Melillo also homered and doubled in their AFL debuts this fall.
Robnett's heroics weren't enough to prevent Phoenix from suffering a tough loss on Wednesday. Leading 2-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning, Phoenix called on A's prospect Mike Mitchell to get them to the 8th. Mitchell struggled in his outing, however, only the second time he has struggled during the AFL season. He allowed two hits and a walk and he committed an error in his two-thirds of an inning of work. Two runs scored in the inning (one was unearned), leaving the score tied.
Phoenix would score two more runs in the top of the 8th, but Brian Henderson and Calvin Medlock combined to give up three runs in the bottom of the 8th to give up the lead. Phoenix went on to lose 5-4.
Earlier in the game, A's relief prospect Connor Robertson pitched a scoreless sixth inning. He walked one and struck out one. Robertson has now thrown three scoreless innings in a row after allowing 12 runs in his first 5.2 innings. A's prospects Landon Powell and Melillo also played in the game. Powell went 0-4 and Melillo went 0-3 with a walk and a throwing error, his second of the AFL season.