Before the start of the 2008 minor league season, we made five predictions about what might happen…
River Cats, Ports Champs!
Brett Anderson will spend the off-season knowing that he had a hand in two minor league championship teams in 2008. The left-hander was a big part of the Stockton Ports' successful first half, a first half that helped the Ports earn a post-season berth. Anderson spent the second half of the season with Double-A Midland, but he was promoted to Triple-A Sacramento in time for the post-season. He was the winning pitcher for the Sacramento River Cats on Sunday, helping Sacramento clinch the PCL championship on the same day that the Ports earned a California League title.
Sacramento earned the series win with a 4-2 victory on Sunday. The series Game 4 victory came a day after the original Game 4 was rained out. Anderson was solid in his seven innings of work. He allowed two runs on five hits and three walks and he struck-out three to earn his second win of the post-season. Brad Kilby worked a scoreless eighth and Brett Prinz earned his second save with a scoreless ninth.
Carlos Gonzalez was a one-man wrecking crew offensively for Sacramento on Sunday. The centerfielder drove-in all four runs with a three-run homer and an RBI single. Justin Knoedler went 2-4 with a double and Travis Buck added a double in the win.
Sacramento will stay in Oklahoma City for one more game, the Bricktown Showdown on Tuesday against the International League champions, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. The winner of that game will be declared the Triple-A champion.
The 2008 PCL Championship is Sacramento's second straight and fourth in the last six seasons. Chris Denorfia was named the River Cats' post-season MVP by going 17-35 with 12 runs scored and four homers this post-season.
Stockton Takes First Cal League Championship As A's Affiliate
Chris Carter homered twice and the Stockton Ports defeated the Lancaster JetHawks by a score of 9-3 to win their first California League championship since becoming an Oakland A's affiliate.
Carter has been a dominant player for the entire 2008 campaign and he put an exclamation point on his fine season by crushing two homers and driving in five to lead the Ports to a 3-1 series victory. Carter hit .318 with five homers and drove-in 18 this post-season. He hit 39 homers during the regular season.
The Ports earned the win with a six-run seventh inning that broke a 1-1 tie. Josh Horton drove home two and Archie Gilbert and Corey Brown added RBIs. Gilbert was named the MVP of the Championship Series.
On the mound, lefty Carlos Hernandez was impressive once again, allowing one run on six hits in 5.1 innings. Hernandez was promoted from Low-A Kane County in time for the second round of the post-season. He struck-out 10 in his first Cal League start and finished the post-season with a 0.79 ERA. Patrick Currin earned the win in the title clinching game with 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball. Sam Demel closed out the game in the ninth.
The championship was Stockton's first since 2002 and the A's first Cal League title since 2004, when Oakland's affiliate was the Modesto A's.
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