Carson is red-hot.
For the eighth time in 10 years, the Sacramento River Cats are the champions of the Pacific Coast League's South Division. We have the details of the River Cats' title, as well as other news and notes from around the A's organization, inside...
Sacramento Loses, But Clinches Title
The Sacramento River Cats suffered a rare loss on Thursday night, but it was still a winning evening for Tony DeFrancesco's club, as the River Cats came away division champions when second-place Reno lost their game.
Sacramento is the first PCL team to secure a division title this season. The River Cats have a PCL-best 82-50 record, nine wins more than the second-best team in the entire league. The division title puts the River Cats in position to defend their back-to-back PCL and Triple-A crowns. Playoffs begin on September 9th. Sacramento will host games three, four and five of the five-game series (games four and five if necessary) at Raley Field on September 11-13. Should Sacramento advance, the championship series will begin on September 15.
On Thursday, the River Cats held a 2-1 lead against Fresno before a late Grizzlies rally propelled Fresno to a 6-3 win. Dana Eveland got the loss despite striking out nine in six innings. He walked none. Matt Carson homered for the seventh time in the last 10 games to pace the River Cats' offense. Carson has a team-leading 23 homers and 71 RBIs this season. The centerfielder has an 829 OPS for the season and is batting .344 with an 1110 OPS and nine homers in August.
Travis Buck also homered for Sacramento, his fifth of the season. He was the only River Cats' hitter with two hits. A day after collecting three hits and four RBIs in his Triple-A debut, Chris Carter went 0-5 with three strike-outs.
News and Notes
* A's seventh-round pick Ian Krol, who signed on deadline day, made his professional debut on Thursday. He tossed a perfect inning for the AZL A's. Brett Hunter also had a perfect inning in the frame.
* The Midland Rockhounds routed the Corpus Christi Hooks by a score of 10-0 to maintain a three-game lead in the division over Frisco. Kyle Middleton tossed a complete game shutout for Midland. Middleton is 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA since being signed by the A's out of the independent leagues earlier this month. Jemile Weeks and Archie Gilbert homered for Midland in the win. Weeks had four RBIs.
* Grant Desme homered twice and officially became a 30 HR - 40 SB man, as the Stockton Ports defeated the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, 9-7. Desme went 2-3 with three runs scored and a walk. He now has 31 homeruns on the season and 20 with the Ports. He is batting .290 with a 937 OPS on the season and he has a 1146 OPS in August.
* Tyreace House had three hits and Ryne Jernigan and Marcos Luis added two hits apiece in the Vancouver Canadians' 4-2 win over Eugene. Joselito Adames got the win and Connor Hoehn earned the save for the C's.
* Former C's closer Paul Smyth extended his personal scoreless innings streak to 30.1 innings earlier this week when he made his debut with Kane County. In 30.1 innings in his pro debut season, Smyth has allowed 12 hits, four walks and he has struck-out 37.