Anderson, Braden Go Four In Rehab Outings
If the Oakland A's are going to make a push for the playoffs during the second half of the season, they will need a healthy Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden. The left-handers are hopefully nearing the end of their disabled list stints and both were in action in the minor leagues on Thursday night, rehabbing with the AZL A's and the Stockton Ports, respectively.
Anderson started slowly in his second start for the AZL A's, but he finished strong, going four innings and allowing one run on seven hits. He walked none and struck-out four and threw 63 pitches. He allowed three consecutive singles to start the game and, after a strike-out, allowed an infield hit before inducing a pop-up double-play to end the inning.
After the first, Anderson would scatter three fly balls singles over the final three innings of his outing. He could return to the A's rotation by the end of July. Anderson has been on the DL with elbow tendinitis since June 4 and has made only six starts this season.
Braden has made 15 starts for the A's this year, but he has struggled with elbow soreness for more than a month. The southpaw went on the DL on July 23rd and the A's were hopeful that he would return shortly after the All-Star break.
Braden took the hill for Stockton on Thursday night in what could be his only rehab assignment. The lefty threw four-plus innings for his hometown Ports and he allowed three runs on seven hits. He struck-out four, walked one and allowed two homeruns. All of his in-play-outs were recorded through the air, a possible indication that he is still not 100 percent.
River Cats Win In 12
The A's are hoping for a big second-half from top prospect Michael Taylor, and he certainly got his post-All-Star break season off on a good note with a huge game against Salt Lake in Sacramento's 5-4 extra-innings win on Thursday. Taylor went 4-for-6 with a double and three RBIs. His 12th inning single was the game-winner for the River Cats, who moved to 10 games above the .500 mark. Taylor raised his average from .253 to .262 in the game.
Anthony Recker had a big game in his return from the disabled list. He had been on the DL with a strained oblique muscle. Recker had two hits, including his fourth homerun of the season. He drove-in the other two River Cats' runs.
John Halama got the start and allowed four runs in six innings. The River Cats' bullpen of Michael Benacka, Edwar Ramirez, Jonathan Hunton and Henry Rodriguez would combine to toss six scoreless innings. Hunton earned the win with two shut-out innings. It was his fifth win of the season. Rodriguez earned his 10th save by striking out the side in a perfect bottom of the 12th.
River Cats' Rumblings
* The A's released right-hander Jamey Wright on Wednesday. Wright, who had a 9.00 ERA in 14 innings for the River Cats, was signed by the Seattle Mariners and placed on the team's 25-man roster.
* RHP Beau Vaughan was also released by the A's. He had a 1.95 ERA and six saves for Midland, but was carrying a 7.04 ERA in 7.2 innings with the River Cats.
* Sacramento starter Clayton Mortensen threw a perfect inning in his Triple-A All-Star game appearance on Wednesday. He threw seven pitches. Sacramento catcher Josh Donaldson went 0-for-1 in the game.
Midland Beats Old Friend In Extra-Innings Win
Corey Brown's walk-off single off of former A's prospect Craig Italiano in the bottom of the 10th gave the Midland Rockhounds a stirring 3-2 win over the San Antonio Missions on Thursday.
It was the second time in two games that the Rockhounds staged a last at-bat rally to earn wins and Brown was in the middle of both rallies. On Thursday, it was the walk-off single. On Tuesday, Brown hit a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth to tie the game and allow the Rockhounds to beat the Springfield Cardinals in 10 innings.
Brown had two hits and a walk and a stolen base in the game on Thursday. He is batting .339 with a 911 OPS for Midland this season.
Adrian Cardenas hit his third homer of the season for Midland. He also went 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base. Cardenas is batting .375 with a 1025 OPS for the Rockhounds this season.
Matt Sulentic continued his recent hot streak with a two-hit night. His second hit came with two-outs in the ninth inning off of Italiano and it tied the game for the Rockhounds. He is batting .378 with an 800 OPS over his last 10 games.
Anthony Capra was stuck with a no-decision but he pitched well, allowing only an unearned run in six innings. He struck-out six and walked none. Justin Souza allowed a run in 1.2 innings of work, but Fautino De Los Santos and Justin James combined to toss 2.1 scoreless innings to give the Rockhounds a chance to win. James earned the victory with a scoreless 10th. De Los Santos allowed only a walk and he struck-out two in his 1.1 innings of work.
* Jeff Lyman, claimed off of waivers by the A's from Atlanta last week, has joined the Rockhounds' rotation. He had been a reliever in the Braves' chain this season, so he will be stretched out over a series of outings.
* Justin Murray was sent back to Stockton on Monday. Murray had been bumped from the Rockhounds' rotation by Lyman.
* Midland is currently 10-9 in the second half and four games behind first-half winner Frisco. The Rockhounds are 45-44 overall this season.
Stockton, Spina Storm Back Late
Down three runs in the ninth, the Stockton Ports scored four times to stun the Visalia Rawhide, 10-9, on Thursday night. The Rawhide have dominated the Ports this season, but Stockton has now taken two straight against Visalia to move to 7-17 on the year against them.
Michael Spina's two-out, three-run homer was the decisive blow for the Ports. Spina's 17th homer of the season made a winner out of reliever Scott Hodsdon and got Grant Green off of the hook for a three-error night at shortstop.
Jermaine Mitchell and Yusuf Carter also homered for the Ports. Mitchell had two hits and a walk and is six-for-eight with two walks since coming off of the disabled list on Wednesday. Carter's homer was his fourth in five games for the Ports. He hit 14 in 91 games for Stockton last season.
Tyler Ladendorf, David Thomas and Kent Walton also added two-hit nights. The Stockton offense scored 10 runs on 12 hits one night after scoring 15 runs on 15 hits.
Murray took over for Braden in the fifth inning and allowed five runs (three earned) in two innings of work. Scott Deal allowed an unearned run before Trey Barham and Hodsdon combined to toss 2.1 scoreless innings. The win was Hodsdon's first of the season.
* Catcher Ramon Soto was returned to the A's Arizona League club.
* RHP Jose Pina, an Opening Day member of the Ports, returned to Stockton on Thursday, while RHP Kenneth Smalley was sent to Kane County.
* RHP Mike Madsen was released by the A's. He was attempting a comeback after two seasons marred by arm problems.
Marks Whiffs Way To Win
A's 2009 third-round pick Justin Marks struck-out 10 and didn't allow a run in six innings to earn only his third win of the season on Thursday night. Our Kane County correspondent Chris Emma will have more detail on Marks' win tomorrow. It was the second straight game for Marks with 10 strike-outs and he has struck-out 36 over his last four starts (23 innings).
Connor Hoehn and Ryan Doolittle combined to toss three scoreless innings in relief of Marks and preserve the shut-out in the Cougars' 5-0 win.
Anthony Aliotti had three hits and two stolen bases to pace the Cougars offense. Tyreace House and Myrio Richard also each had two stolen bases and Kane County had eight stolen bases in the game.
Michael Gilmartin had two hits and two RBIs, as well as his 11th stolen base of the season. His is batting .353 since the All-Star break and .417 over his last 10 games.
House had two hits to go along with his two stolen bases. He now has 23 stolen bases on the season and his league-best on-base streak has been raised to 42 games.
* Richard has an 11-game hitting streak.
* Starter Robert Gilliam was placed on the DL with right shoulder soreness.
* Smalley will join the Cougars' rotation. He was a Midwest League All-Star for Kane County in 2009.
* The Cougars are 12-8 in the second half and
tied for first in their division.
C's Blanked In Spokane
Nothing worked for the Canadians on Thursday, as they were shut-out by the Spokane Indians by a score of 10-0.
The C's would muster only four hits and they committed four errors in the game. Anvioris Ramirez was rocked for six runs on four hits and three walks in 1.2 innings to earn the loss. Josh Bowman allowed four unearned runs before Ryan Quigley and Daniel McDaniel combined to toss 5.1 scoreless innings to close out the game.
Wade Kirkland accounted for half of the C's offense with two hits.
* Catcher John Nester, who was recently signed by the A's after being selected in the 39th round of the draft, joined the C's on Tuesday.
* A's eighth-round pick Blake Hassebrock also joined the C's this week. He had been with the AZL A's and had allowed six runs (four earned) in 3.1 innings, but he had struck-out seven batters.
AZL A's Power To Win
Anderson wasn't the only A's player rehabbing with the AZL A's on Thursday. Outfielder Travis Buck was also in uniform and he helped the AZL A's win, 14-4, over the AZL Rangers.
Buck had a double and a walk and two RBIs in four at-bats and he had an outfield assist. A's 2008 top pick Jemile Weeks also continued his rehab with the AZL A's. Playing DH, Weeks had two hits, including a double, and he scored three times in six at-bats.
Outfielder Royce Consigli continued his outstanding start to the season with a 2-for-4 night. He also walked twice. Consigli is batting .435/.491/.696 in 46 at-bats this season and he has four triples already.
Mitchell LeVier, in his third rehab game, had two hits in five at-bats and he scored three runs. One of the hits was a triple. LeVier is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, which he had last season.
Diomendes Lopez, Jonatan Santana and Zhi-Fang Pan all had two-hit games for the AZL A's, who had 15 hits in the game.
After Anderson left, Joselito Adames worked three innings to earn the win. He allowed three runs. Drew Tyson and Jeff Urlaub each had a scoreless innings in relief.
* Consigli leads the AZL in triples. He would lead the league in a number of other categories, as well, but is one at-bat short of qualifying for the batting title, something that should change in his next game.
* RHP Argenis Paez is currently second in the AZL in ERA with a 1.82 mark.
DSL A's Nip DSL Brewers
Robinson De Los Santos lowered his ERA to 2.09 and the A's beat the Brewers by a score of 4-3 on Thursday.
De Los Santos allowed only a hit and a walk in six shut-out innings. He struck-out six and earned his first win of the season. De Los Santos has 49 strike-outs in 38.2 innings and he has allowed only 22 hits this season.
Luis Baez had two hits, including a double, to pace the DSL A's offense.
* Michael Soto is second in the DSL in homeruns with five and fourth in RBIs with 29.
* Wilfredo Solano is third in the league in walks with 28.
* De Los Santos is eighth in the league in strike-outs.