Midland has been by far the best team amongst the A's affiliates this season. The Rockhounds'…
A's MLN: Roster Changes Continue
The Oakland A's decision to promote first baseman Dan Johnson to Oakland had an effect on the roster of AA-Midland, as one of the Rockhounds' best hitters was promoted to Sacramento on Friday. Colamarino arrived in Sacramento on Friday and immediately found himself at first base in the River Cats' line-up. The big first baseman leaves the Texas League as the league's leading RBI man and one of the leaders in a number of other offensive categories.
Colamarino had a relatively quiet debut with the River Cats, although he was part of the game-winning rally in the ninth inning of the River Cats' 1-0 win over Salt Lake. The River Cats and Stingers battled to a 0-0 tie going into the ninth inning on Friday night. Starters Dustin Moseley and Mario Ramos were on their games on Friday. Moseley stifled the River Cats, scattering four hits and two walks for seven shut-out innings. Sacramento starter Mario Ramos was even better, going eight shut-out innings. He allowed only four hits and three walks, while striking out four. This outing was by far Ramos' best outing of the season.
Reliever Marcus Gwyn relieved Ramos in the top of the ninth and worked around a walk to get through the inning unscored upon. In the bottom of the ninth, the River Cats went to work against Stingers' reliever Scott Dunn. DH Jack Cust worked a walk to start the season and Colamarino got him into scoring position with a nifty sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. Leftfielder Andrew Beattie, who was 2-3 with two doubles on the night, was intentionally walked to set-up the force play. Bobby Smith hit what could have been an inning-ending double-play, but he reached safely on a fielding error by third baseman Adam Pavkovich to load the bases. John Baker struck out, but Freddie Bynum made sure that the River Cats' scoring opportunity did not go by the wayside. He singled through the hole between third and short, scoring the game-winning run.
In addition to Colamarino, the River Cats welcomed back some familiar faces. Outfielder Matt Watson and utilityman Jermaine Clark rejoined the team after being sent down from Oakland on Thursday. Former 2003 PCL Rookie of the Year Bobby Crosby batted lead-off for the River Cats and went hitless in three at-bats, as he continues his rehabilitation assignment.
Dallas Braden Earns First Loss, But Goes Eight
Starting pitcher Dallas Braden tasted defeat for the first time this season, but still had a quality outing, going eight strong innings in Midland's 4-2 loss to Arkansas. In their first game without their powerful first baseman Colamarino, the Rockhounds struggled on offense. They managed only eight hits and two runs, breaking a two-game streak of double-digit scoring.
Braden had a rough first inning, but settled down afterwards to get through eight innings. Braden allowed back-to-back singles to start the game and, after retiring a batter, allowed an RBI single and a three-run homerun to put himself quickly in a 4-0 hole. Braden would allow only five more hits over the next 7.2 innings, but would be tagged with the loss due to the Rockhounds' unusually quiet offense.
Catcher Jeremy Brown filled in for the departed Colmarino at first base and Casey Meyers got the start behind the plate. Meyers went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored and Brown went 2-4 with a run scored. Third baseman Lloyd Turner drove in the Rockhounds' other run.
The Rockhounds currently have two open spots on their roster and are likely to add another first baseman in next day or two.
Stockton Rocked By Modesto; Cornejo Makes Pitching Debut
The Stockton Ports were destroyed by the Modesto Nuts on Friday, 19-1. Things got so bad for the Ports' pitching staff that shortstop Eddie Cornejo had to come on and pitch the final inning. Cornejo allowed three runs in one inning of work, but was the Ports' most effective reliever on the night. Relievers Elvis Avendano, Brigmer Leon and Tomas Cabaniel combined to toss 2.2 innings, allowing 13 runs over that span.
Leon and Cabaniel were making their Stockton debuts on Friday. Both pitchers had been throwing at extended spring training. Leon coughed up six hits and five runs (four earned) in only one-third of an inning. He made 46 appearance for Kane County in 2004, compiling a 2.90 ERA. Leon had been in extended spring training all season before Friday's unsuccessful Stockton debut.
Cabaniel began the 2005 season in Kane County but was sent to extended spring training after a rough April that saw him allow six runs in 7.2 innings pitched. Cabaniel split the 2004 season between A-Modesto and short season A-Vancouver. He was 9-4 between the two squads.
Javier Herrera Returns To Kane County; Cougars Still Fall
Centerfielder Javier Herrera returned to Kane County after a week at AAA-Sacramento, but even his big bat couldn't jump-start the Cougars' tepid offense. Herrera did his part to try to rescue the Cougars. He went 2-4 with an RBI. It wasn't enough, however, as the Cougars fell. 2-1.
2004 first round draft choice Michael Rogers had his best outing of the season, tossing six shut-out innings. He struck out four and walked two, lowering his ERA to 5.04. J.R. Pickens, who was sent down from Stockton to Kane County on Thursday, relieved Rogers in the seventh inning with Kane County leading 1-0. He quickly coughed up the lead, allowing two runs in the seventh inning on a two-run homerun. He settled down and worked the eighth and ninth without allowing a run, but it wasn't enough, as Kane County failed to plate another run.
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