Before the start of the 2008 minor league season, we made five predictions about what might happen…
River Cats Triple-A Champs Again
River Cats' starter Brad Knox escaped a bases-loaded, two-out situation in the first inning. Sacramento then jumped on the Yankees' starter Ian Kennedy quickly in the bottom of the first. Chris Denorfia, who won the co-MVP award for the PCL playoffs, doubled to lead-off the game. After one-out, Carlos Gonzalez walked and Wes Bankston followed with an RBI single to stake Sacramento to a 1-0 lead. Brooks Conrad would add an RBI single of his own and Casey Rogowski added an RBI force-out to cap the first inning scoring. Donnie Murphy's RBI double in the sixth inning accounted for the final River Cats' run of the game.
Knox, who is in his sixth season in the A's minor league system, would throw a scoreless second inning and then gave way to right-hander Chris Gissell at the start of the third. The veteran Gissell, who told ESPN after the game that this was his most enjoyable season of his lengthy career, worked three scoreless innings in relief of Knox, striking out four and walking one. He would be named the Bobby Murcer MVP of the game.
Gissell would be followed by a quartet of River Cats' relievers. Left-hander Ryan Wing, who was a PCL mid-season All-Star this year, worked a scoreless sixth. He was followed by right-hander Henry Rodriguez, who allowed the Yankees' only run of the game on two hits and a walk. The 2008 Futures Game participant struck-out one and ended the seventh inning by inducing a double-play. Lefty Brad Kilby, a Sacramento-area native in his first full season at the Triple-A level, was impressive in his 1.1 innings of work. He struck-out two and induced two pop-ups. Veteran right-hander Brett Prinz got the final two outs and the save. The last two outs came on a line-drive double-play that Conrad made an outstanding diving play on.
A's News And Notes
* Outfielder Travis Buck made his return to Oakland for the first time since June 13th. He started in right-field for Oakland and went 2-4 with two RBIs and a hit-by-pitch in the A's 8-1 throttling of the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night. He also stole a base. Buck hit .296 in 45 regular season games with the Sacramento River Cats after batting only .160 in 26 games with Oakland. The Arizona State alum hit .313 during the River Cats' recent PCL championship run. Sacramento post-season co-MVPs Chris Denorfia and Carlos Gonzalez are expected to join Buck and the A's on Wednesday.
* The A's had 12 hits, walked five times and were hit by three pitches on Tuesday. Jack Hannahan homered, his ninth of the season, and Aaron Cunningham, Kurt Suzuki and Daric Barton all doubled. Sean Gallagher had his most impressive start in nearly two months. He allowed only a Kendry Morales solo homerun in seven innings of work. Gallagher struck-out six and walked none and scattered four hits.
* Left-hander Dallas Braden may be done for the season with a groin strain. Braden had a solid 2008 season. In 53.1 innings, the Stockton native had a 2.36 ERA and a 3-1 record for Sacramento. He was 5-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 71.2 innings for the A's this season. That was a big improvement over his 2007 performance with Oakland, when he went 1-8 with a 6.72 ERA.
* The A's raised $116,750 on A's Breast Cancer Awareness Day over the weekend. Over the past 10 years, the Oakland A's Breast Cancer Awareness Day has raised more than $1,000,000 for breast cancer education and research.
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