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A’s minor league recap: The longball finally arrives

The A’s minor leaguers hadn’t flexed their muscles much over the first week and a half of the season, with their four affiliates hitting just five home runs over a total of 30 games. The power was on Friday night, though.

Oakland’s minor league teams hit a combined eight home runs, featuring four by Kane County (Low Single-A), including a pair of blasts by hortstop Dusty Coleman. Stockton not only hit its first two home runs of the year — first baseman Matt Spencer and catcher Matt Smith doing the honors — the Ports also ended their eight-game losing streak as they picked up their first win of the season.

Here’s a brief look at what happened down on the farm for the A’s affiliates Friday night:

SACRAMENTO (Triple-A)

The River Cats were the only A’s minor league team to lose Friday as Tacoma (Mariners) roughed up Sacramento starter Edgar Gonzalez on its way to a 6-2 win. Gonzalez went seven innings but allowed all six runs, including a pair of home runs. Gonzalez walked just one and struck out four.

Tacoma catcher Jeff Clement, the No. 3 overall pick in ’05, homered in the first.

Shortstop Gregorio Petit, hitting .267, had a solo homer for the River Cats. Daric Barton (.152) had one of the ‘Cats five hits. DH Sean Doolittle (.306), however, saw his seven-game hitting streak end.

Gio Gonzalez takes the mound Saturday night in Tacoma for Sacramento.

Here’s the recap from Friday’s game.

MIDLAND (Double-A)

The Rockhounds pummeled Arkansas (Angels) 14-8 as they amassed 20 hits, including three apiece from Adrian Cardenas, Corey Brown and Danny Putnam, and sit alone atop theTexas League’s South division at 5-3.

Cardenas slammed his first home run of the season while boosting his average to .353. The second baseman’s homer was just the club’s second in its eight games. Brown, whose three-run double came within inches of clearing the fence for a grand slam in the second inning, is now hitting .455. Brown is 10-for-15 after beginning the season 0-for-7.

Chris Carter had two hits and drove in three runs as the big first baseman is now hitting .235 with eight RBI. Carter, who hit 39 home runs last year, is still searching for his first this year. Catcher Josh Donaldson had a pair of hits to boost his average to .200.

Travis Banwart was the recipient of the offensive onslaught as he picked up the win after allowing three runs in five innings.

Here’s the recap from Friday’s game.

STOCKTON (High Single-A)

Matt Spencer’s grand slam and a three-run blast by catcher Matt Smith helped the Ports outlast San Jose 8-7 for Stockton’s first win of the season. The home runs, in fact, were the first two for the Ports in their nine games.

Smith’s shot gave the Ports a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning and Spencer’s slam provided an 8-3 Stockton edge in the fifth. The Giants chipped away, though, and scored twice in the ninth against Stockton reliever Dan Thomas to close within 8-7. Thomas, though, got a pair of strikeouts, including one against Giants phenom Buster Posey, to record the save.

Ports starter Scott Hodsdon (6th round, ’07) went 4 2/3 innings and allowed three runs. He walked one and struck out three.

Here’s the recap from Friday’s game.

KANE COUNTY (Low Single-A)

Shortstop Dusty Coleman hit two of Kane County’s four home runs and Shawn Haviland was sensational on the mound as the Cougars downed Cedar Rapids (Angels) 8-1. Coleman drove in three runs and is now hitting .333 with an OPS of 1.123 in eight games.

Grant Desme had two hits, including his first home run, and is now 6-for-8 in his last two games after an 0-for-20 start. Steve Kleen also had a home run and three RBI for the Cougars while boosting his average to .414.

Haviland (33rd round, ’08) allowed a first-inning run and just three hits in 5 2/3 innings while also striking out eight. The right-hander walked just one. Reliever Scott Deal struck out four in two innings and now has nine strikeouts in his six innings thus far.

Here’s the recap from Friday’s game.

Jon Becker