Here’s a brief look at what happened down on the farm for the A’s affiliates:
The big news Friday was the arrival of infielder Adrian Cardenas from Double-A Midland, who earned a promotion after tearing up Texas League with a .372 average and a league-leading 13 extra-base hits in 19 games. The hot-hitting Cardenas, Oakland’s No. 5 prospect according to Baseball America, will likely split time between second base and shortstop with Cliff Pennington.
For those who haven’t seen the left-handed hitting Cardenas play, here’s video of one of his spring training at-bats in a minor league game. Cardenas, who played second base and batted second during Sacramento’s suspended game Friday against Colorado Springs (Rockies), will help fill the void left when the A’s recalled infielders Eric Patterson and Gregorio Petit.
The 21-year-old Cardenas, who’s a classically trained pianist, arrived along with Matt Spencer (Stockton) and Josh Outman (Oakland) in last July’s Joe Blanton deal with Philadelphia. In his debut Friday, Cardenas grounded out with two runners on and walked before play in Colorado was halted in the third inning due to rain. The teams will resume play today, followed by the regularly scheduled contest.
Vin Mazzaro had his worst outing of the season in a 14-4 Sacramento loss to Colorado Springs on Thursday night. Mazzaro allowed 12 hits and six earned runs in four innings and saw his ERA shoot from 1.35 to 3.38.
Catcher Joel Galarraga went 2-for-4 in his RiverCats’ debut after arriving from extended spring training. Former Athletic Carlos Gonzalez, dealt in the Matt Holliday trade, went 5-for-6 with five RBI and is now hitting .325 through 19 games.
The RockHounds didn’t miss Cardenas’ bat on Friday as they routed San Antonio (Padres) 9-1 to boost their first-place record to 14-7.
Ex-James Logan High and Cal State East Bay standout Archie Gilbert went 3-for-3 with three RBI, including his first Double-A homer, to extend his hitting streak to eight games and jack his average up to .351. First baseman Chris Carter also remained hot, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and blasting his second homer of the season. Carter, hitting .326 and his 23 RBI are second-best in the Texas League.
The hitting didn’t end there as ex-Stanford star Danny Putnam (.325) went 2-for-2 and is now hitting .429 with five HR and 17 RBI in his last 13 games. Also, outfielder Matt Sulentic (.324) went 3-for-4 with a homer to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
Graham Godfrey got the win Friday, allowing just one run and four hits in six innings.
Midland is now also without infielder Corey Wimberly (hand injury), who was hitting .348. Michael Affronti was summoned from Stockton to take his place.
STOCKTON (High Single-A)
Bakersfield (Rangers) smacked Stockton 9-1 Friday night as Ports left-handed Carlos Hernandez had a rocky start. Hernandez gave up four runs and five walks in just three innings while taking the loss.
Stockton’s only run came on an RBI single by catcher Dante Love (39th round, ’06).
KANE COUNTY (Low Single-A)
A Dusty night led to a clean sweep for the Cougars, who used Dusty Coleman’s walk-off homer and Dusty Napoleon’s game-winning sacrifice fly to take a pair of games from Lansing (Blue Jays) on Friday night.
Coleman smacked a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning in the first game, which lifted the Cougars to a 4-3 win. Coleman, who along with Nino Leyja (extended spring training) are the A’s best long-term, in-house shortstop candidates, is now hitting .333. Napoleon, who is more known for having the best name in all of minor league baseball, won Game 2 with his sacrifice fly.
The first-place Cougars (15-6) got a pair of stellar efforts from their starters, with Brett Hunter’s Game 1 effort particularly pleasing. Hunter (7th round, ’08) turned in his best pro start as he went five innings while allowing just one hit and one run, and striking out six. Hunter had an ERA of 10.00 over his last three starts. Reliever Jamie Richmond (2-0, 2.19 ERA), acquired along with Joey Devine in the Mark Kotsay deal, got the win with two scoreless innings.
Ben Hornbeck was also solid in Game 2 while receiving a no-decision. Hornbeck permitted two runs in 5 1/3 innings and struck out eight.