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Choice, Vogt continue Cats' outburst04/14/2013 9:04 PM ET
By Jonathan Raymond / Special to MLB.com
Triple-A Sacramento scored two runs in the first inning of its series opener against Reno on Friday night. Over the next 26 innings, the River Cats went on to add 51 more.
The prodigious stretch for Sacramento's lineup began with a 16-8 win over the Aces. Then the River Cats outslugged the hosts, 15-11, on Saturday. The A's top affiliate scored in 17 of 27 innings over the weekend, with the lineup contributing from top to bottom.
Michael Choice and Stephen Vogt took their turns on Sunday afternoon in a 22-6 romp, with Choice going yard twice and Vogt collecting five hits and six RBIs.
For Choice, the A's third-ranked prospect, it was a breakout game of sorts. He came into the game sporting a .195/.313/.293 line in 10 games. After smacking opposite-field shots in the second and fourth innings and going 4-for-5 with a career-high five runs scored and three RBIs, he's up to .261/.370/.522.
"I've been trying to work the right side of the field for a while coming into this game and it finally paid off today," Choice said. "Basically, I've been trying to keep my head down on the ball, focusing on that the past couple of days.
"That's what I want to do, is get the ball in the air and drive it to the gaps. It felt good to get that feeling back. It's a hitter-friendly park [in Reno]. It's nice coming from Sacramento, where we've had some colder days, where the winds drift in and sideways, to go to a hitter's park and spark our confidence."
The 23-year-old outfielder drew three walks, scored three times and picked up an RBI in Saturday's game and went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored on Friday, giving him nine runs scored during the series.
"You want to be on base as much as possible, and when you're scoring runs for your team it makes it easier on your pitching staff," Choice said.
For Vogt, a catcher acquired by Oakland in an April 5 trade with Tampa Bay, it was his first five-hit game since he accomplished the feat with short-season Hudson Valley on Aug. 7, 2007.
The 28-year-old has been on a tear in six games with the River Cats, hitting .593/.607/1.296 with four homers, two triples, three doubles and 12 RBIs in only 27 at-bats.
"Anytime you can get your first few hits by the third inning and start off [that way], you can relax and kind of go, 'Oh, now I've got my two hits, let's see what else I can do.' So I'm fortunate," Vogt said. "We're not missing pitches right now and that's the mark of a team that's hot or, call it want you want, but we're just dialed in right now -- hitting the ball hard, getting on base and we've been able to pile on and not let our guard down."
In Sunday's matinee, eight of the nine members of Sacramento's lineup drove in at least two runs, with eight of nine scoring at least once. Scott Moore, Jemile Weeks and Daric Barton each chipped in three hits and drove in at least two runs.
River Cats starter Andrew Werner (1-2) recorded his first win of the season, despite giving up six runs on 13 hits over six innings.
Aces counterpart Nelson Figueroa (0-1) exited after 3 1/3 innings and was charged with 10 runs -- nine earned -- on 10 hits, including a pair of homers.