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Heether back on west coast after being claimed by Oakland As
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­The Oakland Athletics claimed Ripon High graduate and a former Long Beach State standout Adam Heether off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, bringing the Northern California native back home and into the organization which is also developing East Union High alumnus Justin Friend.

Heether, 28, was playing a prominent role for the Brewers Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds, leading the club in home runs, walks and tied for the team lead in runs scored through 50 games. The A’s assigned Heether to the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, and made room on the 40-man roster by transferring injured starting pitcher Justin Duchscherer to the 60-day disabled list.

Heether was drafted by the Brewers in the 11th round of the 2003 amateur draft and has climbed through the minor league ranks over the past five seasons. In 2009, between stops in Double-A Southern League and the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, the third baseman hit .296 with 18 homeruns and 32 doubles. Heether closed out his current stint as a Brewer with a 3 for 4 performance Wednesday including a pair of home runs and three RBIs.

Oakland has only been able to get five home runs from the third base position, making a brief stint with the River Cats a realistic route for the Ripon graduate.

Friend is currently suiting up for the A’s Double-A affiliate Midland in the Texas League, sporting a rock-solid 3.00 ERA in 16 games. The 2007 draftee out of Oklahoma State University has only allowed 10 earned runs in his 30 innings pitched.

— Jagada Chambers