Dodger Farm Report August 19th

The Dodgers first-round draft picks of the last two years- James Loney and Greg Miller in 2002 and Chad Billingsley (2003) have definitely been  racing upward through the system quickly and most impressively . It may not be quite as swift for Scott Elbert, the first choice of 2004 but that doesn't mean the kid from Missouri doesn't have real ability , something he demonstrated Tuesday night.

Elbert , a right-hander from a small town (Seneca) tucked in the lower west part of the state, has been spending the time after he signed adjusting to the much faster pace of the Pioneer League. While the results haven't been pleasant some of the time, his innate talent has been evident, never more so than Tuesday when he was the first of three Ogden pitchers to cooperate in blanking Billings 7-0, the first shutout for the Raptors this season.

Elbert went the first five innings , holding the Mustangs to five hits while striking out two to even his record at 2-2. Then came the unrelated Alvarez's- Carlos for three and Gabe for one to complete matters. Meanwhile both Hector Arias and Travis Denker doubled and singled, Ryan Russ added a pair of hits to push the Raptors to within 1 1/2 games of Idaho Falls for the final playoff spot available in the league's South Division.

Elsewhere things weren't generally so satisfying for Dodger teams.

Tucson 10, LAS VEGAS 7
Heath Totten (6-11) was raked for 11 hits and seven runs in five innings so 15 hits by the 51's weren't enough. Luis Garcia, Byron Myrow, Jason Repko, Joe Thurston, Rick Bell and John Barnes all had two hits . Garcia and Bell's totals included a double while Repko poked a triple. Vegas is 15 out in the PCL South.

Chattanooga 6, JACKSONVILLE 1
Derek Michaelis, subbing for the injured Loney at first, sent his ninth home run out but that was all the Suns scoring. T. J. Nall (6-5) was bounced for all the runs .The Suns are 14 1/2 in arrears in the Southern League East.

VERO BEACH 7, Brevard County 3
Mike Megrew (7-5) was tagged for three runs before a single out was recorded, then turned it around completely, slamming the door for five and the win. Juastin Simmons , up from the Gulf Coast, followed with three impressive innings. Delwyn Young, sent No. 22 out plus two singles as the Dodgers stretched their Florida State East lead to five games.

Lexington 9, COLUMBUS 3
The fading Catfish dropped another on a dreary road trip with Arturo Lopez (4-3) absorbing 10 hits and all the runs. Alejandro De Aza drove in all three Fish runs with and a double and single . Matt Kemp tripled and singled. The Fish are 6 1/2 back in the SAL South .

Talk about frustration. After sweeping a doubleheader from the Mets Monday, the Dodgers were poised to take over first in the East Division with a victory and led 6-5 going into the last of the ninth. However, the Mets came up with an unearned run to send it into extra innings. The Dodgers scored in the top of that frame but the Mets retaliated again. L.A's team couldn't score in the 11th but the Mets could again to stretch its hold on the top slot to 1 1/2 games.

Rotsen Gil hit his first homer and also doubled . Howard Zuleta (1-3) yielded all three of the damaging runs , two of them unearned as a result of his own errors.

PLAYER MOVES - Catcher Tom Wilson, acquired in a trade for Tony Socarras, has been assigned to Las Vegas with Eric Langill moving down to Jacksonville.##### Right-hander Jose Obispo and outfielder Sam Steidl have been activated with the Gulf Coast team. Steidl had two hits while Obispo threw 3.2 scoreless in yesterday's setback.

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