Down on the Farm

Chin Feng Chen is already in the big leagues, Luis Garcia is acting like he well could follow but it doesn't look like Edwin Jackson will be up anytime soon.

Chen had been promoted from Las Vegas after Tuesday's game while Garcia, the Mexican first baseman picked up as a free agent over the winter, kept his early-season power surge going by hitting his third home run in six games Wednesday. But Jackson, the 20-year-old righthander , was treated rudely as Vegas lost to Tacoma (Mariners) 7-6, its fourth straight setback.

Edwin, you certainly recall, had been L.A. manager Jim Tracy's designated fifth starter and even after he was sent down there were hints he could assume that role when the schedule called for it. A fine effort on opening day gave the notion a further nudge but not so last night as he was rocked for a grand-slam by former Dodger Hiram Bocachica in the fifth inning.

Jackson's final line read 4.1-8-6 and Tracy has now declared that Jose Lima will get the start in Saturday's game.

Garcia had two hits while Joe Thurston hit his first homer.

While Chen went up, Wilkin Ruan came down -- all the way to Jacksonville after no other team bid for him when he was designated for assignment last week. So, he was in center field for the Suns who have yet to experience that losing feeling, winning for the sixth time, this one, 7-6 in 10 innings over the Greenville Braves.

Jesse Hoorelbeke , who accumulated 22 homers between South Georgia and Vero Beach last summer, matched Garcia's output with his third for the Suns. However, like Jackson, righthander Andrew Brown , who was strong in his first outing , was not so in his second, being touched for six hits and four runs (three earned ) in just 3.2 innings. Yhency Brazoban worked a scoreless 10th for his second victory.

Vero Beach finally gained its second victory but had to go eight innings of the second game of a doubleheader to do it, edging Palm Beach 3-2 after dropping the opener, a makeup of Tuesday's rainout, 7-4.

Righthander Dimas Reina received a rare start in the nightcap and responded brilliantly, yielding a lone single in five innings of shutout pitching but the Cardinals picked up a run each off two relievers to force overtime. Brian Steffek then turned them away in the eighth and gained his first victory when the Dodgers scored on an error in the bottom of the extra inning.

The opener featured a bizarre double play in which two Cards were thrown out at home plate on a continuation of the same play. The Dodgers had apparently taken over on back-to-back homers by Chris Testa (1) and Joel Guzman (2) in the fifth but Steve Schmoll (0-1) was roughed up for four runs in two innings.

Testa went 3-for-3 in that game.

Meanwhile Columbus had the displeasure of picking up in fourth inning of a game suspended by a Tuesday storm, one in which they were trailing 11-1 at the time. You know what? Raindrops kept falling on their head as they wound up being humiliated, 17-4. Ozzie Rodriguez (five runs), Omar DeLo Santos (nine) and Carlos Alvarez (three) were the pitchers mugged before Jamaal Hamilton ended the nonsense with three hitless innings before the rain again came to wash out the regularly scheduled game.

Chin -lung Hu homered and Luis Castillo had two doubles for the Catfish, now 2-3.