Down on the Farm Report

After spending the last four seasons in the big leagues, Tanyon Sturtze quite naturally yearns to return. But if he has to spend some time back in the minors, well, then, Las Vegas is the place to be. It's not the gambling tables that made Sturtze finally opt for Vegas after bouncing around a bit this spring. No, it's pitching coach Roger McDowell that ultimately made his decision.

Minor games of 4/16 And it seems to be working out as the 33-year-old righthander threw seven innings of one-hit ball as Vegas snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-1 triumph over Portland (Padres) Friday night.

After having been released by the Blue Jays over the winter, Sturtze signed with the Dodgers as a minor league free agent with a non-roster invitation to spring training. Failing to make the team, he opted to sign with Tampa Bay for whom he had played for three seasons. But he didn't make that squad either so returned to the Dodgers because, "McDowell showed me a few things and I thought if I have to be in the minors, he's the guy I want to be with."

Sturtze was followed to the mound by Rick White, another big league vet working to return, who finished with two scoreless innings. The offense was led by Shane Victorino and Luis Garcia, each with two hits, as the 51's won for only the third time.

Jacksonville went on the road for the first time to see its all-winning ways come to its inevitable conclusion as West Tennessee (Cubs) ended the streak at seven, 9-3. Glenn Bott, another pitcher who came into the system in a rather convoluted way, gave up four runs (two earned) in 3.2 innings to lose his debut for the Suns. Bott, a lefthander was acquired for Aaron Looper, who had come over in the trade for Jolbert Cabrera, only to be designated for assignment when roster space was needed for Milton Bradley. The Mariners then took Looper back in exchange for Bott, who pitched in the California League last year.

T.J. Nall was pounded for five runs by the Diamond Jaxx. Brennan King and Nelson Castro each had two hits in the loss with King collecting his first home run.

Losing to the Palm Beach Cardinals 5-0, Vero Beach fell to 3-6 as the 6-10 former Phillies prospect Brad Baisley lost his second decision. The Dodgers managed only three hits.

Xavier Paul slammed his first home run and second triple to lead Columbus (4-4) past Augusta (Red Sox) 5-2. Jereme Milons led off with a homer, his second in as many days, while both Andy LaRoche and Chin-lung Hu added a double and single apiece.

Jarod Plummer worked five solid innings for his first victory . Omar DeLo Santos and Jamaal Hamilton followed with two scoreless innings each.

Injury Update--Lefty Mike Megrew, who had to be backed off at Vero Beach because of arm aches, threw two strong innings in an extended camp game. However, Brian Pilkington, who had been scheduled for that contest, was shut down again because of a recurring shoulder problem that may be tendinitis. ... At Columbus, Chad Bailey is also hurting and out for an indefinite period.