Down on the Farm

Some use their fast balls like a broadsword to hack up the opposition. For some, it's more the rapier, a zing here, a sting there. Either way, you can leave them prostrate which is what happened Saturday night as all four minor league clubs recorded a victory.

For Las Vegas, it was Heath Totten a man with a solid repertoire of pitches which he used to cut down Sacramento (A's) 4-1. For Jacksonville, Andrew Brown complemented his big fast ball with an effective slider to put Carolina (Marlins) away 8-1. A change-up with the weapon of choice for Eric Hull of Vero Beach who sent Jupiter (Marlins) down 3-1. At Columbus, Chuck Tiffany said, " I just went out there and threw" as the Catfish clipped Lakewood (Indians) 6-2.

Totten gave up only three hits over seven innings but one was a home run so he left in a 1-1 tie. The 51's then scored three in the eighth to hand the victory to Rod Myers (1-0) before Augustin Montero came on for the final out and his first save. Both Luis Garcia and Joe Thurston doubled and singled while Koyie Hill had two singles as the 51's moved to 8-9.

Brown struck out eight in 5.2 innings to run his Southern League-leading total to 38. He was touched for only one hit in that span as he gained his first victory and the Suns remained perfect at home winning their ninth at Wolfson Park. Jason Repko lined three hits and stole his fifth base, Brennan King homered, his second, Willie Aybar doubled, singled and stole a base while Edwin Bellorin had a pair of hits for the red-hot Suns who won their fifth in a row for a 13-3 mark.

Mixing his pitches very effectively Hull threw seven scoreless innings for Vero (6-11) allowing four hits while striking out nine. Delwyn Young doubled home the first run in the fourth, then scored on a Joel Guzman single. Russell Martin tripled in another in the eighth. Jupiter got to Dimas Reina for an unearned run in the eighth but he turned them away in the ninth to earn his initial save.

Lefthander Tiffany , the 2003 No. 2 draft pick, was nicked for just a lone hit before reaching his pitch count after just four innings. Thus Ozzie Rodriguez was credited with the win despite giving up two runs in three innings. The Catfish, who moved over .500 to 8-7, were clinging to a 3-2 lead when Estanislao "Tony" Abreau drilled his first professional home run over the right field wall, a three-run shot.

Chin-Lung Hu, Xavier Paul and Andy LaRoche all had two hits for the Fish.

Player Moves-- Rick White , who hadn't been scored upon in relief for Las Vegas, is back in the big leagues as a result, having been traded to the Indians. ...The 51's regained outfielder Chin-Feng Chen who was returned by Los Angeles when pitcher Brian Falkenborg was activated. ...Catcher Tom McGee, a 29-year-old veteran of six pro seasons, was signed and activated at Vero Beach where he served as a designated hitter. McGee played independent ball in 2003.

Injury Report--Vero outfielder Alex Requena was hit in the face by a pitch in the eighth inning of their game. Although he regained his feet, he was taken from the field in an equipment vehicle, then to the hospital for precautionary x-rays.