Down on the Farm

It's been pretty much of a hit-deprived spring for Vero Beach which has ranked dead-last in the Florida State League in that department. But Sunday, the Dodgers acted like someone on one of those low-carb diets suddenly let loose at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. Oh, how they gorged. When it was over they had left Jupiter (Marlins) lying among the crumbs, 10-3.

Columbus also did some feasting of its own, downing Lakewood (Indians) 9-5 but elsewhere Las Vegas was blanked 6-0 by Sacramento (A's) and Jacksonville finally lost at home for the first time this season as Carolina (Marlins) came out on top 4-1.

Scott Gillitzer led the charge for Vero driving in five runs with three hits. Brett Dowdy, occupying the leadoff role for the first time, banged out a double and two singles and threw in a stolen base. Delwyn Young powered his second home run of the season, Joel Guzman had a double and single and Russ Mitchell two singles as the Dodgers racked up 12 hits in all.

Not that Jonathan Broxton needed all that help. The 19-year-old righthander from Georgia cruised to his third victory in four starts, allowing a paltry two hits, striking out 11 while walking nary a man in seven innings of scoreless pitching. He now leads the league in strikeouts (36) and is second in ERA (1.08.).

Columbus used Xavier Paul as its designated hitter and hit he did, sending a ball into orbit before it landed on the roof of a building located beyond the right -field wall at Golden Park. It was his third of the year and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He also chipped in with two sacrifice flies for a four RBI day.

Jereme Milons contributed three hits as the Catfish won their third in a row to move to 9-7 on the year. Brandon Weeden chalked up his first victory after two losses by going five innings in which he gave up five hits and three runs (two earned). Jumbo Diaz came on for his third save.

Two pitchers recently promoted to Vegas from Jacksonville found the Pacific Coast League more demanding as Winston Abreu was touched for two runs in 2.2 innings for his first loss while Harold Eckert was kicked around for four runs in 1.2 innings. Luis Garcia and Rick Bell shared four of the six hits the 51's, now 8-10, were able to muster .

Jacksonville's all winning ways at home ended in its 10th game at Wolfson Park. It was hardly the fault of lefthander Ryan Ketchner, who was nicked for only one unearned run in six innings but the Mudcats pounced on Franquelis Osoria (0-2) for three and the victory. A home run by Rule 5 draftee Daylon Holt, his first, accounted for the lone Suns run.

Jason Repko continued his strong hitting with a double and single. The setback, which broke a five -game win streak, left the Suns at 13-4 and with a two-game lead in the Southern League's Northern Division.

Player Moves-- With Eckert promoted to Las Vegas, Derek Michaelis came back down in exchange. ... Outfielder Trey Dyson, obtained from the Indians in the Rick White deal, has been assigned to Vero Beach. He's a 6-4, 220-pound, left-handed hitter who had his 24th birthday on Mar. 11. He was a Carolina League and high-A All-Star a year ago when he hit .277 with 15 home runs.

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