Down on the Farm Report

Delwyn Young can hit. You had to believe that even though this season he had so much trouble at the plate that for him the Mendoza line began to seem like a shining goal of offensive excellence. But lately there have been signs that he's been moving out of the doldrums and Thursday night his true ability with a bat began to emerge.

A Vero Beach-St. Lucie duel lingered on to the 13th inning before Young put an end to it with a shot over the fence. It was his third hit of the night, also his third homer of the season and it gave Vero a 3-2 victory. For Young, whose outs have even been well-stroked lately, it saw his average climb to .216, hardly respectability but getting there.

Russell Martin collected two more hits for the Dodgers while Eric Hull had another solid start, going seven innings in which he allowed only four hits and just one run. But the Mets picked up an unearned run for the tie and the extra innings in which Dimas Reina held them scoreless for two and one-third to gain his first victory , pulling Vero up to 9-13.

Las Vegas had problems early and late at Fresno as the Grizzlies, an affiliate of the Giants, scrambled to a 5-4 victory. Edwin Jackson had another troubling start as he was roughed up for three runs in the first before settling down to pitch three scoreless. Jackson, whose ERA is now 6.29, didn't figure in the decision, though as the 51's came back, pulling to 4-4 with a ninth-inning run. However, Fresno retaliated in the bottom of the inning to make Troy Brohawn (0-1) the loser.

Nick Theodorou kept his hot bat going for Vegas with three more hits, Koyie Hill collected two and Luis Garcia hit home run No. 4. The loss set the 51's back to 9-12.

Andrew Brown relied more on mixing up his pitches rather than overpowering people but the results were another imposing performance for Jacksonville. However, the Suns were another who saw things go awry in the ninth as they dropped a 2-1 decision to Mobile (Padres). Brown was touched for only three hits and nary a run in 5.2 innings, striking out eight to push his league-leading total to a nigh unbelievable 44 in just 25 innings .

Jose Rojas followed with 2.1 shutout innings and it appeared that one run would be enough but an error by Nelson Castro allowed the Baybears some room in the last inning and they went on to hand Elvin Nina his first loss in four decisions. Now 15-6, Jacksonville still retains a three-game division lead.

Two rather impressive streaks were extended for Columbus, which got by Asheville (Rockies) 2-1. Xavier Paul singled in four trips to run his consecutive -game hit string to 14 while Jamaal Hamilton pitched a scoreless inning and has now gone 12 in all without allowing an earned run.

Phil Sobkow was nicked for just one hit and one run in three innings of his debut for the Catfish. Alvis Ojeda went three scoreless for his second win while Jose Diaz once again was a strong closer for his fifth save. Mike Nixon with three hits and Jereme Milons with a double and single were the offensive leaders as the Fish climbed to 12-8.

Player Moves-- Outfielder Daylon Holt, who was a Rule 5 draftee last December, has been promoted from Jacksonville to Las Vegas.

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