Down on the Farm -- May 5

There are two schools of thought on Cody Ross. Doubters say he's an overachiever who'll flame out in Triple -A. Believers say he may not be imposing physically but he's a rugged competitor who finds ways to beat on you -- sort of a baseball version of Oscar DelaHoya. The Dodgers obviously belong to the latter group which is why they traded Steve Colyer for him but they've had to wait awhile to even begin to see who's right.

Due to an injured knee Ross has been out of action for some three weeks but Wednesday night he was back in right field and was the ultimate difference offensively as the 51's edged Tucson (Diamondbacks) 4-3 for their third straight win since returning home to Cashman Field. And it was Ross who provided the winning run, singling it home in the ninth after doubling for another earlier.

Dodger brass including Tommy Lasorda were on hand for the occasion in which they also saw the Edwin Jackson everyone expects. For the first time this season the 20-year-old righthander was truly in charge for seven innings yielding only five hits and three runs (two earned ). A bit of an elbow strain saw him taken out after seven as a precautionary measure. Doug Nickle (2-1) then held the Sidewinders in check the rest of the way .

Rick Bell, the 51's leading hitter with a .333 mark, had another good night, tripling and singling as Vegas moved to 12-15.

It was good night, too, for a lot of other hitters around the system as Vero Beach nailed Brevard County (Expos) 5-1 and Columbus came home to crush Augusta (Red Sox) 15-4. Jacksonville was idle.

For Vero, Delwyn Young, Trey Dyson and Joel Guzman each had a double and single, Reggie Abercrombie, Scott Gillitzer and Alex Requena were good for a pair of hits and Russell Martin contributed a key double in the assault that brought the Dodgers up to 13-15 for the season. Making a spot start, Dimas Reina (3-1) checked Brevard on five hits over seven innings.

Columbus, now 17-9, scored eight times in the sixth to continue to hold a tie for the division lead. In that large inning, Tony Abreau tripled with the bases loaded and before it was over Andy LaRoche added three more with a shot over the wall, his fourth. Later Abreau, who had three hits and four RBI, almost had an inside-the-parker when he ripped one off the top of the wall but he stumbled rounding third and was thrown out at the plate.

Jereme Milons also had three hits while Xavier Paul, Matt Kemp and Alejandro De Aza all had two. Brandon Weeden threw a strong five innings, allowing just four hits and one run to even his record at 2-2.

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