Down on the Dodger Farm

After Jason Repko and Brennan King were the first two choices of the Dodgers in the 1999 amateur draft, they quickly established themselves as a pair of the finer prospects in the system. Time and injuries have dulled that gloss since then so that some might have been inclined to write them off as mistakes. But, guess what -- they're b-a-a-ack.

Third baseman King lined three hits to raise his batting average to .310 while Repko pushed his to a robust .340 with two to carry Jacksonville to a 7-2 victory over Huntsville (Brewers) Thursday in an game marred by a basebrawl Derek Michaelis also had two hits to back Ryan Ketchner, who was strong once again to win his third straight with a six-inning, four-hit, one-run performance.

The fight broke out after Tony Socarras was hit on the shoulder by a pitch in the eighth inning. Words were exchanged and when Socarras slid hard into second to try to break up a double play so were pushes and punches. Socarras wound up being tossed but the Suns wound up at 18-9 to increase their division lead to two games.

Las Vegas started its game against Tucson (Diamondbacks) at 10:30 a.m. whereupon Heath Totten (1-3) learned very quickly it was not going to be his day. On his second pitch -- bam. He kept throwing and the balls kept going out of the yard -- bam, bam, bam. Was Chef Emeril in the building ? Four in the inning, one short of the Pacific Coast League record. Totten kept at it only to see another depart in the second.

Actually after that Heath settled down and pitched well while Vegas was collecting 12 hits of its own including long shots by Luis Garcia (#6) and Koyie Hill (#3). But Tucson mauled Augustin Montero for six runs to pull away to an 11-5 victory that snapped a three-game win streak for the 51's who are now 12-16 and no doubt a bit shellshocked.

Banging out hits was not something either Vero Beach or Columbus was doing. Vero was shaded 4-3 by Brevard County (Expos) despite an excellent performance by Chad Billingsley while one day after scoring 15 runs Columbus was held down by Augusta (Red Sox) 6-1.

Coming back from a groin pull that caused him to miss one start, Billingsley struck out 11 and was touched for only three hits and an unearned run in five innings as the Dodgers gained a 3-1 advantage over major leaguer Tony Armas, Jr. on a rehab assignment. But Beau Dannemiller, who had been pitching well of late, faltered this time with three seventh-inning runs giving the Manatees the edge.

Vero (13-16) managed only five singles and a double by Alex Requena, who also stole a base to become the first player in the organization to reach double figures in that department.

Columbus had but four hits with a triple by Chin-Lung Hu leading to its only run. Zach Hammes (1-2) gave up three runs in 3.2 innings while Arturo Lopez was roughed up for four more. Still the Catfish, now 17-10, held onto a tie for first with Charleston, S.C. in their division.