Down on the Dodger Farm

Joel Guzman is an enigma. A 6-5 shortstop, he oozes physical ability which is why the Dodgers handed him a 2.25-million dollar signing bonus in 2001. Yet, in his third season of play, he has maddening stretches of ineffectiveness that can bring coaches and fans alike to points of desperation. But then that talent which seems to be lying dormant suddenly will burst forth. Such was the case Sunday afternoon.

In his second season with Vero Beach, where he has been hitting in the low .200's, Guzman, who had singled earlier, drilled a long home run over the Holman Stadium fence to carry the Dodgers to a 5-2 victory over the Dunedin Blue Jays. It was No. 4 on the season for Guzman and the second comeback win in as many days to bring the Dodgers up to fourth in the Florida State East.

Wildness by starter Mike Megrew (four walks in 3.2 innings) had put Vero in a hole but the relief corps of Rich Bartlett, Steve Schmoll and Jonathan Figueroa combined for 5.1 runless innings. Bartlett, a Rule 5 choice from the Orioles last December, earned his first decision while Figueroa came in to dispose of the final two batters for his initial pro save.

Russ Mitchell added two hits to the cause. While still battling to get even at 15-17, Vero is now four games out.

Jason Repko brought closure to an 0-10 skid in most dramatic fashion by blasting a home run (his fourth ) in the bottom of the 10th to give Jacksonville a 4-3 win over Huntsville (Brewers). It was the 20th victory of the season for the Suns who are now three games up in the Southern League East.

Derek Thompson somehow held the Stars to three runs despite being banged around for 12 hits in six innings. On came Jose Rojas, T. J. Nall, Luis Gonzalez and Franquelis Osoria (1-2), who weren't scored on the rest of the way. Brennan King contributed three hits to the cause while Nelson Castro slammed his fifth homer.

Las Vegas, though, could muster only a lone single by Koyie Hill to fall at Sacramento (A's) 3-1. Starter Joel Hanrahan was touched for only three hits but walked six before departing in a 1-1 tie after four. Whereupon the River Cats jumped on Winston Abreu (0-2) for two in the fifth to leave the 51's 3 1/2 back in the Pacific Coast South.

Columbus wasn't scheduled.

PLAYER MOVES-- Righthander Nathan Ruhl was called up to Las Vegas from Jacksonville. The Suns, however received outfielder Reggie Abercrombie after he completed his rehab at Vero. Reggie started in right and tripled in the victory over Huntsville. With Abercrombie moved up, Vero brought Russ Mitchell back from the extended camp.

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