Down on the Dodger Farm

You can't blame the players of Las Vegas and Vero Beach if they start feeling like Sisyphus. He's the character of legend who is condemned to push a huge boulder up a steep hill. Just as he reaches the crest, it slides away, tumbling down the slope, forcing him to clamber down and begin the task again. Endlessly. So it could seem for Vegas and Vero. They push their way upward toward a .500 record and contention but just as it appears within their grasp, it goes slip-sliding away.

Vegas, which had made its way to within two games of. 500 is now four back, falling for the second straight time to Sacramento (A's), 4-1. Vero is now 15-18 as the Dunedin Blue Jays took them 5-3. Nor were the fortunes any better for the other two Dodger farms Monday as Jacksonville was routed 7-1 by Greenville (Braves) and Columbus outslugged by Lake County (Indians) 9-6.

It was all the more frustrating for Vegas because Edwin Jackson threw his strongest game, five innings in which he allowed only two hits and four walks with nary a run scoring against him. But the 1-0 lead the 51's were nursing evaporated in the late going as the River Cats pounced on Mark Johnson (1-2) for three in the eighth. Antonio Perez collected two hits for the 51's, now 4 1/2 back in the Pacific Coast South.

More of the same for Vero. Starter Eric Hull was in command, going seven in which he was touched for only five hits and a single run. But a two-out error in the eighth gave the Jays another shot at Brian Steffek, hitherto almost impeccable but not on this occasion as he lost for the first time after three victories. Brian Sprout was the only Dodger with two hits as they are now four back in the Florida State East.

Jacksonville's lead in the Southern League East was reduced to two games as Greenville climbed on Andrew Brown (1-2) for six runs in six innings although only two of those were earned. Brown did strike out five before departing, giving him a league-leading total of 56. Nelson Castro had a pair of hits in the lost cause.

Columbus traversed half the country to play at Lake County, located in a Cleveland suburb, but are still one back in the South Atlantic South despite a big evening for Chin-Lung Hu. The Taiwanese shortstop slammed his second home run plus a double and two singles to lead a 13-hit assault that still wasn't enough. Mike Nixon and Jimmy Rohan also contributed two hits apiece whiled Matt Kemp hit his second homer but the Captains chased Phil Sobkow (1-1) with five runs in three innings and were just as unkind to Arturo Lopez ( two runs) and Alvis Ojeda.(three ).

Player Moves--Rohan was sent to Columbus from Vero Beach which activated Rod Van Buizen from the disabled list. The Catfish dropped Luis Castillo back to the extended camp to make room for Rohan. Pitcher Chad Bailey also left the Fish to rehab at Dodgertown.