Down on the Dodger Farm

The play of Vero Beach, which had been on life support for over a week, revived in almost miraculous fashion Monday night as the Dodgers rose up and figuratively danced around Holman Stadium. They not only had excellent pitching -- that's not a surprise, really, but backed that with their most lavish assault of the season and threw in some dazzling defense besides. Oh, there were a lot of guys having a lot of fun but, quite possibly, those having the most were the Hoorelbeke siblings.

Vero swept through the Tampa Yankees 9-3 in the first game of a doubleheader, then kept right on rolling, winning 10-0 in the second. Big (6-3, 225) Jesse Hoorelbeke, just down from Jacksonville so he can get some at-bats, was making the most of that. Batting clean-up, he had a double and single in the first game and repeated the process in the second, totaling three RBI. And with the entire Hoorelbeke clan down from the Pacific Northwest looking on, younger brother Casey (who's even bigger at 6-8, 245) made his professional debut after being called up from the extended camp as the pair became teammates for the first time anywhere.

Casey worked two good innings in relief of Chad Billingsley spoiled only by a home run but since that folowed an error, the runs wound up being unearned. Billingsley had gone five in which he allowed only one run while striking out six. He lowered his ERA to 1.83 and finally, finally had the support to win his first game aginst three losses.

Dimas Reina, a 22-year-old Venezuelan righthander, took over in the second contest and was on cruise control most of the way as he threw the first complete game shutout in the system this season. The Yanks managed only four hits off him as he upped his record to 4-2 and sent his ERA down to 1.50, which is the best in the league.

All the while the hitters were banging away. Delwyn Young, who was htting .189 at the begiinng, splurged, sending two out into the berm in the first game to total five for the season. He wound up with five hits and two stolen bases for his night's work. Joel Guzman doubled and singled in both while Brian Sprout racked up three RBI in the second.

While Alex Requena didn't have a hit all night, he did make two classy catches in center field, one an over-the-shoulder job that is worthy of an ESPN highlight. With the sweep, Vero has now won three in a row but is still eight 1/2 back in the Florida State East.

Las Vegas was another team on a hitting binge and needed to be as it got by Oklahoma (Rangers) 8-7. With a home run (5), double (11) and single, Koyie Hill ran his consecutive game streak to 13. Cody Ross jacked his first out while Jayson Werth, beginning a rehab stint with the 51's, poked a triple and single. Tom Farmer (1-2), just off the disabled list himself, picked up the victory in relief of Harold Eckert with Troy Brohawn recording his first save.

Once again, Vegas has climbed close to .500 at 19-20 and remains four 1/2 out in the Pacifc Coast South.

Jacksonville played a morning contest attended in the main by kids enjoying their first day of vacation but the Suns didn't share the feeling, losing to Chattanooga (Reds) 2-1 in 11 innings. A home run off Brian Steffek (0-1), reccently called up from Vero, did the Suns in and shaved their Southern League East lead to one over Carolina, which won.

The Suns couldn't make the most of 10 hits that included a triple and single by Reggie Abercrombie and two singles by Nelson Castro. Also wasted was a fine start by Glenn Bott, who went 6.2 in which he gave up just four hits and a run.

Speaking of fine starts, Zach Hammes had his best yet for Columbus and he was rewarded with a 5-1 triumph over Hagerstown (Giants). Hammes pitched seven innings of shutout ball, being touched for just three hits, walking not a soul while striking out eight in evening his record at 2-2. A two-run shot by Luis Jimenez (No.7), another just off the D.L., in the first got the Catfish going. Homers also accounted for the others in the third as Matt Kemp hit his third with a man on and Dom Laurin his first, a solo blast.

With the win, Columbus moved into second place in the South Atlantic Southern Division, two 1/2 behind Charleston, S.C.

Player Moves--The Dodgers have signed two pitchers from the 2003 draft as draft-and-follows. Lefthander David Pfeifer (14th round) from Ft. Pierce, Florida, is 6-1, 170 who played with Indian River J. C. Righthander Jesus Castillo, 6-1, 170, from Tucson, Arizona, played juco ball in his home state. Both will report to the extended camp.