Down on the Dodger Farm, May 26

When you're in the need of some R & R -- and the Las Vegas players definitely were -- there's nothing quite like a trip to Colorado. Ah, that bracing mountain air! Hit some balls up into it and as they fly off into the distance, your spirits will soar with them. After seven -- count 'em -- seven defeats in succession, the 51's finally had a night of pure enjoyment Wednesday. They drove six out of the park, collected 15 hit sand laughed their way to a 17-6 rout of Colorado Springs.

Chin Feng Chen led the way with two home runs including a grand-slam and was joined by Rick Bell who also poled two plus one each by the unrelated Garcia's - Luis and Sergio - and the rehabbing Jayson Werth.

Chen accounted for six RBI with his pair of dingers to give him seven on the year while Werth drove in five for the night, three on his first homer since his assignment here. Luis Garcia's clout tied him for the league lead with 16 while Bell's were Nos. five and six. Sergio's was his first since reporting from Jacksonville.

All this backed Edwin Jackson (5-2), who threw a very tidy six innings, giving up six hits and three runs. The 51's are now seven 1/2 out in the Pacific Coast South.

While Jacksonville had the evening off, the other two Dodger entries also spent the time pounding out hits as Vero Beach took care of the Lakeland Tigers 6-3 and Columbus got past Capital City (Mets), 9-8.

Another rehabbing LA Dodger, Dave Roberts, went 0-5 but, heck, Vero didn't need the help as they racked up 12 hits, 11 of then singles in its victory. Joel Guzman and Alex Requena both had three apiece with Jesse Hoorelbeke and Bryan Goelz each contributing a pair. Requena also stole two bases, giving him 19 for the season.

Making his second start, Mike Rodriguez had his best yet as he held the Tigers down to three hits and a run, winning his first decision since coming up from Columbus. Steve Schmoll stretched his scoreless inning string to 19 with a perfect ninth for his third save. Once more Vero crept close to .500 at 24-25 and is six out in the Florida State East.

Andy LaRoche ripped two homers including the gamer in the ninth as Columbus shook up the standings in the South Atlantic Southern Division a bit. The Catfish remained in a tie for the top spot with Rome while Charleston fell one-half game off the pace with Cap City (which represents Columbia, S.C.) 1 1/2 back.

LaRoche's two blasts, his ninth and 10th, drove in four runs. Luis Jimenez and Matt Kemp both had a double and two singles with Chin-lung Hu doubling and singling. All this was needed for lefty Chuck Tiffany, who was perfect last time out, was anything but this time. Tiffany was assaulted for six hits and six runs (five earned) in 4.2 innings .

The Bombers tallied twice more against Alvis Ojeda before Marcos Carvajal (3-0) and Jose Diaz righted matters, holding them runless the rest of the way. Diaz recorded his league-best 12th save.

Player Moves--Righthander Franquelis Osoria was also moved up from Jacksonville to Las Vegas, along with Sergio Garcia.