Dodger Farm Report May 27

A couple of seasons ago, Luis Jimenez of the Orioles was regarded as one of the coming young power hitters in the minor leagues. He may still fulfil that promise but this time it's for the Dodgers. Jimenez had hit .375 with lots of sock for the O's Appalachian League entry in 2002 but when he floundered to .244 with only one home run in the NYP League last summer, they declined to protect him in the Rule 5 draft.

It was then the Dodgers, who had spotted him healthy once more driving for distance in winter ball, selected him. So far, he's making the choice look very wise, indeed.

A 6-4, 220-pound first baseman who just turned 22 May 7, Jimenez powered two out of the yard Friday night to more than provide the difference for Columbus in a 15-6 raking of Capital City (Mets). The first was a solo shot in the seventh, the second a grand-slam an inning later to give him 10 for the season.

Jereme Milons collected three hits and Xavier Paul drove in three runs with a pair as the Catfish are now one game back of Charleston, S.C. in the South Atlantic Southern Division. Carlos Alvarez (1-0) was the winner in relief of Zach Hammes while Ozzie Rodriguez worked the final three innings for his second save.

Home runs made the difference for Jacksonville, too, as Willie Aybar ripped his fifth in the ninth for a tie and Derek Michaelis provided the winner with his sixth in the 10th as the Suns overcame a night of sloppy base running to take Birmingham (White Sox) 6-5.

James Loney and Wilkin Ruan had three hits apiece, Edwin Bellorin and Brennan King, two, as the Suns collaborated for 15 in all. Yhency Brazoban (4-2) held the Barons in check for the final 1.2 innings to win. Jacksonville remains in third place in the Southern League East, two back of the leader Chattanooga and one behind second-place Carolina.

Las Vegas ended a sad road trip but found no solace at Cashman Field as the 51's were literally zapped by Tucson (Diamondbacks) 11-3. A. J. Zapp was the culprit with three hits including a home run. Rick Bell homered for the fourth time in five nights to give him eight for the season. He also added his 13th double but Zapp and friends got to Harold Eckert ((1-3) for eight runs.

Vegas now occupies the cellar in the Pacific Coast South, 8 1/2 games in arrears.

Vero Beach had to call on some emergency pitching against division-leading Palm Beach but it didn't work out as the Cards sent the Dodgers below .500 again, winning 8-6. With scheduled starter Dimas Reina promoted, Casey Hoorelbeke got the call for the first time as a pro but was reached for three runs in 3.1 innings to lose his first-ever decision. The Cards then collected five more off two just-promoted righthanders, Chad Bailey (two) and Julian De La Cruz (three).

Alex Requena lined three hits and Delwyn Young doubled and tripled but a Dodger rally fell short. Now 25-26, they're seven out in the Florida State East.

Player Moves--Reina, who was leading the Florida State League with a 1.29 ERA, was called up to Jacksonville with De La Cruz brought over from the extended camp to replace him. ... Tommy Piazza, a 26th-round draft choice last season, was released from the extended camp, promptly signed with his brother's organization and was the starting catcher for Capital City in its loss to Columbus, clouting a double in four trips. Tommy split last season between the Gulf Coast Dodgers and Ogden, managing only an .059 average between them.