On the Dodger Farm June 1

Jayson Werth is finishing his rehab assignment with a thunder and lightning show that the Nordic god Thor would approve. Hong Chi Kuo is really just beginning his and there were, well, scattered showers.

It would be no surprise if Werth isn't rushed to L.A. by private jet after his performance Tuesday in which he sent three home runs soaring out of Cashman Field, and tossed in a single for good measure. That show gave Werth, who's rehabbing a pulled stomach muscle, six runs batted in for the night. What it didn't give was a victory to the 51's as they fell before Edmonton (Expos) 16-12.

All those fireworks helped Werth, who was obtained in a spring trade with Toronto for Jason Frasor, to a .417 average with five homers and 19 ribbies in the 13 games he played since joining Vegas. He had plenty of company in the big hit show as Koyie Hill pounded out two doubles and two singles and both Chin Feng Chen and Nick Theodorou banged a home run and two singles apiece. It was No. eight for Chen, No. 3 for Theodorou.

But it was all in vain as the Trappers tore into Heath Totten (2-7) for 10 runs, six earned. They went to score six more times against four relievers leaving Vegas seven back in the PCL South.

Kuo was making his first appearance in actual competition in over a year as he worked in relief at Columbus. The 22-year-old lefthander from Taiwan, thus begins the latest in a series of comeback attempts, this time after his second Tommy John surgery. Entering the game in the seventh, he worked a solid inning, was touched for a run in the eighth and when he opened the ninth with a walk followed by a single, was removed for closer Jumbo Diaz.

During that spell, Kuo flashed some good form, some a bit off as he struck out four before departing. Unfortunately for his ERA, Diaz was ripped for a double and a single before finally closing matters out in a 7-5 win over Charleston, S.C.

The plan is to use Kuo in conjunction with Chuck Tiffany (3-0), who returned to form as he allowed only one hit and a lone run in the 5.2 innings he threw. Luis Jimenez had two doubles and a single while Andy LaRoche doubled and singled as the Catfish moved into a tie for second with Rome in the SAL South, two games behind Charleston.

Jacksonville received a big lift from Glenn Bott (2-4) who pitched his finest game as a Dodger, holding Greenville down to two hits. The Suns more than backed him with 17 hits, a new season's high, to down the Braves 8-0. Brennan King and Derek Michaelis led the way, King slamming two doubles plus a pair of singles with Michaelis good for a double and three singles.

Willie Aybar singled three times as the Suns stayed one game behind Chattanooga in the Southern League East.

At Vero Beach, Chad Billingsley was in complete command, keeping the Daytona Cubs hitless for four innings before a soft single spoiled his bid in the fifth. The Cubs managed only two more singles off Billingsley, but did score an unearned run as Billingsley walked five and struck out the same number in the six innings he pitched.

Brian Sprout 's first home run of the season in the second got the Dodgers started. Joel Guzman kept on connecting with his sixth triple and two singles to give him a .299 average. Daytona came on for two runs off Beau Dannemiller before Steve Schmoll ended the threat in the ninth for his fourth save. The victory was only the second against four losses for Billingsley despite a 2.22 ERA. With the win, Vero is now seven out in the Florida State East.

Player Notes--Billingsley and Guzman are two of the five Vero players who have been named to the East team for the league All-Star game to be played at St. Lucie, June 17. Also selected were catcher Russ Martin and pitchers Dimas Reina (already promoted to Jacksonville) and Jonathan Broxton.