The Catfish seem to be playing nothing but must-win games these days and on this one they were to play two. That Pimentel was going to be something very special was apparent at the outset when he struck out the first eight Rome Braves he faced in the opener. Before it was over the 19-year-old righthander from the Dominican Republic had fanned 16 for a new club record and Columbus was a 3-1 winner.
In the second contest, with the scheduled starter Chuck Tiffany going on the disabled list, Chad Bailey, a 20-year-old lefthander from Hawaii, took over to allow just one hit over four innings. Then came Kuo, the 22-year-old Taiwanese lefty who's been battling arm problems for four years now. He threw three shutout innings in which he scattered four hits, walking only one while striking out four as Columbus won 5- 0.
And that, rather incredibly, was to become the first-ever professional victory for Kuo for during his long arduous trials, he never before had been around a game long enough to chalk up a win.
The twin wins moved the Fish past Rome into third place in the SAL South, two back of Charleston, S.C. with Capital City running second just 1/2 game behind. Triples by Jereme Milons and Matt Kemp provided the runs to give Pimentel (6-4) needed as he was touched for only three hits during his seven inning dazzler. Xavier Paul got the offense started in the second with a two-run first inning double. Andy LaRoche, who was 2-2 in the opener, later sent his 12th homer out in the second game.
Jacksonville also had one of the crucial games, facing division leading Chattanooga (Reds) but this one slipped away from the Suns, who lost 4-3, to drop 3 1/2 games off the pace in the Southern League East. Starter Dimas Reina ( 6-4) had given himself a 3-2 lead in the fifth with a two-run double but in the seventh yielding a two-base knock that tied it again. Yhency Brazoban came in only to be ripped another double that chased the winner home.
Nick Alvarez hit his third homer for the Suns.
Mike Megrew took a no-hitter into the fifth for Vero Beach when the Daytona Cubs took advantage of two walks and a misplayed fly ball to get back into the game. Two innings later against Beau Dannemiller (2-4), they were at it again, cashing in a pair of runs without a hit to win 4-3.
Joel Guzman stayed hot for the Dodgers with two more hits to push his average to .313. Scott Gillitzer also had a couple of hits in Vero's last game before the Florida State League's All-Star weekend. The Dodgers hit the break five games behind in the East Division.
Las Vegas' scheduled game at Edmonton (Expos) was rained out.
Player Moves--With Tiffany on the DL, Chris Testa has been sent from Vero to Columbus to concentrate on pitching. Testa, hitherto an outfielder, has been used occasionally on the mound, having appeared in three games for Vero.
Down on the Dodgers Farm June 9
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