Down on the Dodger Farm June 16

As Hideo Nomo's pitching woes continue the Dodgers, feeling Edwin Jackson is not quite ready for prime time, contemplate possible trade scenarios. But, maybe, they should take another look in the direction of <b>Las Vegas</b>, this time at Joel Hanrahan. He may well be able to not only help them with his arm but also with his bat.

Hanrahan, don't forget, was the Pitcher of the Year for the Southern League in 2003 and looked very much like that person Wednesday as he took command for six innings in a 6-1 victory over Portland (Padres). Not only did he throw well, he hit well with a double off the right field wall and a triple to center off former big leaguer Donovan Osborne.

The batting display was indeed impressive but it's the mound work that will interest the Dodgers. There the 22-year-old righthander showed no lasting effects from the arm aches that sidelined him most of the spring as he didn't allow a hit until two outs in the fifth, giving up only three in all. His span of work might have lasted longer but he had to admit, "I got tired running out that triple." Winded or not, it was the second straight strong showing for Hanrahan, now 3-2.

He also had batting help from Antonio Perez with his eighth home run and a single, Koyie Hill with a double and single and Jason Repko with two singles. However, Vegas remains 13 out in the PCL South.

While time dwindles down for Columbus, it continues to battle -- literally -- for the first-half title in the SAL South, banging the Rome Braves around more ways than one in a 15-10 affair that saw eight players ejected. The brawl occurred in the bottom of the ninth and resulted in five Columbus players tossed but by then they had done more than enough with their offense.

A good thing, too, for Chuck Tiffany, just activated from the disabled list, wasn't around too long, being ripped for six hits and four runs in two innings. Still, bats were smoking as Xavier Paul drove in five runs with his fifth homer and two singles, Tony Abreau just missed the cycle with a triple, double and single, Matt Kemp doubled and singled twice and Andy LaRoche smashed his 13th homer and 20th double.

Alvis Ojeda (4-2) was the winner despite being reached for four runs (none earned) in four innings. While the Fish are now just one-half game out of second place in the SAL South, they still remain three games back of division leader Capital City with just four left to play in the first half.

A similar dilemma faces Vero Beach, which rode two home runs by Delwyn Young to a 6-2 win over Brevard County (Expos) which still left them four games out in the Florida State East with four to go in the half. Young, who had struck out seven times in a row, going into the game, cranked out his eighth and ninth of the year to drive in four and back Jonathan Broxton (5-4), who held the Manatees to four hits and two runs ( one earned ) over six.

Trey Dyson also homered for the Dodgers, his second.

Jacksonville had the day off.