Down on the Dodger Farm

There may be life to the season for Las Vegas, after all. No, the 51's lost again Friday, but somebody seems to have discovered that there are to be two halves in the Pacific Coast League. Not only that, the second portion of the season started two weeks Vegas suddenly is listed with a 4-6 record, only two games behind, not 14 out as they were yesterday. Whatever the case, Antonio Perez keeps going out there and playing first-rate baseball, day after day.

Perez has proved a solid addition to the Vegas infield ever since being acquired from Tampa Bay for Jason Romano just before the start of the season. Last night he smacked his 11th home run plus a single to raise his average to .303 only to see the 51's fall to Salt Lake 8-3. Nick Theordoreau also hit his fourth plus a triple and both Luis Garcia and Jose Flores had two hits. However the Stingers got to Mark Johnson (2-6) early for all their runs.

So Vegas apparently moved back into contention even while losing. Meanwhile the other Dodger affiliates were all winners with a lot of division leaders as a result.

Jacksonville 6, Birmingham 5--Brennan King hit a two-run blast (No. 8) in the ninth for a tie, then Nelson Castro singled with the bases loaded in the 11th to give the Suns their inital second half win after two losses. After the Barons reached T. J. Nall for four runs, Jose Rojas and Franquelis Osoria (3-3) combined for 5.2 innings in which only one crossed. Shane Victorino established a career best with his fifth homer and Reggie Abercrombie bombed his third.

Vero Beach 8, Fort Meyers 4--The Dodgers won their third straight after an opening loss in this half to climb into a three way tie for first in the Florida State East. Mike Megrew (5-2) was effective again, throwing 5.1 innings in which the Miracle managed only three hits and one run. Brian Sprout led the attack with three hits including his third homer A. J. Ellis and Russ Martin had two hits each.

Columbus 5, Augusta 4--The Greenjackets jumped on Brandon Weeden for three first inning runs, then he settled in and the Catfish came on even their record at 2-2. Xavier Paul pounded two doubles and Tony Abreau, who started the winning rally, contributed two singles. Weeden, who wound up going five in which he gave up four runs, was the winner (3-3) with Marcos Carvajal, (three innings, two hits, no runs) and Eric Stults ( one hitless frame) backing him nicely. Stults was credited with his first save.

Ogden 5, Casper 3--Jordan Pratt, who was 0-9, 7.69, last year for the Raptors, showed what a year's experience can do as he pitched five innings in which the Rockies managed only four hits and a run to gain his first pro victory. Luis Castillo doubled and singled and both Blake DeWitt and Dan Batz singled twice as the Raptors moved into first in their Pioneer League division with a 4-2 record. Matt Alexander pitched the ninth for his second save.

GCL Dodgers 10, Marlins 2--The rampage continues as these Dodgers once again reached double figures in hits (10). Rehabbing John Barnes and third baseman Jamie Hoffman, who turned down an NHL offer to play this game, each banged two singles. Righthander Kenny Plaisance, a 23rd -round draft pick from Louisiana, cruised to his first pro victory, being reached for only one run in five innings. This was the third in a row for the Dodgers, who are 4-1, good for first place in the East Division.