Down on the Dodger Farm June 28

When you reach age 31 and you're still in the minor leagues, it's not exactly a happy birthday. Still, Jose Flores celebrated the occasion in a manner that the whole Las Vegas team could appreciate on Monday. No, not cake and ice cream, better than that. Flores, a utility infielder obtained from Oakland in the spring, hit not one but two home runs on his natal day with the second serving as the game-winner in an 8-6 triumph over Fresno.

His first blast came in the eighth inning to put Vegas up 6-5. The Grizzlies tied it in the ninth so, in the 10th, Flores ripped a two-run shot to decide matters. That was his fifth of the season and climaxed a three-hit performance to show that he may be getting along in years but still can contribute.

For Edwin Jackson, though, it was another not-so-impressive start as he gave up five runs in the same number of innings. Augustin Montero (1-3), who took care of the only batter he faced, was the eventual winner with Tom Farmer working a scoreless 10th for his first save.

Koyie Hill doubled and singled but Vegas is still 13 out in the PCL South despite winning three in a row.


Carolina 8, Jacksonville 5--The Suns' second-half problems continue as the Mudcats leaped on Brian Steffek (2-3) for seven runs in the sixth inning. Derek Thompson came off the disabled list for five excellent innings, giving up only three hits and one run. Edwin Bellorin slammed two doubles and a single, and James Loney added a double and two singles. Shane Victorino (6) and Reggie Abercrombie (4) hit home runs. Willie Aybar was hitless, ending his consecutive -game streak at 12. The Suns fell to 2-4 and already are four back in the Southern League East.

Vero Beach 6, Sarasota 5--It was the sixth in a row for the Dodgers, who hold a one-game advantage in the Florida State East. Down by two in the eighth, they drew four straight walks when Joe Rogers' knuckleball danced away from the strike zone. Alex Requena then arched a single just inside the right field line to chase the winning runs home.

Jonathan Broxton breezed through four innings but came unraveled in the fifth when all the Red Sox runs scored. Clint Hosford (2-1) was the winner with Jose Diaz recording his fourth save since joining the team, 17 overall for the season. Andy LaRoche hit his second home run and Requena also stole two bases giving him a league-leading total of 28.

Ogden 6, Provo 5--In the first meeting of the year between the two cross-Utah rivals, seldom-used Tommy Piazza, brother of you-know-who, drove in the decisive run with a single in an error-splotched contest. Blake Johnson went four in which he was reached for four runs (three earned), striking out seven in that span. Justin Orenduff, a supplemental first-round pick in the June draft, made his first pro appearance a winning one with one scoreless inning in which he struck out two.

Matt Alexander picked up his second save with a flawless ninth as the Raptors won their fourth in succession to hold a 1 1/2 game lead in the Pioneer League South.

GCL Dodgers 8, Mets 3--Jamie Hoffman continued his red-hot hitting with three more to give him a .500 average and the Dodgers their fifth straight. Rocky Rivera also had three hits as David Pfeiffer notched his second win, allowing only one run in five innings. The 6-1 Dodgers enjoy a three-game lead in the East Division.