Dodgers Farm Notes July 9

It helps any player undergoing rehabilitation to have persistence. Masao Kida certainly does for he's persevered. After flopping with Detroit, he returned home to Japan, only to have arm troubles cost him a season. He came back from that, signed with the Dodgers, reported for spring training last year only to be involved in a serious car accident. He battled back from those injuries to make it all the way to the big club where he pitched well. Wait, there's more.

This spring he was supposed to get a non-roster shot at making it to L.A. only to have severe back problems shelve him again. Give it up ? Not this guy. Friday afternoon, he was on the mound again giving the Gulf Coast team, two solid innings. Sure, it was only against kids but, most importantly, the 35-year-old threw with authority. His pitches had life and he commanded the strike zone .

His performance gave a lift to the team, which went on to defeat the Marlins 5-3, ending four-game losing streak to remain one game off the pace in the East Division. Kida wasn't around long enough to qualify for the win, of course -- that went to Alvin Hayes (2-0) who held the Marlins to four hits for five innings while Howar Zuleta came on for two hitless and his second save.

Tony Harper doubled and singled for the Dodgers who moved back over .500 to 9-8. For Kida, if no problems develop from his outing, the next move may well be to Las Vegas to continue his latest comeback.


Palm Beach 7, Vero Beach 6--There are no more first-place Dodger farm teams for the moment anyway, as the Cards came on for three in the ninth against Richard Barlett (4-3) to drop Vero from the top spot in the Florida State East into second, one game behind Daytona. Andy LaRoche was the only Dodger with two hits, breaking out of a slump that saw his average fall below .300 with a double and single. Reggie Abercrombie stole four bases. Jarod Plummer started, giving up six hits and four runs in five. Beau Dannemiller threw three hitless.

Las Vegas 5, Salt Lake 4--Rick Bell singled home the winner in the 11th to give the victory to Troy Brohawn (3-4). Bell also had another single plus a double, Brian Myrow lined three hits and both Koyie Hill (9) and Jeremy Giambi (1) homered. Roy Smith held the Lakers to one run over three. Vegas is 14 back in the PCL South.

Jacksonville 4, West Tennessee 3--Brennan King reached second on a double error whereupon Derek Michaelis singled him home in the eighth for the winner. Michaelis also pounded a double. Franquelis Osoria (5-3) won with Brian Steffek picking up his second save. Derek Thompson started, giving up the three runs (one unearned) in 5.1 innings. The Suns are five out in the Southern League East.

Columbus 4, Rome 3--The Catfish breezed into the ninth with a shutout only to have the Braves rally against Alvis Ojeda for three with only one out before Eric Stults stifled them for his third save. Julio Pimentel went six, holding Rome to four hits to become the first pitcher in the organization with nine wins. (He's lost six). Xavier Paul, Matt Kemp, and Mike Nixon all doubled and singled. The Catfish are 1 1/2 out in the SAL South, tied for third.

Idaho Falls 7, Ogden 4--The downward spiral continued for the Raptors who have now dropped five in succession to fall below .500 at 10-11 although they're still only one game behind in the Pioneer South. Top draft choice Scott Elbert pitched credibly, being reached for thee runs in five innings to trail, then the Chukars got to Brian Akin for four in his only inning so Elbert wound up losing his first pro decision. Ryan Russ sent his first out as a pro and also singled for a gaudy .750 average since he's been activated. Dave Nicholson had two hits, Albenis Castillo threw three scoreless.