Dodger Farm Notes July 12

This season hasn't been what the Dodgers envisioned for Mike Nixon. Oh, it hasn't been a bad one, you understand. Just not the breakout type that had been hoped. Still, few in the system work harder at getting better and there's plenty of time for Mike to come through. Just as he did Monday.

After having been shut down for five innings by Zach Hammes, Rome had scored twice off Brett Wayne for a tie when Nixon, the catcher the Dodgers gave a million bucks to forgo football back in 2002, came up in the bottom of the sixth. He lined a sharp single to drive in the go-ahead run and send the Catfish on to a 6-2 win.

That was the 29th RBI of the season for Nixon, who is playing his second season in the South Atlantic League, He also added a double to bring his average up to .269. Again, hardly big numbers, but a sign of the improvement that he's been demonstrating lately.

Jereme Milons, who is enjoying a strong season, slammed his 10th home run plus a single and Jimmy Rohan also had two hits for the Fish, who are tied for third, two games out in the SAL South. Wayne wound up winning his first decision since his conversion from the infield when Alvis Ojeda came in to notch the final two outs for his second save.

Elsewhere:

Vero Beach 10, Daytona 4--The Dodgers hauled out the big guns to climb into a tie for first place (along with Palm Beach) in the Florida State East. Jesse Hoorelbeke sent two out of the yard, his eighth and ninth of the year, Delwyn Young hit No. 13 and Brian Sprout, his sixth. Reggie Abercrombie had his biggest game since being sent back with a triple and two doubles.

Chad Billingsley (6-4) made another first-rate start, going 5.1 innings in which he held the Cubs to four hits and a single run, striking out eight.

Casper 6, Ogden 3--Pitching problems continue to beset the Raptors who dropped below .500 at 11-12, although they're only one game out in the tightly-packed Pioneer South. Justin Orenduff made his first start but was raked for five runs in 2.1 innings to lose his first pro decision. Dan Batz was the only Raptor with two hits.

Mets 10, GCL Dodgers 3--The Mets have become the class of the East Division, stretching their lead to three games while sending the Dodgers to their sixth loss in their last seven. Masao Kida made another rehab start, throwing two scoreless but then the Mets got all over Julian DeLaCruz (1-3) for seven runs in two innings. Sambu Ndungidi had two hits for the Dodgers who are 9-10.

Both Las Vegas and Jacksonville are on the All-Star break.

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