Dodger Farm Report August 25th

Mike Megrew's "out" pitch is his change-up which tells you what kind of pitcher he is. His fast ball gets into the low 90's on occasion, his curve is still spotty at times but when he's hitting locations and setting up hitters , he's a force on the mound. He certainly was that for Vero Beach Tuesday night, throwing seven no-hit innings before departing via the pitch count in an 8-2 dismantling of Brevard County.

It was the second time this season that Megrew, a 20-year-old lefthander from Rhode Island, had held the opposition hitless before having the call it an evening. This time he was relieved by Jamaal Hamilton, who kept the Manatees in check in the eighth before a soft single that opened the ninth spoiled the no-hit bid. Before that inning was done, Brevard collected one more hit and two runs.

The Dodgers, though, stretched their Florida State East lead to 5 1/2 games , their biggest bulge of the season and Megrew , who's had some bouts of arm strain at times, moved to 8-5. Tony Abreau, just promoted from Columbus to replace Chin-lung Hu (on the disabled list with a sore arm) at short , led the attack with three hits while Alex Requena added two.

Elsewhere, some of the Dodgers more prized pitching prospects were working with generally good results.

Salt Lake 6, LAS VEGAS 0. The 51's were checked on five hits, two by Jason Repko.Mark Johnson (5-12) absorbed the defeat , giving up four runs in five innings. Vegas is 15 behind in the PCL South.

JACKSONVILLE 5, Mobile 2. It was another superb effort by Chad Billingsley the club's top draft choice in 2003 and it could have been even better for he had allowed only two hits and one run in five before a lengthy rain delay ended his night. Billingsgley is now 4-0 since joining the club. Steve Schmoll was reached for the first earned run since he came up from Vero but still nailed down his first save. Shane Victorino drove in four runs with a triple and single. The Suns , however, trail by 17 games in the Southern League East.

Augusta 4, COLUMBUS 3. Chuck Tiffany, the second-round draft pick in 2003, struck out 11 in six shutout innings but Chris Testa (1-2) hardly fared as well as the Greenjackets rallied to win in 11. Alexandro DeAza ripped a triple and double for the Catfish, who are 11 back in the SAL South.

Billings 8, OGDEN 6. The first draft pick this year, Scott Elbert (2-3) went for the Raptors and though he was the loser , he generally threw well , allowing three runs in 4.1 innings in which he struck out seven. Dan Batz banged a double and single and Chris Westervelt, two singles for the Raptors, who are now one game back of Idaho Falls in the race for the final playoff slot in the Pioneer League South.

Mets 4, GCL DODGERS 2. It's all but officially over as the Mets downed the Dodgers in extra innings for the second straight day, leaving them four behind in the East with four to play. Cory Wade , Julian DeLaCruz and Hower Zuleta held the Mets down before two unearned runs off Jose Obispo (0-1) in the 11th decided matters. Carlos Pena, whose two-run shot (No. 4) tied the count in the ninth, was the only Dodgers with two hits.

MINOR MATTERS - The Dodgers and Las Vegas have extended the working agreement for two more years . L.A. had threatened to leave but agreed to stay when improvements to existing Cashman Field were promised. In the meantime, Vegas is planning a new park, probably to be located in near-by Henderson.