LaRoche continues his tear; Columbus breaks streak

Las Vegas proved an inconsiderate host, dropping Round Rock 7-4 as Joe Thurston, Norihiro Nakamura and Jayson Werth hit homers. Chad Billingsley was pounded 10-3 despite home runs by Delwyn Young and Russell Martin. Andy LaRoche was at it again, booming his 16th and 17th home runs in a 12-9 pasting of Ft. Myers and Columbus, shaken awake by a 10 a.m. practice, took it out on Savannah 5-3, with homers from Blake DeWitt and Travis Denker as Zach Hammes won his first of the year.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada--Round Rock Express made their first appearance at Cashman Field and lost a 7-4. The 51s led 2-0 but fell behind 4-3 inn the sixth inning before second baseman Joe Thurston (1-for-1, 3 RBI) slugged a two-run home run to give Las Vegas a 5-4 lead. Shortstop Norihiro Nakamura (1-for-3) hit a two-run home run in the first inning and left fielder Jayson Werth (1-for-3) added a solo shot in the seventh inning. Catcher Dioner Navarro was 2-for-4. Right-hander Ryan Rupe recorded his first victory of the season, working 6 innings, allowing 6 hits, 4 runs and striking out 5. Alfredo Gonzalez pitched 2 scoreless innings and Aquilino Lopez pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his third save. Game two of the four-game series is tonight. X-Files: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt made his first visit to Cashman Field since taking over the major league franchise last year. McCourt watched from a seat behind home plate and ate a hot dog before posing for pictures with fans. "I think the relationship between the Dodgers and Las Vegas is a very important one. I want to explore ways of expanding that relationship," McCourt said. "It's premature for me to comment on what exactly my conclusions will be, but the first step is to become familiar on a first-hand basis with what's going on here."

MONTGOMERY, Alabama--Chad Billingsley gave up three home runs in three innings and the Suns suffered their most lopsided loss of the season, a 10-3 defeat. Billingsley (3-3) had given up only nine home runs over his first 45 career starts. The shots gave the Biscuits a 7-2 lead through three innings. Delwyn Young snapped a 2-for-20 slump, going for 3-for-4 with a two-run home run in the first inning. Russell Martin hit a 533-foot shot in the sixth inning. Jason Olson and Glenn Bott combined to pitch four shutout innings off relief, keeping the Suns within striking distance. Left-hander Eric Stults (1-2, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to come off the disabled list and face Montgomery Tuesday in the second game of a four-game series at Riverwalk Stadium.

VERO BEACH, Florida--The Vero Dodgers came back from an early 6-1 deficit to defeat the Ft. Myers Miracle 12-9 Monday night, keyed by a pair of homers from Andy LaRoche that increased his league-leading total to 17. He has now homered in four straight games. Casey Hoorelbeke earned the win with 3.1 scoreless, hitless relief innings. Starter Jonathan Figueroa gave up a pair of runs in the first but Vero Beach tied the game on LaRoche's first home run. Figueroa then allowed a homer in the second and gave way to Justin Simmons. When the smoke cleared, Ft. Myers had a 6-1 lead. Anthony Raglani singled a run home and Mike Nixon double in another in the second to cut the lead to 4-3 before Vero tacked on a four spot in the third. Chin-lung Hu homered, LaRoche homered (#17) and a two-run error added another pair. Ft. Myers took an 8-7 lead in the fourth but Etanislao Abreu doubled and scored on LaRoche's sacrifice fly in the fourth to tie and Justin Ruggiano homered (#7) for a 9-8 lead in the fifth. Three in the seventh iced the game. Anthony Raglani, Edwin Bellorin and Mike Nixon singles in a run and an error scored the fourth run.

COLUMBUS, Georgia--A rare, 10 a.m. practice sparked the Catfirsh and they snapped their losing skid and defeated the Savannah Sand Gnats 5-3. With solo homers from 3B Blake DeWitt and 2B Travis Denker, the Catfish came from behind as Zach Hammes won his first game with two innings of scoreless relief, while RHP Albenis Castillo pitched a perfect ninth for his third save of the season. DeWitt's solo HR (#3) gave the Fish a 1-0 second inning lead and CF Jamie Hoffmann's team leading 48th hit of the year scored RF Ryan Russ and Columbus led 2-0. The Catfish fell behind 3-2 but Denker tied the game with a line-drive HR (#7) and Russ gave Columbus the lead for good in the seventh, when his sacrifice fly drove home 1B Dan Batz. Batz added an RBI single in the 8th. RHP Javy Guerra started for Columbus, and limited the Sand Gnats to two hits while striking out five in the first four frames but he gave up a three-run HR in the fifth. He allowed three runs in six innings and struck out six. Zach Hammes (1-3) earned his first win in relief with two scoreless innings and Albenis Castillo pitched a perfect ninth to notch his third save.

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