Vero's Magic Number Three; 51s a Half Game Out

Edwin Jackson's debut as a relief pitcher seemed like a success after three scoreless innings but he allowed the first six to reach in the eighth and lost a 6-1 game. Jacksonville stayed a breath away from the Southern League lead with a 7-2 lead as Russell Mitchell had a bases-loaded double. Vero Beach cut its magic number to three with a doubleheader win, pounding three homers in the first game as Justin Orenduff just missed a no-hitter and Columbus won their third road game in a row.

TACOMA, Washington--Edwin Jackson took over for Elmer Dessens who had pitched four scoreless innings and added three shutout innings, but allowed the first six batters of the eighth inning to reach base, erasing a 1-0 lead the 51s gained on Dioner Navarro's fifth home run of the season. Elmer Dessens started and pitched four shutout innings in a rehab start. Dessens, who has been on the disabled list since April 24 because of a bone spur in his pitching shoulder, retired the first eight batters he faced before Hunter Brown doubled with two outs in the third inning. That was the only base runner allowed by Dessens, who struck out five in what may be his last start for the 51s before rejoining the Dodgers. Mike Neu took over for Jackson and allowed a bases-loaded walk and a two run double as the Raniers sent 12 men to the plate. Jackson allowed only five hits but walked seven as his ERA ballooned to 8.62. The 51s head to Sacramento, California, today to open a four-game series against the RiverCats.

JACKSONVILLE, Florida-– The Suns won their third game in a row, beating the Carolina Mudcats, 7-2, and remain a half-game behind Birmingham who swept a doubleheader from Mobile. The Suns took an early lead when Jon Weber scored on a bases loaded infield single by James Loney and Tydus Meadows walked to force in another run, giving the Suns a 2-0 lead. In the third, Sergio Garcia flew out to center field to apparently score Joel Guzman. However, the Mudcats appealed, threw to third and the umpires ruled Guzman left the base early which ended the inning. Guzman was ejected for arguing the appeal. In the fourth, Guzman's replacement, Russell Mitchell, got his first hit at Class AA, clearing the bases with a double to right center field, giving the Suns a 6-1 lead. Jon Weber smacked an RBI double in the fifth and led the Suns with three hits. Starter Jonathan Broxton (4-2) earned the win, allowing two runs –- one earned -– over six innings, walked none for the second consecutive outing and struck out five. Jason Olson and Luis Gonzalez combined to pitch three shutout innings. The Suns' bullpen has not allowed a run in 19.2 innings. …Todd Donovan had two steals to add to his Southern League lead of 33. ...The Suns have scored 127 runs in 17 games, averaging 7.5 runs per game. …Suns right-hander Chad Billingsley (5-3, 4.12 ERA) is scheduled to start against Carolina tonight in Zebulon, N.C.

VERO BEACH, Florida--Vero Beach Dodgers swept a doubleheader from the Brevard County Manatees Sunday, swatting three home runs in the first game to win 10-0 behind Justin Orenduff who came within two outs of a no-hitter. In the second game, Hong-Chih Kuo tossed five shutout innings in which he allowed only one hit and Dodgers cruised to a 9-1 win. Vero's "magic number" is now down to three with six games to play in the First Half.
Tony Abreu went 4-for-4 in the first game, including a 2-run homer. That capped a three-run third inning. Anthony Raglani added a solo shot to open the inning and Andy LaRoche chipped in with a grand slam in the sixth to put the game away. Orenduff took the no-hitter into the seventh when Drew Anderson singled between first and second with one out to break it up. Orenduff finished the game anyway and improved his record to 5-3. He notched eight strikeouts and walked only one.
The Dodgers used a 6-run fifth inning during the second game to claim the 9-1 win. Abreu added two more hits to finish the day 6-8 with four runs and three RBI. A.J. Ellis hit his first home run of the year and Chin-lung Hu added two hits. Kuo struck out eight Manatees in his five innings to pick up his first win of the year.

KANNAPOLIS, NC-- Tying a season-high with 18 hits and 11 runs, the Catfish won their third straight game on the current eight-game road trip, beating Kannapolis 11-7. CF Jamie Hoffmann went 4-for-6 and drove in a run, and 2B Brandon Carter went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and four runs scored. RHP Steve Nelson picked up his first win since the 2003 season in relief after missing all of 2004 recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Columbus scored eight runs in the third inning. SS Lucas May's two-run single opened the scoring, RF Ryan Russ had an RBI single and 1B Dan Batz's RBI groundout gave the Fish a 4-0 advantage. Brandon Carter drove home two more with two-outs in the third with a single to center. Hoffmann capped the scoring with an RBI flare into center for an 8-0 lead. RHP Zach Hammes finished three innings in a spot, allowing three runs (two earned), all in the bottom half of the third. LHP Carlos Alvarez relieved to strike out two in the seventh, two in the eighth, and one in the ninth for his second save of the season. The Catfish are now 3-3 on the current road trip and have won the first two games of the four-game set. Columbus sends RHP Brandon Weeden (2-4, 4.00 ERA) to the hill tonight for his 12th start of 2005.

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