'Babe' Kuo Hits Grand Slam, Wins Third Game

Hong-chih Kuo enjoyed a win and a grand slam as Vegas beat Fresno 6-2. Vero lost a 5-1 lead and the game to St. Lucie despite three home runs. Columbus beat Greenville 4-3, helped by a wild throw that cost two runs. Carlos Santana's three-run homer gave Ogden a 4-3 win over Casper and the GC Dodgers tightened their hold on first as Tom Melgarejo's won his third game. Jacksonville was rained out.

Kuo Leads Vegas-- Hong-Chih Kuo emulated either Babe Ruth or Don Sutton --or both -- while boosting Las Vegas to a 6-2 victory over Fresno. The lefthander pitched six innings, allowing one run, and slugged a grand slam home run to highlight a six-run fifth.

Ruth was converted from pitching to the batters box and became the greatest home run hitter in the history of the game. Sutton, who won over 300 games, had the batting philosophy "Swing hard in case you hit it."

However, it is doubtful Manager Jerry Royster will have Kou start taking fly balls in the near future.

Kuo (3-3) yielded a run on four hits with five strikeouts and retired the first 14 batters before Tomas De La Rosa blooped a double over Adam Riggs' head at first base.

Kuo opened a six-run fifth inning with a grand slam. Kuo struck out in his other two at-bats, just like Ruth -- sort of.

Delwyn Young, Eric Riggs and Oscar Robles singled to load the bases. One out later, Kuo drilled the second pitch starter Matt Kinney (6-7) over the center-field wall for his first career Minor League homer and his first hit with Las Vegas in 13 at-bats..

Eric Hull worked the final three innings, allowing only an unearned run, for his first save for Las Vegas (55-66).

The Dodgers purchased the contract of catcher Einar Diaz from Triple-A Buffalo in the Cleveland organization and was assigned to Las Vegas. Diaz, 33, is actually an insurance policy if anything happens to catchers Russell Martin or Toby Hall.

Diaz was hitting .218 in 64 games at Buffalo. He's played parts of 10 seasons in the Major Leagues, including last year with St. Louis.
  Score by innings 
Las Vegas 000 060 000-6
Fresno    000 001 100-2 

 Las Vegas ab r h bi ave
Valdez CF   4 0 1 0 .306
Garcia SS   4 1 1 1 .302
Kemp LF     4 1 2 0 .340
LaRoche 3B  3 0 1 1 .302
Young RF    4 1 1 0 .272
Riggs 1B    4 1 1 0 .321
Robles 2B   4 1 1 0 .289
Bellorin C  4 0 0 0 .226
Kuo P       3 1 1 4 .125
 Hull P     1 0 0 0 .250
   Totals  35 6 9 6
   Fresno  33 2 6 1

  Error- Robles.  3B- Kemp (5). 
HR- Kuo (1), Garcia (6). RBI- 
Kuo 4 (4), Garcia (29), LaRoche 
(19). LOB- Las Vegas 3, Fresno 
4. SB- Valdez (24).

  Las Vegas in h r-er bb so era
Kuo (3-3)   6.0 4 1-1 0 5 3.57
Hull (sv 1) 3.0 2 1-0 0 1 4.06
  T- 2:29. Att- 9,291.
Jacksonville-- The Saturday game between Jacksonville West Tenn Diamond Jaxx survived one rain delay, but the second set of showers suspended things in the fourth inning with the Suns leading 1-0. The game will resume this afternoon at the point which it was suspended and will be followed by a 30 minute intermission before the originally scheduled Sunday game, which has been reduced to seven innings. RHP Jon Meloan will work the first game while RHP T.J. Nall will pitch the second for the Suns. Tickets from Saturday's game are valid for Sunday's doubleheader or for any other game during the Suns home season.

Lead Disappears-- Vero Beach saw a 5-1 lead turn into a 8-5 St. Lucie win amid a flood of unearned runs. Russ Mitchell, Adolfo Gonzalez and Jamie Hoffman hit solo homers in the losing cause.

The Dodgers used strong pitching by starter Marlon Arias and three long balls to pile up a lead. It was Arias' first Florida State League start since a promotion from Columbus. The Dominican left-hander tossed six innings in which he allowed only one run on four hits with seven strikeouts.

Mitchell hit a solo shot in the first inning, Xavier Paul lined a two-out, bases-loaded single in the fourth for a 3-1 advantage and Gonzalez and Hoffmann added solo home runs in the sixth.

St. Lucie tagged Wesley Wright for three runs in the seventh, all of them unearned, to pull the Mets within 5-4. Then Kyle Wilson (2-6) gave up four runs in the eighth, with only two of them earned.

Vero loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but couldn't score. The Mets clinched the Treasure Coast Cup, awarded annually to the winner of the Vero Beach - St. Lucie head-to-head series. The Mets are leading 11-5 with four games remaining between them.

The Dodgers have the day off on Sunday but return to action on the road in Dunedin Monday night.
  Score by innings
St. Lucie  000 100 340-8 
Vero Beach 100 202 000-5 

  Vero Beach  ab r h bi ave
Paul RF        3 0 1 0 .296
Nicholson SS   5 0 0 0 .276
Mitchell 3B-1B 5 1 2 1 .241
Dunlap 1B      3 0 1 1 .253
 Jackson CF    1 0 0 0 .200
 EGutierrez PH 0 0 0 0 .250
Locke LF       5 0 1 0 .291
Gonzalez 2B    4 2 2 1 .262
Justis DH      4 0 0 0 .283
Apodaca C      3 1 1 0 .200
Hoffmann CF-3B 3 1 1 1 .254
  Totals      36 5  9 4
  St. Lucie   38 8 11 6

  Errors- Hoffman, Apodaca. 2B- 
Dunlap (12). HR- Mitchell (2), 
Gonzalez (6), Hoffmann (5). RBI- 
Mitchell (2), Paul, X 2 (45), 
Gonzalez (18), Hoffmann (28). 
LOB- Vero Beach 9, St. Lucie 8. 
SB- Gonzalez (3). CS- Locke (2). 
DP- (Mitchell and Nicholson).

 Vero Beach  in h r-er bb so era
Arias        6.0 4 1-1 3 7 1.00
Wright       0.2 4 3-0 1 1 1.50
Wilson (2-6) 0.2 3 4-2 2 1 3.62
Hammes       1.2 0 0-0 0 1 4.22
  WP- Arias, Wilson 2. Balk- Arias.
T- 3:25. Att- 1,532.
Wild Throw Helps Fish-- A wild throw in the second inning resulted in a pair of runs and a 3-1 lead, boosting Columbus to a 4-3 victory over Greenville.

RHP Arismendy Castillo (7-4) gave up three runs on five hits and no walks to get the win. RHP Ramon Troncoso earned his thirteenth save.

In the first inning SS Ivan DeJesus singled and moved to second base on a passed ball. 2B Travis Denker singled and with two outs 3B Eduardo Perez doubled for a 1-0 lead.

Greenville tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the second, but Columbus regained the lead when with one out RF Chris Jensen walked and LF Adam Godwin doubled. With two out, the Greenville catcher missed the pitcher on his return throw to the mound, the ball rolling into the outfield as two runners scored.

The Drive tied the game in the fourth inning. The Fish scored the game winner in the fifth when Denker's sacrifice fly scored Godwin.

Game two of the scheduled doubleheader was canceled because electrical problems on a light tower and the game will be made up as part of a doubleheader today.
  Score by innings
Greenville 010 200 0-3
Columbus   120 010 x-4 

  Columbus   ab r h bi ave
Hunt CF       2 1 0 0 .329
De Jesus SS   3 1 1 0 .283
Denker, 2B    2 0 1 1 .264
May DH        3 0 0 0 .255
Perez 3B      3 0 1 1 .262
Sutherland 1B 3 0 0 0 .286
McGeehan C    2 0 1 0 .171
Jensen RF     2 0 0 0 .136
Godwin LF     2 2 2 0 .263
  Totals     22 4 6 2 
  Casper     35 3 5 3

  2B- Perez (7), Godwin (10). 
RBI- Perez (14), Denker (30). 
SF- Denker. LOB- Columbus 4, 
Greenville 2. SB- Godwin (27).

  Columbus       in h r-er bb so era
Castillo (7-4)   5.2 5 3-3 0 1 4.74
Troncoso (sv 13) 1.1 0 0-0 0 0 2.53
  T- 1:46. Att- 1,201.
Santana Homer a Winner-- Carlos Santana smashed a three-run homer to climax an eighth-inning rally that carried Ogden past Casper 4-3. The win was the third in four games for the Raptors who evened their second half record at 7-7.

Trailing 3-0 going into the eighth, Ryan Rogowski got the Raptors going with a two-out walk. Mike Rivera singled, then the two executed a double steal. Rogowski scored the first run on a wild pitch, Matt Berezay walked whereupon Santana sent his fourth home run over the right field fence.

Jesus Castillo gave up only five hits and two runs in going the first six innings. Greg Achaetil was reached for another run in one inning, followed by Miguel Sanfler (2-1), who worked a perfect top of the eighth to gain the victory. Miguel Ramirez closed matters out in the ninth, striking out two as he recorded his fifth save.

Santana added a single to become the only Raptor with two hits. They are now alone in second place in the Pioneer League South, three games behind Orem. -Bill Shelley
  Score by innings
Casper 020 000 100-3 
Ogden  000 000 04x-4 

  Ogden     ab r h bi ave
Rogowski LF  3 1 0 0 .304
MRivera SS   4 1 1 0 .257
Berezay DH   3 1 0 0 .270
Santana 3B   4 1 2 3 .268
Taloa 1B     3 0 0 0 .280
Giles CF     3 0 1 0 .309
Soto 2B      3 0 1 0 .262
Brown RF     3 0 1 0 .266
M-Stullz C   3 0 0 0 .200
  Totals    29 4 6 3
  Casper    34 3 7 2

  2B- Soto (7). HR- Santana (4). 
RBI- Santana 3 (13). LOB- Ogden 
4, Casper 5 . SB- MRivera (6), 
Soto (4), Rogowski (13).

  Ogden        in h r-er bb so era
JCastillo      6.0 5 2-2 1 4 2.70
Acheatel       1.0 1 1-1 0 0 3.00
Sanfler (2-1)  1.0 0 0-0 0 1 1.61
Ramirez (sv 5) 1.0 1 0-0 0 2 2.55
  HBP- Taloa. T- 2:09. Att- 3,750.
Melgarejo Boosts Coasties-- Thomas Melgarejo became the latest starter to pitch a strong game, throwing six innings of two-hit ball as the Gulf Coast Dodgers turned the visiting Nationals away 4-1.

Chris Church ripped a solo homer in the top of the third but a harmless single was the only other hit the Nats managed off Melgarejo, a 19-year-old Mexican lefthander. He walked only one and struck out five, picking up his third victory in four decisions.

The win, coupled with a Marlins split in a doubleheader with the Mets, increased the Dodger margin slightly in the East Division to three games with seven games left for the only two teams still in contention.

The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the third when Preston Mattingly tripled home Jovanny Rosario, who had singled. They gained the lead in the sixth when Brian Mathews walked, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, then trotted home when another errant pitch went to the backstop

Lyndon Poole provided insurance with another big triple, driving in two in the eighth.

Jonathan Dutton followed Melgarejo with a perfect seventh and Kyle Smit went the final two, allowing only one hit, for his first-ever save. Elian Herrera had three hits and Mattingly two for the Dodgers, now 29-18. -Bill Shelley
  Score by innings 
Nationals 001 000 000-1
Dodgers   001 001 02x-4 

  Dodgers   ab r h bi ave
Rosario RF   5 1 1 0 .282
Herrera 2B   4 0 3 0 .341
Robinson LF  2 0 0 0 .273
Mattingly SS 4 0 2 1 .294
Mathews DH   3 1 1 0 .263
Schwab PR-DH 0 1 0 0 .233
Lizarraga 3B 3 0 0 0 .254
Jansen C     2 1 1 0 .260
Ortiz 1B     4 0 0 0 .245
Poole CF     4 0 1 2 .250
  Totals    31 4 9 3
  Nationals 29 1 9 1

  Errors- Jansen, Ortiz. 
2B- Jansen (2, Novoa). 
3B- Mattingly (2), Poole (1). 
RBI- Mattingly (21), Poole 2 
(4). S- Lizarraga. LOB- 9, 
Nationals 2. SB- Mathews (2). 
CS- Mattingly (3). DP- 2 
(Lizarraga and Ortiz; 
Lizarraga, Herrera and Ortiz).

  Dodgers       in h r-er bb so era
Melgarejo (3-1) 6.0 2 1-1 1 5 4.11
Dutton          1.0 0 0-0 0 1 3.41
Smit (sv 1)     2.0 1 0-0 0 3 4.09
  T- 2-17

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