Kershaw to Face Detroit in Playoffs Today

Having enduring a ninth-inning debacle in a meaningless game (see story below), the Gulf Coast Dodgers now play one that means everything to them as they travel to Lakeland to face the Tigers in the opening round of the playoffs. It's just a one-game affair with the winner advancing to face the Red Sox in the best-of-three finale which starts on Wednesday.

The Tigers earned the right to host this game by edging the Yankees 3-2 to win the North Division with a .640 percentage while the Dodgers fell to the Nationals 10-9 to finish at .32-22, a .593 mark that means they have to travel.

The Red Sox won the South with a .648 percentage and thus gained a bye into the finals.

By clinching the East Division crown on Saturday, the Dodgers were able to avoid using their top pitchers in Monday's game so lefthander Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 1.95) will start today. He's been on an 85-pitch count so will go as far as that takes him with Mario Gracia (3-2, 2.62) coming in after he's done. --Bill Shelley

Regular Season Action

Another Tough Night-- Tacoma hopped on Las Vegas with a four-run first inning, all runs coming with two out, and the 51s could never recover, dropping a 7-3 road decision.

. Las Vegas starter Joel Hanrahan (4-3) was tagged with six runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings. He fanned two.

. James Loney went 4-for-5 to raise his Pacific Coast League batting average to .381. Delwyn Young chipped in with three hits, while Kemp went 2-for-3 with his third home run and three runs scored.

. Tthe 51s were scoreless until Matt Kemp led off the sixth with his third homer. Las Vegas banged out 15 hits (to 10 for Tacoma), including five for extra bases, but left 12 runners on base.
  Score by innings 
Las Vegas  000 001 011-3 
Tacoma     410 100 10x-7 

 Las Vegas ab r h bi ave
Valdez SS   5 0 0 0 .305
Garcia 3B   5 0 1 0 .314
Kemp CF     3 3 2 1 .343
Loney 1B    5 0 4 0 .381
Young RF    5 0 3 2 .268
Riggs DH    5 0 2 0 .308
Robles 2B   3 0 1 0 .285
Alvarez LF  4 0 2 0 .312
Bellorin C  4 0 0 0 .232
  Totals   39 3 15 3
  Tacoma   34 7 10 7

  2B- Garcia (11), Alvarez (6).
3B- Alvarez (1). HR- Kemp (3). 
RBI- Kemp (31), Young 2 (82). 
LOB- Las Vegas 12, Tacoma 8.

  Las Vegas    in h r-er bb so era
Hanrahan (4-3) 5.0 8 6-6 2 2 4.48
Gonzalez       2.0 2 1-1 2 1 5.40
Hull           1.0 0 0-0 1 0 3.95
  T- 2:43.
Jacksonville Blanked-- Jacksonville suffered its first shutout since July 2, falling 8-0 to Montgomery. The Suns have lost four straight games, their longest losing streak of 2006.

. Montgomery jumped into a 4-0 lead on starter Spike Lundberg (13-2), scoring one in the first and second and a pair in the fourth.

. Montgomery starter Jeff Niemann held the Jacksonville Suns without a baserunner until a leadoff single in the fourth inning.

Former Jacksonville Suns outfielder Justin Ruggiano knocked in two with a double in the sixth.

The Suns and Biscuits meet in game three of the series tonight.
  Score by innings 
Montgomery   110 200 004-8 
Jacksonville 000 000 000-0 

  Sns       ab r h bi ave
Greenberg CF 3 0 1 0 .225
Rohan SS     4 0 1 0 .262
Zapp DH      4 0 1 0 .230
Meadows LF   4 0 0 0 .271
Brazell 1B   4 0 0 0 .253
Raglani RF   4 0 1 0 .239
Bruce 2B     2 0 1 0 .148
Dewitt 3B    4 0 1 0 .207
Ellis C      4 0 0 0 .257
  Totals    33  0  6 0
  Montgmry  38  8 11 8

  Errors- Brazell, Rohan. 2B-Raglani 
(19, Niemann). LOB- Jacksonville 9, 
Montgomery 9. SB- Greenberg (12). 
DP- (Greenberg and Ellis).
  
  Jacksonville  in h r-er bb so era
Lundberg (13-2) 5.2 9 4-4 1 4 2.21
Simmons         2.2 2 4-2 4 5 3.94
Wright          0.2 0 0-0 1 1 4.60
  T- 2:41. Att- 1,696.
Brevard Scores Early, Often-- Brevard County banged out 14 hits and scored four runs earlry in the game to drop Vero Beach 10-7. David Nicholson collected his eighth hit in his last two games in a losing cause.

. Brevard jumped out to a 6-0 lead after four innings against starter Jonathan Figueroa (0-7), who walked five batters in four innings and allowed six runs, all earned, on seven hits. Reliever Albenis Castillo gave up three rns in 1.2 innings.

. Vero Beach made an effort to come back, scoring five runs in the final three innings but they couldn't overcome the early lead. Cory Dunlap knocked in a pair of runs and D.J. Jackson led off the ninth with a pinch-hit home run, his first for Vero Beach.
  Score by innings 
Vero Beach  000 110 221- 7 
Brevard     220 203 10x-10 

  Vero Beachab r h bi ave
EGutierrez DH 4 2 0 0 .259
Nicholson SS  5 2 4 1 .288
Mitchell 3B   4 1 1 1 .264
Dunlap 1B     4 0 2 2 .254
Locke LF      5 0 3 1 .287
Paul RF       3 1 0 0 .286
 Jackson PH   1 1 1 1 .300
Apodaca C     4 0 1 0 .239
 Mathias PH   1 0 0 0 .165
 Gonzalez 2B  2 0 0 1 .259
 Hoffmann CF  5 0 0 0 .248
    Totals   38  7 12 7
    Brevard  34 10 14 8

  Error- Figueroa. 2B- 
Dunlap (14), Nicholson (15). 
HR- Jackson (1). RBI- Gonzalez 
(19), Dunlap 2 (44), Locke 
(36), Nicholson (25), Mitchell 
(9), Jackson (1). SF- Gonzalez. 
LOB- 11, Brevard 12. SB- 
Nicholson (20,), Apodaca (3), 
Mitchell (1),Paul (19).

  Vero Beachin h r-er bb so era
Figueroa (0-7) 4.0 7 6-4 5 4 7.49
Castillo       1.2 4 3-3 2 0 6.49
Thomas         1.1 3 1-1 0 1 2.50
Troncoso       1.0 0 0-0 0 2 7.82
  WP- Figueroa 2. HBP- Paul.
T- 3:21. Att- 873.
Columbus Park Damaged-- Golden Park, home of the Columbus Catfish, is in serious but stable condition after wind damage destroyed much of the facility Sunday. Most notably, the brick wall in center field collapsed into the playing field, leaving a pile of rubble and a large vacancy. The center wall will be replaced for the remainder of the season by a temporary 10-feet-tall chain link fence.

Additionally, wooden walls holding advertisement banners in left field and left-center were blown down and scattered across the field. Flying remnants gouged the field and lodged in the turf as they traveled hundreds of feet.

The assortment of damage continued. Electricians have been contacted to repair the scoreboard and one light tower. Roof panels atop the skyboxes and press box were partially detached. Trees have been uprooted and debris now scatters the premises.

With prompt repairs the Catfish do not expect to miss any games. The team will return from the road Thursday, August 24 for an eight-game home stand against the Charleston RiverDogs and the Rome Braves.

Catfish Lead in Fifth-- Columbus scored four times in the third innng to take a 5-0 lead but the game was suspended by rain in the bottom of the fourth with the Catfish on top 5-0.

Raptors Lose Third Straight--Chris Valaika and his teammates kept right on mauling Ogden pitching in an 11-3 romp that extended the Raptors losing streak to three games.

Valaika had three of the Mustangs 14 hits and has now hit safely in 28 games, best in the minors this season while the loss dropped the Raptors back to .500 at 11-11, two games back in the Pioneer League South

Bryan Morris (3-5) absorbed the defeat, going 4.1 innings, giving up seven hits and five runs, three earned. He walked two and struck out seven. The Mustangs pounded Garret White for five more runs in the eighth.

Two home runs accounted for the Ogden scoring with Tommy Giles hitting a two-run shot, his third, in the fourth and Scott Van Slyke sending a solo blast, his second, out in the ninth. -Bill Shelley
  Score by innings
Ogden    000 200 001- 3 
Billings 102 010 15x-11 

  Ogden     ab r h bi ave
Rogowski LF  5 0 1 0 .297
MRivera 2B   4 0 1 0 .255
Berezay DH   3 0 1 0 .288
Santana RF   2 0 0 0 .256
Soto 3B      3 1 1 0 .292
Giles CF     3 1 1 2 .286
Van Slyke 1B 4 1 1 1 .242
Fuller SS    4 0 0 0 .216
M-Stullz C   4 0 0 0 .177
  Totals    33  3  6  3
  Billings  38 11 14 10

  Errors- CWhite, Santana. 2B- 
Berezay (10). HR- Giles (3), 
Van Slyke (2). RBI- Giles 2 
(15), Van Slyke (14). S- Soto. 
LOB- Ogden 7, Billings 8.

  Ogden     in h r-er bb so era
Morris (3-5) 4.1 6 5-3 2 7 4.80
CWhite       1.2 0 0-0 1 2 2.48
JRodriguez   1.0 2 1-1 1 1 4.62
GWhite       0.2 5 5-5 1 1 7.61
Gearhart     0.1 1 0-0 0 0 9.87
  WP- Morris, GWhite. T- 3:11.
Att- 3,118.
Nats Score Eight to Win-- These Dodgers have had some ninth-inning collapses this season but Monday's was one for the ages. Using reserves for the most part, they still built a 9-2 advantage going into the top of the ninth when the National rally went from the embarrassing to the incredible.

Jon Haldis, who started, pitched well, allowing only six hits and two runs in going seven. Little-used Schuyler Tripp, who's had control problems in the past, pitched a harmless eight in which he walked just one but in the ninth, the plate became an unexplored land.

The first batter flied out but then Tripp walked five straight. One of those strayed off second and was run down for the second out but Tripp had to be lifted for Gary Parris, who proceeded to walk two more. He also threw a wild pitch that catcher A. J. Anthony, for some reason, failed to retrieve until two runs scored on it.

That brought Jonathan Dutton in but hardly to the rescue as he gave up a single, then a triple and the ball game.

Jesus Mora was the only Dodger with two hits while Jamie Ortiz sent his second home run over the left-center fence in the seventh. -Bill Shelley
  Score by innings
Nationals 000 001 108-10 
Dodgers   002 000 430- 9 

  Dodgers   ab r h bi ave
Schwab DH    4 1 1 1 .237
Lizarraga SS 5 0 1 2 .273
Mathews 3B   4 1 0 0 .250
Anthony C    3 1 0 0 .286
Ortiz 1B     4 2 1 1 .232
Poole CF     3 1 1 1 .238
Garcia 2B    3 1 1 1 .243
Mora LF      4 2 2 2 .312
Vetters RF   4 0 1 0 .146
  Totals    34  9 8 8
  Nats      34 10 9 7

  Errors- Hadis Ortiz. 2B- 
Schwab (4), Lizarraga (9), 
Mora (2). HR- Ortiz (2). 
RBI- Lizarraga 2 (20), Ortiz 
(22), Mora 2 (7), Schwab (9), 
Poole (6), Garcia (19). 
SF- Schwab; Poole. LOB- 
Dodgers 6, Nationals 7. 
DP- (Anthony-Ortiz).

  Dodgers   in h r-er bb so era
Haldis       7.0 6 2-1 2 5  3.09
Tripp        1.2 0 4-4 6 0 18.47
Paris        0.0 1 3-3 2 0  5.11
Dutton (3-4) 0.1 2 1-1 0 1  3.77
  WP-Haldis, Paris. HBP-Mathews.
T- 2:51

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