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Young Las Vegas prospects hit Beavers hard

Deago starts tonight on the mound as Portland seeks revenge

Add Las Vegas to the list of teams that has what Portland doesn't have - a multitude of prospects playing and playing well at the Triple-A level.

Two of them, James Loney, 22, and Joel Guzman, 21, hit home runs in the 6-3 Las Vegas victory on the Fourth of July at PGE Park. Pitcher Joel Hanrahan helped his own cause with a home run for the L.A. Dodgers' farm club.

Loney, a rangy first baseman, was second in the Pacific Coast League in batting (.372) entering the game, behind Salt Lake's Howie Kendrick (.384). Guzman is a 6-6 outfielder and leadoff hitter.

The series continues tonight and Thursday, each game starting at 7 p.m. It's 'Bark in the Park' night; fans may bring their canines with them to PGE Park.

Other Las Vegas prospects playing well are infielders Andy LaRoche, 22, and Willy Aybar, 23, and outfielder Delwyn Young, 23. Portland manager Craig Colbert has mentioned that he was impressed by prospects from Salt Lake, Tucson and Tacoma.

'It's unbelievable,' he says, of the disparity between his veteran club and younger teams. 'But it comes in cycles - it's hard for a system to sustain that talent level coming through.'

Colbert wasn't around to see the end of Tuesday's game. He was ejected in the bottom of the sixth inning for arguing a double play at second base.

A season-high 13,576 fans attended the game and watched fireworks afterward. Portland (40-45) managed only four hits. Jack Cust drew three walks, giving him 79, which leads professional baseball. Terrmel Sledge hit a towering home run over the 405-foot mark and the batter's eye in center field.

Roger Deago (1-1, 4.50 ERA) starts for Portland tonight. Justin Reid (1-4, 6.22) will be on the mound for Las Vegas.

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