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JETHAWKS NOTEBOOK: SHORTSTOP PEREZ'S STATUS IMPROVES.

Byline: Gideon Rubin Special to the Daily News

LANCASTER - In a playoff series in which defense figures to be a key factor, news that injured shortstop Kenny Perez (right ankle sprain) had his status upgraded from questionable to probable on Monday couldn't have come at better time for the JetHawks.

Lancaster opens a best-of-three California League Southern Division playoff mini-series against High Desert tonight at 7.

Perez took batting practice and fielded ground balls before theJetHawks' 15-4 victory Monday over Lake Elsinore in the regular-season finale for both teams.

JetHawks manager Bill Plummer said he liked what he saw from Perez.

``He's really improved the last few days,'' Plummer said. ``He wanted to play today, but we wanted to give him a couple of extra days off. The last thing we wanted to do was put him in there (Monday) and something stinking snaps and he's done.''

Perez was assigned to Lancaster shortly after being acquired by the parent Arizona Diamondbacks from the Boston Red Sox in a deal involving current Dodgers outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. in late July.

Perez was batting .320 (31 for 97) and had an 11-game hitting streak when he suffered the injury sliding into second base in an Aug. 25 game against Bakersfield.

--Milestones: The JetHawks accomplished several statistical milestones in an otherwise meaningless game Monday.

With 15 hits, Lancaster improved its team average to .302 to overtake High Desert for the California League's team batting title.

JetHawks infielder Danny Richar and utilityman Jay Garthwaite each finished the season with a .300 average after going 3 for 4 and 2 for 3, respectively.

JetHawks starter Jon Castellanos (10-3) allowed three runs on four hits in five innings to become the 13th pitcher in franchise history to reach double digits in victories.

--Hurricane relief: The JetHawks and their booster club raised $5,291 in donations for the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. The JetHawks gave free tickets to Monday's game to anyone contributing any amount to the fund.

Gideon Rubin, (818)713-3607

gideon.rubin(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 7, 2005
Words:342
Previous Article:CROSS COUNTRY NOTEBOOK: RUNNERS HEAD TO SEASIDE CROSS COUNTRY SEASON KICKS OFF WITH INVITATIONAL.
Next Article:PLAYOFF SERIES FIGURES TO BE A HIT PRODUCTION JETHAWKS, MAVS BRING TOP OFFENSES.


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