Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2011 Week 3

Maikel Cleto has allowed just one run over his last 12 innings, but the Cardinals are still scuffling for victories.

This report is for the period of April 22 through April 28

After a rough start to the 2011 season, the Palm Beach Cardinals got the week off to a good start On Friday, the Cards posted a 2-1 victory over the Jupiter Hammerheads Xavier Scruggs led the offense with a double, triple, and an RBI Joe Kelly continued his hot start with eight strikeouts in 6 1 innings of work It was Kelly's first victory of the season Chase Reid picked up his first hold of the season with 1 2 shutout innings Jorge Rondon worked a scoreless ninth for his second save

The team hit the road for a trip to Bradenton for the first time but the results were similar; the lumps kept coming Starter Eric Fornataro allowed three runs on nine hits in five innings On a positive note, the right-hander logged six strikeouts Tyler Lyons made his professional debut and was roughed up for two runs in an inning of relief Samuel Freeman continued his comeback with two scoreless innings At the plate, the Cardinals managed only three hits Rainel Rosario blasted a solo shot for the team's only run

Bradenton doubled up Palm Beach, 6-3, on Sunday Justin Smith lasted only two-thirds of an inning after allowing six runs Daniel Calhoun came in to get the team out of the inning before the rains came and caused a delay When play resumed, three relievers combined for seven shutout innings Lyons rebounded to throw two scoreless frames after being roughed up in his debut the night before Alan Ahmady led the offense with two hits and an RBI Zack Cox, Ryde Rodriguez, and Ronald Ramirez all had an extra base hit

The Cardinals played an early game on Monday and it appeared the team should have just stayed in bed Though the team outhit Bradenton, it could not overcome Shelby Miller's seven walks, four wild pitches, and one hit batter Edgar Lara led the Cards with three hits while Xavier Scruggs added a pair

After an off day on Tuesday, the team returned to the field to host Fort Myers on Wednesday The Cardinals were able to get back into the win column thanks to an unlikely hero Tied 3-3 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Luis Mateo put a Bruce Pugh pitch over the fence for his first home run and a Palm Beach victory

Maikel Cleto
The team didn't have much time to celebrate as they were back out the next morning with a 10:35 EST first pitch The early start allowed the momentum to carry over as the Cardinals notched a 5-2 victory The offense was fueled by a pair of hits from Zack Cox and Xavier Scruggs One of the hits of Scruggs' bat was a home run of the solo variety Maikel Cleto allowed an unearned run in seven innings of work

Who's Hot

At this time he might be known as the player the Cardinals traded for Brendan Ryan, but Maikel Cleto is beginning to establish his own identity In his last two starts, Cleto has allowed one earned run in 12 innings while logging 15 strikeouts and only a lone walk

Ryde Rodriguez has a four-game hitting streak and has driven in his only two runs of the season during that time

Who's Not

Justin Smith has not seen much sunshine in the Sunshine state The right-handed pitcher is now 0-2 with an ERA over 12 in three starts

The Cardinal Nation Top 40 Prospect Watch

#30 Rainel Rosario The 21-year-old has posted a respectable OPS of 791 in the big ballparks of the Florida State League Rosario is tied for the team lead with three home runs

#28 John Gast The southpaw has thrown a team high 26 innings and has racked up 16 strikeouts while posting a 2 42 ERA during that time

#27 Joe Kelly The 22-year-old is now 1-0 with a 2 08 ERA In 17 1 innings, he has 17 strikeouts to go with five walks

#2 Zack Cox The 2010 first round pick is hitting 298 but has only two extra base hits and has struck out 20 times while drawing only four walks

#1 Shelby Miller Despite the Monday hiccup, the right-hander is showing dominance at this level Miller has an ERA of 3 68 with 32 strikeouts in only 22 innings

Around the League

The Cardinals are now 7-14 - the worst record in the Florida State League The team is 11 games behind first place St Lucie

Alan Ahmady ranks ninth in the league in on base percentage while Zack Cox is ninth in hits Ahmady ranks sixth in walks with 13 Rainel Rosario and Edgar Lara are tied for tenth in home runs with three Rosario has the sixth-highest strikeout mark on the circuit while Cox is tied for tenth

Maikel Cleto ranks ninth in the league in ERA and his teammate Joe Kelly ranks tenth John Gast is eighth in innings pitched Shelby Miller has posted the highest strikeout total in the league and Cleto ranks third

Up Next

The Cardinals will finish off their series with the Fort Myers Miracle before welcoming Bradenton to town The team will then hit the road to make a trip to visit the Miracle

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