The Palm Beach Cardinals are seven weeks into the season but still struggling to find any consistency. The team was able to put up a three-game win streak but that was before they had dropped four in a row. To make matters worse, Zack Cox, the Cardinals' most consistent hitter, was promoted to Double-A Springfield.
The team started the week dropping two games to their rivals, the Daytona Cubs. The Cards managed only two runs in the two games and just two extra base hits. In the second game, the Cardinals wasted Shelby Miller's 10-strikeout performance.
Palm Beach then hit the road to Brevard County where the team won its first three games with the Manatees. The Cards outscored their hosts 9-3 in the series with top 40 prospects John Gast and Joe Kelly picking up wins. Kelly was especially impressive when he allowed only one run in 7.1 innings on Tuesday evening.
The Cardinals could not put together a season-high four-game winning streak and fell 6-3 to the Manatees on Wednesday. Starter Eric Fornataro was roughed up for five runs in five innings of work.
The Cardinals returned home to finish the week and welcomed Lakeland to town. Palm Beach put up crooked numbers in three frames to drop the Flying Tigers, 8-2. Starter Justin Smith picked up his first victory of the season with six quality innings. Kyle Conley and Edgar Lara both homered to lead the offense.
Rainel Rosario has now hit in 15 straight games. The outfielder is 19-for-58 (.328 average) during the stretch.
Over his last 10 games, Kyle Conley is slugging .658 and has three home runs.
Xavier Scruggs has really struggled to find his stroke in 2011. In 109 at bats, he is hitting .183 and has struck out 33 times.
The Cardinal Nation Top 40 Prospect Watch
#40 Niko Vasquez. The 22-year-old was recently demoted from Double-A Springfield but has not seen game action for Palm Beach.
#30 Rainel Rosario. During his current hitting streak, Rosario has raised his slash line to a mark of .267/.346/.382 and now has four home runs and 19 RBI.
#28 John Gast. In a team-high 51.1 innings, the southpaw is 2-3 with a 3.51 ERA.
#27 Joe Kelly. Coming off his best outing, the former reliever is 2-2 with an ERA of 2.91. In 46.1 innings, he has struck out 32 while walking 20.
#1 Shelby Miller. The top prospect in the system continues to dominate the Florida State League. Miller has logged 69 strikeouts in 46 innings while allowing only 37 hits.
Around the League
The Cardinals are now 19-29 but no longer sit in last place in the Florida State League South Division. The team is eight games behind first place Ft. Myers.
As a team, the Cards are batting .246, the worst mark in the league. The team also sits last in on base percentage and slugging.
Things are improving on the mound as the team sits fourth on the circuit with a combined ERA of 3.29.
The Cardinals will play three more against Lakeland before hitting the road for a three-game set at Dunedin.
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