The Palm Beach Cardinals started the week enjoying the Florida State League All-Star break. Edgar Lara played for the South side and had a hit and scored a run in two at-bats. Pitcher Joe Kelly was charged with a run in his two-thirds of an inning.
Palm Beach got back to business on Monday. Unfortunately, the results were similar to those from the first part of the season. The Cardinals staked themselves to a 3-0 lead before Fort Myers scored five in the top of the seventh and held on to win, 6-3. The rehabbing Francisco Samuel was charged with the loss after allowing four runs and only recording one out. The effort wasted an outstanding start by Kevin Siegrist. The lefty allowed only two hits in six shutout innings.
At the plate, the Cards were led by Xavier Scruggs' three hits and two RBIs. It was the 19th straight game that Scruggs had reached base.
The team changed the momentum on Tuesday and came away with a 5-0 victory. All-star Edgar Lara had two hits and scored two runs while Scruggs extended his on-base streak. Eric Fornataro struck out eight in six innings to pick up his fourth victory.
The Cardinals kept the winning streak going on Tuesday after rallying to score three in the eighth to tie the game. Ted Obregon scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the tenth. Justin Smith continued his struggles. The right-hander was tagged for five runs in four innings though he did strikeout seven. Obregon collected three hits and was a home run short of the cycle. Greg Garcia, Rainel Rosario, Adam Melker, and Robert Stock all collected a pair of hits. Scruggs was hit by a pitch to extend his on-base streak to 21 games.
That was the final game of the first half of the season for the Cardinals. The team finished with a record of 29-40 which was the worst record in the Florida State League South Division.
Palm Beach got the second half of the season off on the right foot with a 6-2 victory over Charlotte. After a rough couple of starts, John Gast allowed only two runs in eight innings of work. Xavier Scruggs collected three hits including two doubles. Rainel Rosario chipped in two hits as did Niko Vasquez.
Ted Obregon has hit safely in 13 games and has failed to get a base hit in only one of the 16 games he has played in since joining the club. Obregon is batting .352/.386/.407 since joining the team from Extended Spring Training.
Over his last 10 games, Xavier Scruggs is hitting .351/.442/.649 with a pair of home runs and has an active 22-game on-base streak.
Infielder Alan Ahmady was ejected from two games during the week and now leads the FSL in that undesirable category.
The Cardinal Nation Top 40 Prospect Watch
#40 Niko Vasquez. The once highly-touted prospect has struggled to put it together at the plate. In 67 at bats, he is hitting .194/.280/.299 and has struck out 18 times in 67 at bats.
#39 Robert Stock. In four games since being promoted from Quad Cities, the catcher is hitting .353/.389/.529 with a home run and a pair of RBIs.
#30 Rainel Rosario. The speedy outfielder has posted a slash line of .323/.400/.462 with 16 RBIs during the month of June.
#28 John Gast. The southpaw is now 5-4 with an ERA a shade under four. During the month of July, the opposition posted an ERA of 6.08 against him.
#27 Joe Kelly. Friday night's scheduled starter is 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA. He has 49 strikeouts compared to 26 walks in 60 innings while holding batters to a .216 average as a starter.
#24 Jordan Swagerty. Since joining Palm Beach, the former Arizona State Sun Devil has a record of 1-2 with 22 strikeouts compared to 10 walks in 30.1 innings.
Around the League
In the 12 team league, Palm Beach ranks last in on base percentage, 11th in batting average, and 10th in slugging. Also, the team ranks next to last in runs scored. On the mound, the Cardinals are fourth in team ERA and strikeouts.
Joe Kelly is third on the circuit with his ERA of 2.70. John Gast ranks fourth in innings with a mark of 82. Though he has been gone for weeks, Shelby Miller still ranks fourth in the league in strikeouts.
The Cardinals continue the road series at Charlotte before returning to Roger Dean Stadium to alternate home and away games with Jupiter.
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