Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2011 Week 19

The Class A Advanced Cardinals are in the midst of a season-high seven-game winning streak. First baseman Xavier Scruggs is swinging a hot bat.

This report covers the period of August 12 through August 18.

It was quite the week for the Palm Beach Cardinals. The team is now working on a seven-game winning streak. The club is relying not only on quality pitching but on strong offensive performances. During the period, the Cardinals scored 35 runs in only five games.

The Cards started the week with a 10-2 shelling of Fort Myers for their third straight win. Xavier Scruggs led the outburst with two home runs and three RBI. Kyle Conley added two hits including his tenth home run of the season in a six-run ninth inning. Eric Fornataro went eight innings while allowing only one earned run.

On Saturday night, the team hung another big number on the Miracle for a 9-5 win. Alan Ahmady led the way with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Starlin Rodriguez had two hits and scored two runs out of the leadoff spot. Starter Kevin Siegrist only made it through three innings so reliever Jesse Simpson was credited with his third win.

In its final game with Fort Myers, Palm Beach proved to be an ungrateful guest once again as it plated nine runs once again for a series sweep. Niko Vasquez was the offensive hero with three hits while Adam Melker drove in three. Tyler Lyons put together another quality start, allowing only one run in six innings of work for his seventh victory.

The Cardinals might have departed from Fort Myers but it didn't leave the bats behind. On Tuesday, the team topped St. Lucie 8-4 behind three hits from Kyle Conley. Adam Melker posted three RBI for the second consecutive game. Carlos Martinez was tagged with four runs and could only make it through 4.1 innings. Chase Reid picked up the win by spinning 1.2 shutout innings of relief.

The only thing that could keep Palm Beach out of the win column was the rain that washed out Wednesday's game action.

To close out the week, the Cards topped St. Lucie, 3-0. Richard Castillo struck out eight in 6.2 innings of work. Keith Butler was credited with his eighth save. Kyle Conley rapped his 11th home run to lead the offense.

Who's Hot

During the month of August, Xavier Scruggs is hitting .314 with a slugging percentage of .784 and an OPS of 1.229. The X-Man has seven home runs during the period and has a hit in each game of the current winning streak.

The Cardinal Nation Top 40 Prospect Watch

#40 Niko Vasquez. In 234 at bats, Vasquez is hitting a paltry .231 but does have six home runs since joining Palm Beach.

#39 Robert Stock. The backstop is now hitting .288/.356/.390 in 33 games at Palm Beach.

#30 Rainel Rosario. The 22-year-old is hitting only .163 in 49 at bats since the beginning of August.

#5 Carlos Martinez. The phenom appears to be tiring. In three August starts, he is 1-1 with a 7.82 ERA but does have 16 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.

Around the League

The Cardinals are now 31-22 and sit in second place in the Florida State League South Division. The team is only two-and-a-half games behind first place Bradenton.

Xavier Scruggs is tied for fifth in home runs and ranks eighth in slugging. Rainel Rosario is tied for tenth on the circuit with 66 RBIs.

Eric Fornataro is eleventh in ERA while having the fourth-highest loss total. The right-hander also ranks tenth in innings.

Up Next

The Cardinals will return home on Friday to play Jupiter at Roger Dean Stadium. The team will then head out on the road to Bradenton on Monday for a three-game set.

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