Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2012 Week 4

The Florida State League Cardinals are in the midst of a nice 6-2 run paced by pitching and defense.

The tide has apparently turned for the Palm Beach Cardinals as they have won six of their last eight. Strong pitching and defense seems to be the new motto and for good reason, as the Cardinals have pitched two shutouts and allowed a total of 13 runs in their last eight games.

Seth Maness continues to climb among the league leaders in the Florida State League, as the April Pitcher of the Month as selected by the Cardinals organization and The Cardinal Nation, is a perfect 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA.

Thursday April 26th: Fort Myers Miracle 2, Palm Beach Cardinals 0
Richard Castillo makes a start and the offense hibernates. Castillo, as he has done all season made another quality start, but the offense could not manage to put a dent on the board. It was the fifth time the Cardinals were shut out and the third time in a game Castillo started.

Friday April 27th: Palm Beach Cardinals 3 at Fort Myers Miracle 2
After being shut out the night before, the Cardinals came out swinging on Friday as they scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth. Designated hitter Chris Edmondson supplied the power as he smacked his second home run of the year in the fifth to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. Starter Chris Corrigan pitched four solid inning of shutout ball, but was pulled because of a high pitch count. Iden Nazario, Ricky Martinez and Dean Kiekhefer finished the game, tossing five innings of two-run ball as Palm Beach captured their first series win since April 11th.

Saturday April 28th: Palm Beach Cardinals 2 at Charlotte Stone Crabs 1
On a cold, rainy night, the Cardinals fought back to clip the Stone Crabs in the top of the ninth. Chris Edmonson delivered a two-out RBI single to drive in Mike O'Neill for the game winner. Reliever Chase Reid received his second victory of the season after throwing two scoreless innings.

Sunday April 29th: Palm Beach Cardinals 3 at Charlotte Stone Crabs 0
The Cardinals won their third straight behind the great pitching performance of Drew Benes. The right-hander threw a career-high seven innings of shutout baseball to record his first victory of the season. His command of his fastball kept hitters in check, while his curve ball kept them off balance as he recorded five strikeouts. The bullpen finished the shutout as they tossed two perfect frames.

Monday April 30th: Palm Beach Cardinals 7 at Charlotte Stone Crabs 4
The Beach Birds completed the series sweep, as they broke out early in the second for four runs. That outburst was the second largest of the road trip, as they scored six in the third inning against Fort Myers on April 25th. Even with a big lead, they added three more, thanks to three-hit nights from Mike O'Neill, Jonathan Rodriguez and Neal Pritchard. Starter Carlos Martinez was the beneficiary of the strong offense, as he recorded his first win of the season.

Tuesday May 1st: Palm Beach Cardinals 9, Fort Myers Miracle 3
After being knotted up at 3-3 for seven innings, the Cardinals exploded for six runs on five hits in the eighth inning. Jonathan Rodriguez was a key performer as he went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. His first home run of the season tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth, before the Beach Birds tacked on six in the eighth.

Wednesday May 2nd: Fort Myers Miracle 2 at Palm Beach Cardinals 1, 11 innings
The visiting Miracle clipped the Cardinals in extra innings, as they scored in the 11th inning to snap the Palm Beach's five-game winning streak. Richard Castillo turned in another great performance, as he gave up two hits and one run, but was not a part of the decision as the offense struggled again. Palm Beach hitters went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position, while leaving 14 stranded.

Thursday May 3rd: Palm Beach Cardinals 5, Fort Myers Miracle 0
Palm Beach finished off Fort Myers, as Chris Corrigan tossed six innings of shut out baseball. Vance Albitz led the offensive charge, as he was 1-for-2 with two RBI. Travis Tartamella collected his first hit of the 2012 season, as he doubled in Nick Longmire to cap the evening's scoring. The bullpen tossed three innings to preserve the win and collect the save.

No Walks No Problem
Despite only making seven starts in 2011, Seth Maness has made a name for himself in the FSL... Through 34 innings of baseball, Maness has yet to allow a walk... He is the only starter in the league that has not done so...

Hard-Luck Loser Castillo
The right-hander has surrendered five runs (three earned) in five outings; however his record stands at 1-3... The Cardinals have scored a total of four runs in his five starts and have been shut out three times...

Fleet Footed Beach Birds
The Cardinals continued their damage on the base paths, as they stole two more bases... On the season, the Cardinals are 25-for-38, and Ronny Gil leads the team with five stolen bases...They are currently fifth in the FSL in stolen bases…

Bullpen Woes No More
In the last eight games, the Cardinals bullpen has been solid... In 26 innings, the bullpen has given up seven runs (five earned) on 14 hits, while recording 18 strikeouts in the process...Chase Reid and Iden Nazario have tallied victories, while Dean Kiekhefer (1) and Logan Billbrough (2) have accounted for a saves...

13 For Sticks
Mike O'Neill is currently on a 13-game hitting streak... The outfielder has had two-hit streaks of ten games or more this season... He has hit safely in all but two games...

Ahmady Feeling Chills
The Cardinals have been on fire of late, but Alan Ahmady has been ice cold. The right-hander has gone 3-for-28 in last eight games… His struggles have seen him move up-and-down the lineup…

Injury Bugs
Palm Beach has fallen victim to the injury bug, as both Starlin Rodriguez and Packy Elkins have been placed on the DL... Both injuries do not appear to be serious, but have forced other moves in the organization...

4/26 IF Starlin Rodriguez placed on DL
4/26 C Travis Tartamella activated from the DL
4/27 IF Packy Elkins placed on the DL
4/28 IF Neal Pritchard added from Extended Spring Training

Travis Tartamella will serve as the backup catcher, while Neal Pritchard may see more time as the only reserve infielder on the roster.

Injury Report
Pitcher Kevin Siegrist has been seen in the backfields working out with extended spring training, while sitting in the dugout during Palm Beach games. His timetable has not been set, but he looks to be close. Starlin Rodriguez should return this weekend, as his strained quadricep looks ready for action. Barring any setbacks, the second baseman will be back for the Beach Birds in no time.

On the Horizon
The Cardinals will finish their seven-game homestand with four against the Brevard County Manatees starting Friday May 4th. Palm Beach will then hit the road for a four-game set at the Lakeland Flying Tigers.

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