The Cardinals were hit with suspensions and injuries, but that has not stopped starter Ryan Sherriff from emerging as the budding star on the Palm Beach roster.
Sherriff dazzled for seven innings of one-run ball before turning a 2-1 lead over to the bullpen. Iden Nazario dropped the ball, as he gave up the tying run in the eighth inning, disqualifying Sherriff from a victory. Despite blowing the lead late, the Cardinals delivered in the bottom of the 11th inning, as Jonathan Rodriguez collected a key leadoff single and was driven in on a single by Geoff Klein to win the second-half opener.
June 22nd: Rain Out
June 23rd: Jupiter Hammerheads 1-4 at Palm Beach Cardinals 0-1
After being washed away on Baseball Card Giveaway night, the Cardinals returned to the field and were swept away by the Hammerheads. In the first game, Robert Morey and Grant Dayton combined for a four-hit, seven-inning shutout. Morey, who started the year in the bullpen, kept the Cardinals bats off balance, as they connected for only three weak singles against the right-hander. In the second game, left-hander Rob Rasmussen took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Geoff Klein broke it up. The Cardinals had to play from behind early, as starter Brad Watson allowed four runs in the first inning. The biggest blow of the inning came when Jonathan Rodriguez chased a wild throw and collided with Mark Canha, fracturing his wrist. The Cardinals fell to the Hammerheads for the seventh time in 10 tries.
June 24th: Clearwater Threshers 3 at Palm Beach Cardinals 1
With bad weather in the forecast, the Cardinals received great news, activating starter Kevin Siegrist before the game. The left-hander did not disappoint, hurling five innings, allowing one unearned run and striking out six. He gave way to the bullpen in the sixth, as he reached his pitch count for the evening. Iden Nazario recorded one out before Tropical Storm Debby made another appearance at the Dean. The rain delay forced manager Rodriguez to use Nick Gillung on back-to-back days. The move did not serve well for the Cardinals, as Gillung gave up the go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh inning. The Cardinals bats were held at bay all night, recording one infield single.
June 25th: Clearwater Threshers 7 at Palm Beach Cardinals 5
The Cardinals and the Threshers were involved in a pitcher's duel, as Jesse Biddle and Anthony Ferrara Jr. went toe-to-toe for five innings. Both pitchers gave up one run and dominated the opposition. However, Ferrara Jr. was the first to blink, as he walked four runners and gave up a key single in the sixth, dooming the left-hander. The Cardinals fell behind 7-1 before Chris Edmondson rallied the club in the seventh inning. Edmondson connected for a bases-loaded triple to bring the Cardinals within two at 7-5. Palm Beach had a chance to win it in the ninth, as both Starlin Rodriguez and Mike O'Neill reached base with nobody out; however the middle of the order could not come up with the big hit. Edmondson almost won the game, driving a 1-1 fastball to the deepest part of the park, but the wind brought the game-winner back.
June 26th: Clearwater Threshers 5 at Palm Beach Cardinals 3
Todd McInnis fell for the fifth time this season, as he allowed five runs in four innings to the Threshers. McInnis, who cannot avoid the long ball, surrendered his team-leading seventh home run of the season in the fifth inning before being yanked by manager Rodriguez. The Cardinals cut the four-run deficit to two in the eighth inning, but Threshers closer Tyler Knigge shut the door, sealing his seventh save of the season. Geoff Klein did all he could, as he collected a season-high four hits and one RBI. Drew Benes pitched solidly in relief, hurling four shutout innings to keep the Cardinals close.
June 27th: Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Clearwater Threshers 2
With Palm Beach facing a five-game losing streak, Ryan Sherriff toed the rubber and delivered for the Beach Birds. The left-hander was outstanding, notching his team-high fifth win on 7 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out two, and only allowed six runners to reach base. He received an offensive lift from Nick Longmire, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Dean Kiekhefer closed it out with a perfect ninth to tally his seventh save of the season.
Hands Up, Sherriff is in Town
Ryan Sherriff from Culver City, CA, made another solid start on Wednesday night... The left-hander is now 5-0 with 2.18 ERA... After being called-up from Extended Spring Training, Sherriff has looked strong against FSL competition, tossing 40.1 innings and striking out 20... He has won five of his six decisions...
Mike O'Neill connected for hit in the first inning Wednesday to continue his outstanding season.... The Riverside, CA native is the active FSL leader in batting average with a .347 mark... With the promotions of Threshers Cody Asche (.349) and Flying Tigers Nick Castellanos (.402), O'Neill leads the rest of the league by over 30 points...
The Cardinals are in one of their worst slumps of the season, having dropped seven of their last 10... One of the main concerns has been their defense, as they have com¬mitted at least one error in their last 15 games... They have tallied 31 errors over those 15 games…
The second half has been unkind to the No. 3 spot in the lineup, as five different hitters have combined to go 2-for-27 with one RBI and 13 strikeouts...
Benes Backing Bullpen
Drew Benes was moved to the bullpen because of recent struggles as a starter, but that has not deterred the right-hander... In three appearances and eight innings of relief work, Benes has allowed just one unearned run on four hits....
Not Rosy Rosario
The Cardinals expected Rainel Rosario to come in and help the middle of the order when he was sent down from Double-A Springfield. However, since arriving, the outfielder has been woeful, posting a .182 batting average with no home runs and 15 RBI. His recent struggles earned him a demotion to seventh in the batting order.
6/22 OF Michael Swinson transferred to GCL rehab
6/23 P Scott McGregor moved to Double-A Springfield
6/23 IF Vance Albitz added from Double-A Springfield
6/24 P Kevin Siegrist activated from the DL
6/24 IF Jonathan Rodriguez placed on the DL
6/24 OF Michael Swinson activated from GCL rehab
6/25 OF Michael Swinson placed on the Restricted List- suspended by MLB
Vance Albitz returns to provide much-needed depth in the infield. He will get chances to play all three spots - second, short and third - giving various players nights off. Siegrist will return to the top of the rotation and command one of the six pitching slots.
Jonathan Rodriguez will be out longer than expected. He suffered a hairline fracture in his left hand while trying to make a play on an errant throw by Tyler Rahmatulla. There is no timetable for his return.
On the Horizon
The Cardinals will take their chances on the road, as they begin a three-game set with the Bradenton Marauders on Thursday before returning to the Dean for a three-game series with the Jupiter Hammerheads, starting Sunday, July 1st.
© 2012 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.