Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2012 Week 3

The Appalachian League Cardinals logged their third straight .500 week and sit 10-10 on the season.

The Johnson City Cardinals again were consistent, ending their 4-4 week in third place in the West Division with a record of 10-10 on the season. Despite not being able to push past the .500 mark, they came away with a hard-fought road series split with the second-place Greeneville Astros and have split the first two games of the three-game series with the West-leading Elizabethton Twins heading into the rubber match Monday at Cardinal Park.

Sunday, July 1, Johnson City 0 at Bristol 6

The Cardinals managed only three hits in their first away game against the White Sox. The top hittters of the night were outfielder Lance Jeffries, third baseman Carson Kelly, and second baseman Trevor Martin.

Jeffries singled in the fourth. Kelly singled to center in the fifth and advanced to second on an error by Hawkins, being the closest to score in the game. In the top of the ninth, Martin singled to center as well.

Cardinals Pitcher Juan Bautista picked up the loss for the game (1-2, 2.93 ERA). His first pitch of the evening became a solo home run by Joey DeMichele of the White Sox. Bautista allowed three runs on four hits with five walks and two hit batters over 3.1 IP. Bautista was replaced by Thomas Lee in the fourth. Jacob Booden and Zach Petrick also pitched for the Cardinals that evening. Lee, Booden and Petrick all gave up one run each to solidify the win for the White Sox in the opening game of the series.

Monday, July 2, Johnson City 3 at Bristol 4

Johnson City held their own at Bristol for the second game of the series, staying in the game until the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals belted out five hits and had only one error on the evening.

The two biggest hits of the night came from Jeremy Schaffer, who doubled and then was later driven in on a Bruce Caldwell double to tie the game in the top of the ninth. Ildemaro Vargas, Ronald Castillo and Lance Jeffries contributed one hit apiece.

Victor De Leon started for the Cardinals, throwing a strong 5.2 innings, allowing only one unearned run off four hits with one walk and striking out seven. Jeff Rauh relieved De Leon in the sixth but could not keep the Cardinals ahead, allowing the White Sox to score one run in the seventh and one in the eighth.

Manager Oliver Marmol again went to his bullpen, calling on Ronnie Shaban to get the Cardinals out of the eighth. After the Cardinals tied the game in the top of the ninth, Shaban recorded two outs but could not get the final out before allowing the winning run for the White Sox to come across the plate.

McElroy
Tuesday, July 3, Johnson City 8 at Bristol 2

Johnson City prevented getting swept by Bristol, winning the final game of the series, 8-2. The Cardinals had eight hits for the night. McElroy and Vargas combined for four of the eight hits, with two each. Martin, Kelly, Gerwuins Velazco and Cesar Valera had one hit apiece. C.J. McElroy had an outstanding three runs scored on the night, with Valera adding two runs of his own. Kelly, Jeffries and Velazco scored one run each.

Bryan Martinez got the win (1-1, 7.30 ERA). He faced 23 batters and only allowed two runs (one of which was a homer) off six hits with one walk and four strikeouts before being replaced by Aguilar in the sixth. Aguilar, Booden and Mike Aldrete allowed no hits and no runs over the final four frames to seal the win.

Wednesday, July 4, Johnson City 6 at Greeneville 4 (11 innings)

The Cardinals opened their series against the Astros with a 6-4 win in eleven innings. McElroy once again came up big, with two hits in five at-bats and one run on the evening. Schaffer also had a big game, going 1-for-2 with three RBI. Castillo, Caldwell, Kelly and Steve Bean each had a hit. Vargas, Schaffer, Castillo, Caldwell and Bean each scored a run, completing the offensive outburst for the Cardinals.

Nick Gillung pitched the majority of the game with 4.1 innings for his Johnson City debut. He allowed four runs (three earned) off nine hits, two walks and four strikeouts before being relieved. Lee and Dixon Llorens both pitched a combined 4.2 innings of middle relief. Lee gave up three hits and no runs while Llorens walked one on the evening. Zach Petrick (2-0, 1.86 ERA) came away with the win. In the final two innings, he tallied four strikeouts and allowed no hits and no runs.

Friday, July 6, Johnson City 1 at Greeneville 0; Johnson City 2 at Greeneville 4

The Cardinals faced Greeneville for a double-header Friday to end the series due to Thursday's game being rained out. Both games were only seven innings as a result of the previous night's cancellation.

The Cardinals won the first game, 1-0. Johnson City managed one run off their total of seven hits. The lone run came from Caldwell, who was 1-for-4 on the night with an infield single in the ninth. After a Kelly single, Bean walked and then Jeffries was hit by a pitch to advance Caldwell which proved to be the winning run. Castillo went 2-for-4. McElroy, Schaffer, Kelly and Jeffries recorded a hit apiece.

Rauh (1-0, 2.89 ERA) picked up the win in the first game, pitching 2.1 innings in relief for Stalyn Lopez who allowed only one hit and had two strikeouts. Lopez lasted for 5.2 innings, with only five hits allowed. Shaban closed it out with a perfect ninth to pick up his fifth save of the season.

The Cardinals lost their stability in the second game of the evening, dropping the contest 4-2. Johnson City had one hit for the game. Schaffer had a two-run blast in the first inning, plating the only runs of the game for the Cards. Despite jumping out to an early lead, the Cardinals seemed to lose their steam moving forward and allowed one run in the fourth, one in the fifth and then two unearned runs in the sixth.

Joey Donofrio (0-1, 0.00 ERA) took the loss. He allowed two unearned runs on one hit with one walk and two strikeouts in the sixth. Cory Jones started the game, throwing five innings. He allowed two earned runs (one homer) and six hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

Saturday, July 7, Johnson City 4, Elizabethton 8

Johnson City was routed, 8-4, in the opening game of their home series against the Twins.

Of the eight hits that night, Schaffer had three while Vargas and Kelly both added a hit. Schaffer hammered a home run to left field in the bottom of the first, giving the Cardinals their first tally. Kelly stood out amongst the other players, adding a 2-for-4 night at the plate with two runs, one of which was a homer. This was his first as a professional player. Vargas added a run for the Cards as well.

Thomas Lee was given the loss (1-2, 5.68 ERA). He allowed five runs (three earned) and six hits with one walk and two strikeouts in 2.1 IP. Bautista started, lasting five innings and allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. Aguilar also saw time on the mound only allowing one hit to finish the game for Johnson City.

Sunday, July 8, Johnson City 6, Elizabethton 2

The Cardinals fought a hard battle in their second game of the series against the Twins, pulling away late to win 6-2. Johnson City had twelve hits, showing much improvement at the plate.

Schaffer was on top of his game with a 3-for-4 night. He homered to right in the first inning (his third night in a row with a home run) and scored once again in the eighth. Castillo also went 3-for-4 with two RBI's. McElroy and Kelly both added a 2-for-4 night with one run each. Kelly's run came when he plated himself in the fifth with a solo home run (extending his eight-game hitting streak). Vargas and Michael Knox added a hit apiece with Vargas scoring twice.

Starter Victor De Leon lasted five innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits with five walks and three punch outs. The win went to Rauh (2-0, 2.61 ERA), who pitched one inning and faced three batters in relief of De Leon. Rauh gave up no runs on no hits and had one strike out. Petrick pitched a scoreless seventh inning to preserve the lead and pick up a hold. Dixon Llorens then tossed two shutout innings in the eighth and ninth to earn his first save of the season and seal the win for Johnson City.

Hot and Cold Players of the Week

Pitching

Jeff Rauh now has a 2-0 record and 2.61 ERA after this week's games and has put himself on the map for Cardinals fans. He has pitched in six games and 10.1 innings this season, showing much progress.

Zach Petrick is also 2-0 with an ERA of 1.69 after his win this week.

Thomas Lee was a little off of his game this week as he was tagged for five runs in 1.2 innings against the Twins. His record dropped to 1-2 on the season boosting his ERA up to 5.68.

Hitting

C.J. McElroy, Carson Kelly and Jeremy Schaffer were all hot at the plate this week. McElroy has had nine hits and eight runs in his last ten games. Schaffer has four home runs (three in three nights), and Kelly has added two of his own. Both of Kelly's home runs were blasted. Kelly is also working on an eight-game hitting streak.

Steve Bean hit a slump this week, going 1-for-16 and only adding one run with his efforts. Of his nine at bats this week, Dutch Deol has had no hits or runs as he also struggles at the plate.

Team Transaction

7/3 - RHP Cesar Aguilar assigned from Gulf Coast League Cardinals. Aguilar is a 14th round draft pick from 2010 with a career record of 6-3 and a 2.63 ERA.

Next Week's Schedule

Monday, July 9: Johnson City Cardinals vs. Elizabethton Twins (last game of series)
Wednesday-Friday, July 11-13: Johnson City Cardinals @ Bristol White Sox
Saturday-Monday, July 14-16: Johnson City Cardinals vs. Kingsport Mets



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