Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2012 Week 20

The A-Advanced Cards have continued to avoid falling out of the Florida State League playoff race. Catcher Cody Stanley is swinging a hot bat.

The Palm Beach Cardinals refuse to give up on their diminishing playoff chances, as they have won their last three games to even out their week at 3-3.

Cody Stanley is coming into his own, belting three home runs and leading the team with 10 RBI in his last six games.

August 16th: St. Lucie Mets 7, Palm Beach Cardinals 5
The St. Lucie Mets completed the three-game sweep of the Cardinals, as they hit multiple home runs to push past the Beach Birds. Chris Corrigan (2-8) made the start and was roughed up for six runs in 2 1/3 innings of baseball. He gave up eight hits, while two of them went out of the park and suffered his sixth consecutive loss.

On offense, Mike O'Neill put on a show, going 4-for-5 with an RBI. Despite being on base four times, the leadoff hitter came around to score just once in what proved to be his last game with Palm Beach. The Cardinals clubbed 12 hits, but fell to the Mets for the 12th time this season.

August 17th: Fort Myers Miracle 9 at Palm Beach Cardinals 4
Seth Blair (0-2) made his third start of the 2012 season and struggled yet again. The former first rounder had trouble spotting his fastball, amassing the 40-pitch mark by the second inning. Blair's inconsistencies led to another short outing, as he tossed three innings, allowing four runs on four hits. He minimized his walk total to two, but he had many two or three ball counts on the night.

The Cardinals tried to get back into the game in the bottom of the fifth when Cody Stanley hit a two-run home run to make it 4-3. However, that would be as close as they would get. In the eighth inning, the Miracle pounded out four runs on four hits to cushion their lead at 8-3. Josmil Pinto had a career night, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and home run. He came within inches of hitting for the cycle before being put out trying to extend a double in the top of the ninth.

August 18th: Fort Myers Miracle 6, Palm Beach Cardinals 1
The Cardinals made it a season-high fifth straight loss, as they fell to the Miracle for the second straight night. Miracle starter Pat Dean shut down the Cardinals, tossing five innings, allowing one run on three hits. Kyle Hald (3-3) took the loss, as his Jekyll-and-Hyde ways continued. The left-hander tossed 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, three runs and walking a season high five.

The lone bright spot came from the bat of Alan Ahmady, who returned from Double-A in grand fashion, smacking an RBI double to score the Cardinals lone run in the bottom of the fourth. Iden Nazario's return to Palm Beach did not go so well, as he gave up two runs in 1 2/3 innings, while walking four batters.

August 19th: Palm Beach Cardinals 6, Fort Myers Miracle 4
The Cardinals ended their five-game skid with a five-run fifth inning to clip the Miracle on a muggy Sunday evening. With the score knotted up at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Miracle reliever Miguel Munoz walked a pair and gave up a single to James Ramsey to load the bases. Neal Pritchard drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 2-1, giving the Cardinals their first lead since the sixth inning of their August 12th game.

The Miracle called on reliever Madison Boer after the bases loaded walk, and he was greeted rudely by Chris Edmondson. The left fielder hit his eighth home run of the season and second grand slam of the week, to push the lead to 6-1. Todd McInnis (3-6) collected the victory, tossing 5 1/3 innings, scattering seven hits and giving up three runs. Zack Russell picked up the save, his fourth of the season.

August 20th: Day Off

August 21st: Rain Out

August 22nd: Palm Beach Cardinals 7, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2- Palm Beach Cardinals 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2
On a rainy, windy night, the Cardinals kept their playoff hopes alive by knocking off the Charlotte Stone Crabs twice. In the first game, Ryan Sherriff (9-3) returned to form, tossing five innings, allowing two runs and picking up his team-high ninth victory of the season. The left-hander was pulled after the fifth, as the Cardinals took a solid 7-2 lead.

In the fifth inning, Cody Stanley delivered a key three-run home run to give the Cardinals a five run lead. Stanley's second hit of the game added to his RBI total, as he delivered with a two-run double in the top of the fourth. He finished the first game 2-for-3 with five RBI.

In the nightcap, Chris Corrigan (3-8) finally ended his winless streak, tossing five innings of one-run ball. The right-hander struggled early, loading the bases in the top of the first inning. He got out of the jam giving up one run, then retiring 13 of his last 18 batters.

Ahmady is back
Alan Ahmady provided the first run of the game with an RBI double in the top of the first, while Stanley hit another three-run homer in the bottom of the third to give the Cardinals a 4-1 lead. Stanley finished the double-header with three hits, all for extra-bases, while collecting eight of 11 Cardinals RBI.

In the seventh inning, the Stone Crabs loaded the bases with nobody out against Zack Russell. However, the right-hander settled down, striking out the next two and inducing an inning-ending ground out to pick up his fifth save of the year.

Stanley Surging
It took Cody Stanley 36 games to belt his first home run of the season, but since then the catcher has connected for three in his last five games... His 10 RBI in the last five games leads the team, while his 32 RBI rank fourth on the squad...

Russell on Demand
Zack Russell has taken advantage of the promotion of Chase Reid, taking over as the right-hander stopper for manager Johnny Rodriguez... Since July 30th, Russell has converted four of four save opportunities...On the season, Russell is 3-1 with a 4.65 ERA and five of seven in save opportunities...

Double Bubble
The Cardinals have played in five doubleheaders this season, posting a 4-6 record... On Wednesday night, they picked up their first doubleheader sweep of the season...

A Sigh of Corrigan
Chris Corrigan picked up his first victory since June 28th on Wednesday night... Corrigan went 1 1/2 months without recording a victory... In pick¬ing up the victory, Corrigan snapped a six-game losing streak... On the season, Corrigan is 3-8 with a 4.50 ERA...

Blair Project
Seth Blair 2012 debut took a detour, as he suffered an injury that sidelined him until late July… Despite the injury, Blair's name brought a lot of interest to the park … After all the former Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year had all the collegiate credentials to go with an over-powering fastball… However, it has been a year to forget, in three starts, Blair is 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA… He has walked nine in 8 2/3 innings….


8/17 OF Mike O'Neill moved to Double-A Springfield
8/17 OF Michael Swinson activated from Rehab
8/18 P Michael Wacha moved to Double-A Springfield
8/18 P Iden Nazario added from Double-A Springfield
8/18 OF Alan Ahmady added from Double-A Springfield
8/18 OF Michael Swinson placed on inactive list
8/22 IF Neal Pritchard moved to Double-A Springfield
8/22 OF Roberto Reyes activated from the DL

Ahmady returns to provide much-needed pop to the middle of the order, while Nazario adds another dependable arm out of the bullpen. Reyes returns but will not see much time, as Ahmady is serving as the team's fourth outfielder.

On the Horizon
The Cardinals finished their series with Charlotte Thursday night before traveling to Fort Myers over the weekend. The tropical storm threatening South Florida means there is potential for rain outs.

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