May 31: Palm Beach Cardinals 4, Fort Myers Miracle 1
The Cardinals scored four unanswered runs late, clipping the front-running Miracle on Friday night. After falling behind 1-0, the Cardinals scored a run in the sixth, two in seventh and one in the eighth. Danny Miranda (2-0) received the win, backing a strong start by Juan Batista, who went six innings, scattered three hits and allowed one run. Ronnie Shaban picked up his team-leading sixth save of the season, hurling a scoreless ninth inning. David Popkins led the offense, going 4-for-4 with a run and two RBI. Stephen Piscotty and Jesus Montero added an RBI apiece.
June 1: Fort Myers Miracle 13 at Palm Beach Cardinals 4
Tyler Melling (1-2) was roughed up by the powerful Miracle offense. The left-hander gave up seven runs on ten hits in 4 2/3 innings. He was hurt by the long ball, as he gave up two homers in the second inning. The Miracle offense was clicking on all cylinders, collecting 18 hits and scoring 13 runs. Each Miracle starter had at least one hit, while six had multi-hit games. The Cardinals fought back a bit in the last couple of frames, scoring four runs. Popkins again led the away, going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Nick Longmire went a perfect 4-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
June 2: Fort Myers Miracle 8 at Palm Beach Cardinals 1 (6 innings)
After a 1-hour, 58-minute rain delay, the teams finally took the field before rain washed away the completion of the game in the sixth inning. Cardinals' starter Jay Voss would have been okay staying in the clubhouse, as he didn't make it out of the first inning. In his Cardinals debut, the left-hander tossed just 2/3 of an inning, allowing five earned runs on three hits. The Miracle added three more in the second. Longmire provided the only offensive spark, as he homered in the third inning.
June 3: Tampa Yankees 6, Palm Beach Cardinals 4
The Cardinals dropped their third straight game, unable to overcome a 5-1 deficit. In a dead heat for 3 innings, the Yankees scored four runs in the fourth inning to take a commanding lead. The Cardinals fought back, scoring two in the fifth and one in the sixth, but it was not enough as the Cardinals defense betrayed starter Kyle Hald (1-5). The lefty went five innings, yielding seven hits, allowing six runs, two earned, taking the loss. Offensively, Anthony Garcia fell a single shy of hitting for the cycle, as recorded a double, triple and a homer. His fifth inning dinger brought the Beach Birds to within two runs, but that was as close as they could get all evening.
June 4: Tampa Yankees 5, Palm Beach Cardinals 4 (11 innings)
The Yankees scooted by the Cardinals in the bottom of the 11th inning, as Angelo Gumbs hit a walk-off double against Shaban. Until then, both squads had been in a dead heat, squared at 4-4. Kurt Heyer got the opening nod for the Cardinals; the right-hander went three innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Iden Nazario, Travis Miller and Zach Petrick bailed out Heyer, as they tossed a combined seven shutout innings, keeping the Cardinals in the game. Offensively, the bats pounded out 15 hits and scored four runs, but did not come up with the big hits, stranding 12 runners and going 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Garcia went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI, while Piscotty added three hits and two RBI.
June 5: Palm Beach Cardinals 6 at Tampa Yankees 3
Brad Watson, a 2012 Beach Bird, made his season debut on Wednesday night and was dominant. The right-hander went six innings, scattering six hits, allowing three runs, one earned to pick up his first victory of the season. The hurler was backed by instant offense, as the Cardinals scored one in the second and one in the fourth. After falling behind 3-2 in the fourth inning, the bats scored four runs in the top half of the seventh to capture the victory. In the frame, the Cards took advantage of three hits, four walks and one wild pitch to score their four runs. Ronny Gil provided the big blow, smacking a two-run single to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead, while the other two runs scored on a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch. Popkins continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Tribute to "Emo" - Florida State League President Chuck Murphy's wife passed away Sunday, June 2. Laura "Emo" Murphy had a severe stroke early that morning. She was 84 years old and is the only women in the FSL Hall of Fame, inducted in 2011.
No "Mary" Popkins - Outfielder David Popkins has been on a tear of late. In his last ten games, he is hitting .571 (12-for-21) with one home run and four RBI. He has recorded three multi-hit games in his last six starts, raising his season average to .300 (18-for-60).
Power Shortage - Stephen Piscotty leads the Beach Birds with seven homers, but he has not homered since May 10th. Despite the power shortage, the outfielder is still a threat in the lineup and leads the Cardinals with 86 total bases and is third with 26 RBI.
Hey now you're an All-Star - Piscotty and first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez were selected for the 2013 Florida State League All-Star Game. This will be the first All-Star appearance for both players.
Not in Peoria Anymore - Alex Mejia was promoted from Peoria last week, but has not brought his bat with him. In seven games with the Beach Birds, the shortstop is sporting a .043 (1-for-23) batting average. Mejia is still trying to make the adjustments, and the Cards will need him if they have any chance of winning the second-half crown.
5/31/13- P Jay Voss assigned to Palm Beach from Memphis DL
5/31/13- P Zach Petrick assigned to Palm Beach from Peoria
5/31/13- P Jose Almarante assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach
6/1/13- P Jonathan Cornelius assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach
6/2/13- P Brad Watson assigned to Palm Beach from State College
6/3/13- C Adam Lewis assigned to Palm Beach from State College
6/5/13- OF Ronald Castillo assigned to Palm Beach from State College
6/5/13- OF Nick Longmire assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach
On the Horizon
Cardinals ended their series against the Yankees on Thursday and will travel to Port Charlotte, FL to take on the Charlotte Stone Crabs in a four-game set. Friday night they will play two games, as a makeup of their postponed contest from May 30. The Cardinals return home on Monday, June 10, beginning a four-game set with Dunedin.
© 2013 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.