Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2013 Week 14

Another winning streak has put the Cards atop the Florida State League South Division standings.

Fireworks and Saturday night fests have not gotten in the way of the Palm Beach Cardinals, as they have strung together another winning streak, putting them atop the Florida State League South Division standings.

July 4: Charlotte Stone Crabs 6 at Palm Beach Cardinals 3

The Cardinals dropped their second straight game, as Charlotte scored early and often in front of a sellout crowd at Roger Dean Stadium. Tyler Melling (2-3) suffered the loss, giving up six runs on five hits in 4.2 innings. The left-hander walked four batters, which ended up hurting him as three of those walks ended up scoring.

The Cards mounted a comeback, knotting the contest in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two runs on three hits. Alex Mejia tied the game with an RBI double. However, it didn't last as the Stone Crabs scored four in the next frame. Mejia finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Anthony Garcia and Starlin Rodriguez added two hits each.

July 5: Palm Beach Cardinals 7, Charlotte Stone Crabs 4

Behind the strong effort of Zach Petrick (2-0), the Cardinals returned the favor on Friday night, scoring seven runs on nine hits and jumping out to a 7-0 lead. Colin Walsh got things going atop the order, picking up three hits and scoring twice from the leadoff spot. Starlin Rodriguez added two hits and two runs.

It was more than enough for Petrick, who went on to toss six innings of shutout baseball. The hurler scattered five hits, while striking out a season-high eight. He lowered his ERA to 0.35 on the season. The Stone Crabs mounted a late comeback, scoring four runs in the eighth inning, but the pen held up as the Cards took the series finale.

July 6: Jupiter Hammerheads 3 at Palm Beach Cardinals 2 (13 innings)

The Fins' and Feathers' series took it an extra mile on Saturday night, as both teams played well into the night and playing close to four hours (3:53). Tyrell Jenkins made the start, but was removed after facing the second hitter of the game. The right-hander exited the game as he hobbled off the mound, holding his arm.

The Cardinals and Hammerheads battled for 12 innings, scoring two runs apiece. However, in the 13th inning, Jupiter broke the 2-2 tie with three consecutive two-out singles. Dean Kiekhefer suffered the loss, as he gave up two runs in three innings on the mound. Starlin Rodriguez continued to swing a hot bat, recording three hits in five at bats.

July 7: Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Jupiter Hammerheads 1

After using five relievers to throw 13 innings on Sunday night, the Cardinals needed a strong performance from Kurt Heyer. The former Arizona Wildcat delivered, tossing six innings, scattering three hits and striking out eight. He did not allow a run, but his performance was washed away as Justin Nicolino was equally impressive. The Jupiter left-hander went six innings, allowing one run on nine hits.

In a 1-1 tie in the ninth inning, Jonathan Rodriguez delivered with a game-winning two-run homer, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead. Danny Miranda picked up the victory, tossing 1.1 innings of shutout ball. Starlin Rodriguez led the offense with another three hit night.

July 8: Palm Beach Cardinals 5, Jupiter Hammerheads 1

Kyle Hald (5-6) delivered a masterful performance, tossing seven innings of one run ball. He allowed six hits, walking one and struck out two. Hald took advantage of four early runs, as the Cardinals jumped all over Juan Urena. The Jupiter hurler gave up four runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings.

Colin Walsh went 3-for-5 with one run and one RBI, as he led the Cardinals from the leadoff spot. Miranda picked up his third save of the season, tossing two innings of scoreless, hitless ball.

July 9: Palm Beach Cardinals 6, Bradenton Marauders 2

The Cardinals picked up their third straight victory. Ryan Sherriff (2-2) was brilliant, scattering seven hits, giving up two runs, one earned, to pick up his second victory of the year.

David Popkins supplied the power early in the first inning, as he hit a two-run homer against Marauders starter Orlando Castro. Anthony Garcia also added a solo homer in the first, giving the Cardinals an early 3-0 lead. The Cardinals kept it rolling, banging out 11 hits and scoring six run on the night. Popkins finished the night 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, while Garcia added two hits and two runs.

July 10: Palm Beach Cardinals 4, Bradenton Marauders 2

The Cardinals jumped out to an early 3-1 lead and never looked back, as they took game two from the Marauders. Four of the first five Cards reached base. Jonathan Rodriguez delivered an RBI single, while Anthony Garcia added a bases-clearing double. It would be more than enough for the Cardinals.

In his high-A debut, Hector Hernandez (1-0) pitched well, tossing five innings, scattering five hits and allowing two runs. The bullpen fared better, as they tossed four scoreless innings. Ronnie Shaban picked up his team leading 12th save of the season.

Not Your Average Popkins - David Popkins was named the Topps Player of the Month in June… He picked up hits in his first dozen games in June, while leading the Florida State League with a .413 batting average. The outfielder also topped the league with 38 hits. Popkins ranked second in on-base percentage (.450), third in OPS (1.048), fourth in slugging percentage (.598); and fifth in runs (18) during that span.

Star Starlin - Since re-joining Palm Beach, Starlin Rodriguez has been swinging a hot bat. However, in his last five games he is on fire, hitting .429 (9-for-21) with two runs scored and two RBI. On the season, the outfielder is hitting .320 (24-for-70) with five doubles, one home run and 10 RBI.

Front-Running Birds - With their fourth straight win on Wednesday night, Palm Beach leaped the Charlotte Stone Crabs for first place in the South Division… The Beach Birds have half a game lead on Charlotte… The Cardinals have only one won FSL Championship.

Transactions

7/5/13- C Juan Castillo retired
7/5/13- LHP Tyler Melling placed on the 7-day DL
7/6/13- C Adam Lewis assigned to Palm Beach from State College
7/6/13- RHP Aidan Lucas placed on the 7-day DL
7/6/13- LHP Iden Nazario activated from the 7-day DL
7/7/13- RHP Robert Stock assigned to Palm Beach from Peoria
7/7/13- LHP Ismael Brito assigned to Palm Beach from GCL Cardinals
7/7/13- RHP Tyrell Jenkins placed on the 7-day DL
7/8/13- LHP Hector Hernandez assigned to Palm Beach from Peoria
7/8/13- LHP Ismael Brito returned to GCL Cardinals from Palm Beach
7/9/13- C Jesus Montero assigned to Palm Beach from Peoria
7/9/13- C Casey Rasmus assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach

On the Horizon

The Cardinals finish off their series with Bradenton before welcoming the Brevard County Manatees on Friday night. They will hit the road next week as they head to Lakeland to face the 2012 FSL champions.



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