Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2013 Week 5

The Appalachian League Cardinals went 1-4 on the week but outfielder Luis Perez has swung a hot bat.

Outfielder Luis Perez had key performances as the Johnson City Cardinals, (14-14), enter a busy week of action. The Cardinals went 1-for-3 against the White Sox and Mariners last week and dropped their opening game against the Astros Saturday to start off a key league battle.

Sunday, July 14, at Boyce Cox Field - White Sox 4, Cardinals 3

Second baseman Brett Wiley and left fielder Luis Perez each went yard in a low-scoring affair but the White Sox used a three-run fifth inning to give the Cardinals a loss to start off the week.

Wiley and Perez were the only two Cardinals to nab multiple hits. Wiley led the team with a 3-for-4 performance while Perez finished 2-for-4.

The only other Cardinals batter with a base hit was outfielder Yoenny Gonzales, who switched between center and right field during the contest.

Hansel De Los Santos (1-2) pitched a respectable outing but took the loss. De Los Santos started and lasted 4 1/3 innings. He allowed eight hits and gave up all four White Sox runs.

Norge Paredes and Anderson Gerdel combined for 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Monday, July 15, at Boyce Cox Field - Cardinals 7, White Sox 3

Johnson City took the rubber match to keep the White Sox broom away from a sweep. Luis Perez, who has come on the scene as of late as a consistent left fielder, had the key performance in the game with two RBI on three hits. Perez, second baseman Brett Wiley, first baseman Justin Ringo and third baseman J.J. Altobelli all tacked on doubles during the victory.

Ringo, Wiley and Lance Jeffries, at the DH spot, contributed two hits each.

The Cardinals used five pitchers but Blake McKnight (2-0) recorded the win. McKnight received the starting nod and pitched five innings. He allowed five hits with just two runs and two strikeouts. Brandon Lee, Fernando Baez, Zach Loraine and Michael Holback all tossed an inning each from the bullpen.

Wednesday, July 17, at Calfee Park - Cardinals 12, Mariners 5

The Cardinals used a eight-run sixth inning including a home run by Rowan Wick against the Pulaski Mariners to continue their road-game win streak.

Wick, who has been the Cards' top catcher, went 3-for-5 and led the team with four RBI.

Second baseman Brett Wiley also kept up a string of consistent hitting by chipping in a 4-for-6 effort with two RBI. Center fielder Vaughn Bryan also tacked on a pair of runs batted in.

Steve Bean made an appearance in the game from the designated hitter spot after having been out for four weeks.

Alex Reyes (2-2) picked up the win after pitching five innings. Reyes, who looked sharp during the start, allowed seven hits and amassed eight strikeouts.

Norge Paredes, Nick Lomascolo and Tyler Mills allowed three runs in four innings out of the bullpen.

Thursday, July 18, at Calfee Park - Mariners 10, Cardinals 3

Pulaski proved not to be the friendliest of hosts in game two of the series.

The Mariners held the Cardinals to just four hits en route to a key win behind a staunch pitching performance.

Wick made his lone hit count with his second-straight home run and led the team with two RBI. Outfielders Vaughn Bryan and Luis Perez, along with Kenny Peoples-Walls, were the other Cardinals to collect a base hit.

Luis Perdomo (1-3) received the start but was shellacked with seven Mariners' runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Steve Sabatino entered the game from the bullpen in third inning. He pitched two innings and allowed four hits and just one Pulsaki run.

Anderson Gerdel yielded two more tallies and Fernando Baez pitched a solid inning but the damage early proved to be just too much to pull off a comeback.

Friday, July 19, at Calfee Park - Mariners 9, Cardinals 6

Kenny Peoples-Walls and Luis Perez teed off on the Mariners pitching staff but it proved to be of no avail in a close contest on the road.

J.J. Altobelli led the Cards with three hits while Kyle Grieshaber, who got the nod at third base, and Walls tacked on two hits each.

Devante Lacy made his presence felt from right field. The outfielder had just one base hit but drove two across the plate. Grieshaber also tacked on an RBI.

Will Anderson received the start for Johnson City and worked four innings toward a no decision. Anderson allowed six hits, one home run and three runs total and struck out five batters. Stalyn Lopez added an inning of relief from the bullpen and allowed one run. Brandon Lee (0-1) picked up the loss by yielding the final five runs in just one mound innning.

Saturday, July 20, at Howard Johnson Field - Astros 11, Cardinals 10 (10)

The Cardinals did not have a lack of offense throughout the first game of a three-game stretch against the league-leading Astros but fell just shy, 11-10, in extra innings.

Shortstop Kenny Peoples-Walls brought the boom stick throughout the affair - scorching the batter's box with a 3-for-5 effort and three RBI, including his fourth home run of the season (and second of the week).

The Cardinals out hit the Astros, 12-9, but were held scoreless in the ninth and tenth innings. Second baseman Richy Pedroza and third baseman Ronnierd Garcia roped in multiple hits with two each.

Johnson City used three pitchers during the game. Dailyn Martinez opened up the game and pitched 4 2/3 innings to a no decision. Martinez tossed two strikeouts with three hits, giving up five runs, two earned. Michael Holback and Norge Paredes each gave up three runs with Paredes (1-1) taking the loss after four innings of work.

Who's Hot?

Dailyn Martinez - Following a rocky start to the season, Martinez has continued to solidify himself as one of the most consistent starters for the Cardinals. Martinez has a 3.28 ERA over his five appearances this season. His workload has increased in the past three starts as he leads the team with 24 innings pitched.

Kenny Peoples-Walls - The shortstop continues to shine with his offensive production for the Cardinals. Peoples-Walls has six hits in his past three games and has string together back-to-back home run games entering Sunday's contest against the Astros. He is first of the team with a .349 batting average and second on the club in the RBI category with 17, trailing team leader Brett Wiley by seven.

Luis Perez - The 21-year old has emerged as one of the top outfielders for the Cardinals as of late and has made his presence felt with his bat as well. Perez has nine hits in the past five games while collecting five RBI. Perez currently has a .300 batting average and two home runs on the season.

Appalachian League East Division

1) Bluefield Blue Jays 18-10
2) Pulaski Mariners 15-12
3) Danville Braves 14-13
4) Burlington Royals 13-15
5) Princeton Rays 6-22

Appalachian League West Division

1) Greeneville Astros 19-10
2) Elizabethton Twins 17-11
3) Kingsport Mets 15-13
4) Johnson City Cardinals 14-14
5) Bristol White Sox 8-19

The Week Ahead

The Cardinals will continue their homestand against the league leading Greeneville Astros until Monday then will travel to Greeneville Tuesday through Thursday. Following up play against the Astros, the Cardinals will be back at Howard Johnson Field Friday through Sunday to square off against the Elizabethton Twins.

Note: On Friday, July 26, the Twins will face the Cardinals at East Tennessee State University's Thomas Stadium. -

Follow Curtis Carden on Twitter: @ERecordSports

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