Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2013 Week 16

In addition to their opponents, the A-Advanced Cardinals fought the Florida rain in a 2-2 week.

After being rained out for three straight games, the Palm Beach Cardinals returned home and split with the Tampa Yankees. The road to an FSL playoff berth has gotten tougher as infielder and former Palm Beach leadoff hitter Colin Walsh has been promoted to Double-A Springfield.

July 18-20: rained out

July 21: Palm Beach Cardinals 9, Tampa Yankees 4

The Cardinals enjoyed their three days off, as they swatted three homers and pummeled the visiting Yankees on Sunday night. Palm Beach took an early lead on a solo home run by David Popkins.

In the fourth inning, the Cardinals blew it wide open as they scored seven runs to take a commanding lead. Jonathan Rodriguez jolted the offense with a grand slam. He also capped the scoring with a solo home run in the seventh. It was Rodriguez first multi-homer contest since June 6, 2012, when he went 2-for-5 with two homers at Dunedin. The All-Star finished the game 3-for-5 with five RBI, leading the Cardinals to their second straight victory. Tyler Melling made his first appearance since coming off the DL, tossing three innings of shutout baseball.

July 22: Tampa Yankees 2 at Palm Beach Cardinals 1

The Cardinals mustered a total of only eight hits on the night. Jonathan Rodriguez and Alex Mejia did most of the heavy lifting, collecting two hits each. Rodriguez had the lone RBI. On the bump, Ryan Sherriff was solid, hurling five innings, scattering five hits, allowing one run and striking out one.

With the game knotted up at 1-1, Tampa pulled ahead with an RBI single in the top of the seventh against loser Travis Miller. It proved to be the game winner, as two Yankees hurlers combined to toss three innings of shutout ball.

July 23: Tampa Yankees 9 at Palm Beach Cardinals 5

After four straight quality starts, Kyle Hald (5-7) fell victim to the Yankees. The left-hander gave up six runs, five earned, on nine hits in six innings. It wasn't all bad for Hald, as he fended off the Yankees for six solid innings, but the seventh proved to be a nightmare.

Facing a 4-2 deficit, the Yankees' first four batters in the frame reached base via two singles, an error and a walk. With a one run lead, the Cardinals summoned Robert Stock and he promptly gave up a grand slam, making it 7-4. The Yankees added two more in the frame, scoring seven runs on the evening to take their second straight game from the Cardinals.

July 24: Palm Beach Cardinals 4, Tampa Yankees 2

It looked like the Cardinals were going to drop their third straight game, as they entered the sixth inning down 2-0. With the bases loaded in the bottom of that frame, Mejia smacked a three-run double, clearing the bases, and giving the Cards their first lead of the game.

Hector Hernandez (3-0) took care of the rest, tossing seven innings, scattering eight hits, allowing two runs, striking out five and picking up his third straight victory. Lefty Dean Kiekhefer picked up his fourth save of the season, hurling two innings of scoreless ball.

Popkins, Starlin Rodriguez and Jesus Montero had two hits each.

Not Your Average Popkins - David Popkins continues to hit for Palm Beach. In 56 games, he batting .346 (72-for-208) with 14 doubles, four triples, six home runs and 30 RBI. He is fourth on the team in hits, third in doubles, first in triples and fourth in homers. If Popkins was eligible for the batting title, he would be leading the FSL in hitting.

Front-Running Birds - The Cardinals are clinging to the divisional lead, with a one-game edge on the charging Charlotte Stone Crabs. The Cardinals have to continue to play well, but so have the Stone Crabs, winners of eight of their last 10 games.

Road Warriors - The Beach Birds have been better on the road, winning seven of nine games away from Jupiter during the second half of the season. On the full season, they are 21-22 overall away from Roger Dean Stadium.

Texas Leaguer - Second baseman Colin Walsh was promoted to Double-A Springfield on July 22. In his first three games with the S-Cardinals, he is hitting .455 (5-for-11) with two runs and an RBI.


7/18/13- LHP Tyler Melling activated from the 7-day DL
7/20/13- RHP Logan Billbrough activated from the 7-day DL
7/20/13- LHP Danny Miranda assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach
7/22/13- IF Colin Walsh assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach
7/24/13- LHP Jay Voss sent to GCL Cardinals for rehab assignment
7/24/13- RHP Chris Corrigan sent to GCL Cardinals for rehab assignment

On the Horizon

The Cardinals will match up with the Daytona Cubs for a four-game set starting Thursday night July 25th before hitting the road for an eight-game trip to Clearwater and Dunedin.

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