Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2014 Week 3

The Florida State League Cardinals lost four of six this past week, slipping into fourth place.

The Palm Beach Cardinals have ran into some hard times of late, losing four of their last six games and dropping to fourth in the Florida State League South Division standings.

April 16: Bradenton Marauders 4 at Palm Beach Cardinals 0
On Wednesday night, in front of a rowdy 2,241 fans in attendance, the Cardinals dropped their fourth straight contest, 4-0. The Cards offense was stymied by Bradenton's John Kuchno (W, 2-1), who tossed six scoreless innings, allowing two hits, while walking three and striking out one. The Cards finished the game with two hits and were shut out for the second straight night. Mike Mayers (L, 1-2) took the loss, tossing six innings, allowing eight hits, four runs with three strikeouts.

April 17: Charlotte Stone Crabs 5 at Palm Beach Cardinals 3
It took 23 innings, but the Cardinals finally snapped their scoreless streak with three runs in the bottom of the fourth against Charlotte. However, it was not enough as the Stone Crabs scored one in the second, two in the third and two in the fourth to drop the Cardinals for the fifth straight time. Joe Cuda (L, 0-2) took the loss, hurling five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and striking out one. Offensively, the Cardinals recorded eight hits on the night. Three of those hits came in the three-run fourth inning. Charlie Tilson led off with a single, moved to second on a walk to Matt Williams, advanced to third on an error and scored on groundout by Breyvic Valera. Jacob Wilson drove in Williams with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-2, while Starlin Rodriguez and Anthony Garcia hit back-to-back doubles to knot it up at 3-3. However, the Cardinals lost the lead in the next frame and dropped their fifth straight. Tilson finished the night 3-for-5.

April 18: Palm Beach Cardinals 8, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3
On Friday night, the Cardinals used the long ball to get back to their winning ways. In the bottom of the first inning, Starlin Rodriguez gave the Cards an early 1-0 lead with a homer off Austin Pruitt. However, Tyler Goeddel of the Stone Crabs put Charlotte ahead with a three-run home run in the top of the second inning against Thomas Lee. After the long ball, Lee turned in a fine start, hurling six innings, allowing three runs on six hits with three strikeouts. Facing a 3-2 deficit in the bottom of the seventh, Rodriguez put the Cards ahead for good. The outfielder clubbed his second homer of the night. The three-run shot gave the Cards a decisive lead. Aidan Lucas (W, 1-0) recorded the win, while Dixon Llorens (S, 2) tallied the save.

April 19: Palm Beach Cardinals 13, Charlotte Stone Crabs 9
In a contest that saw four lead changes, one tie, 24 hits and 22 runs, the Cardinals came away with their second straight win over Charlotte. Rodriguez paced the offense, going 3-for-5 with a double, home run, three runs and three RBI. For the second straight night, Rodriguez homered in the seventh inning, and it proved to be the decisive blow for the second straight evening. Rodriguez wasn't the only Cardinal with a hot bat, as Valera and Wilson had three hits, too. The 2-through-5 hitters went a combined 11-for-20 with seven runs and eight RBI. Corey Baker (W, 2-0) recorded the victory, tossing 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit with four strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to a team-leading 0.71 on the season.

April 20: Day Off-Easter Sunday

April 21: St. Lucie Mets 5, Palm Beach Cardinals 4
For the second straight time, the Cardinals bullpen spoiled a strong start by Kyle Helisek. The left-hander went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts. He left the game with a 4-3 lead and was in line for his first win of the season. However, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Lucas (W, 1-1) and Llorens couldn't find the plate as they walked a combined five batters and allowed the tying and winning run to cross the plate. Lucas started the inning with a walk, two fly outs and a walk before he was removed for Llorens. The righty promptly walked the next three batters, handing the Mets the opener, 5-4.

April 22: St. Lucie Mets 5, Palm Beach Cardinals 4 (12)
The Cardinals bullpen spoiled another great Beach Bird start. On Tuesday night, it was Marco Gonzales' turn. The lefty went six innings, allowing one run on three hits with seven strikeouts. His lone blemish came in the sixth inning, as T.J. Rivera hit a solo home run. Still, entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cardinals carried a 5-1 lead. Corey Baker got two outs before giving up a two-run homer to Phillip Evans. After a single by Maikis De La Cruz, the Cardinals turned the ball over to Sam Tuivailala, but he gave up a walk and two hits. Rivera's single to right field plated two and knotted the game up at 5-5. Evans ended the game in the 12th, as he connected for an RBI single with a runner on second base against reliever Mitch Harris (L, 0-1).

Star for Rodriguez: The Palm Beach Cardinals, in conjunction with the Florida State League announced that Starlin Rodriguez was named the Player of the Week on Monday, April 21. From the week of April 14-20, the outfielder batted .381 (8-for-21) with three homers, three doubles, seven RBI and six runs scored.

What's Up, Cuda?: Last season, Joe Cuda dominated the FSL circuit. This season, the right-hander has been roughed up for 12 runs in 11 2/3 innings. He carries an 0-2 record with a 9.26 ERA.

Let's Go Streaking: As of April 22, Charlie Tilson carried an 18-game on-base streak. The streak started on September 1, 2013 and has carried through the first month of the season. During that span, the outfielder is hitting .274 with one double, one home run and six RBI.

I'll Have Another Martini: Outfielder Nick Martini has been scolding hot the last ten games. The left-handed batter is hitting .350 (14-for-40) with five runs and eight RBI. The 23-year-old leads the team with three triples and is third in batting average.


4/17/14: IF Matt Williams assigned to Palm Beach from Springfield
4/20/14: OF Steven Ramos released
4/20/14: P Kyle Hald promoted to Springfield from Palm Beach
4/21/14: P Mitch Harris assigned to Palm Beach from State College
4/21/14: Catcher Casey Rasmus off the seven-day disabled list.
4/21/14: Catcher Adam Ehrlich assigned to State College from Palm Beach.

On the Horizon

The Cardinals welcome the St. Lucie Mets for two games from April 23-24 before traveling to Fort Myers (MIN) for a three-game set starting on Friday. The Cards return to the ‘Dean' on Monday for a three-game series with Jupiter (MIA).

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