Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2014 Week 8

The Florida State League Cardinals finished a strong home stand and a 4-2 week before hitting the road. The starting pitching was solid, including Joe Cuda.

The Palm Beach Cardinals enjoyed a successful week, going 4-2 in the Florida State League behind strong starting pitching performances by Joe Cuda, Kyle Helisek and Nick Petree.

May 21: Palm Beach Cardinals 4, Brevard County Manatees 3

The Cardinals won their second straight contest behind the bat of Starlin Rodriguez, as the outfielder homered twice to lead Palm Beach over Brevard County. With the game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Rodriguez hit a solo homer against major leaguer Tom Gorzelanny (L, 0-1) to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead and the victory.

Starter Joe Cuda (W, 1-5) hurled his best game of the year, tossing seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out three to record his first win of 2014.

Rodriguez finished the game 2-for-3 with two homers and two RBI. Nick Martini added two hits and a run scored, while David Washington went 1-for-3 with two RBI.

May 22: Palm Beach Cardinals 7, Brevard County Manatees 1

Kyle Helisek (W, 2-2) had it all working on Thursday night, tossing seven shutout innings against the Manatees. The left-hander allowed one hit and one walk to record his second win of the season.

Helisek did not need a whole lot of support, but the offense provided seven runs on eight hits. Ildemero Vargas led the way, as the only hitter with multiple hits. The infielder went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Breyvic Valera added one hit in three trips and two RBI.

May 23: Palm Beach Cardinals 4, Brevard County Manatees 2

The Beach Birds received another dominant pitching performance on Friday night, as Silfredo Garcia (W, 1-1) tossed six innings, allowing two runs (zero earned) with five strikeouts. Garcia's first career FSL win propelled the Cardinals to the series sweep of the Manatees.

Offensively, the Cardinals had nine hits and four runs. The first score of the game came on a sacrifice fly out by Casey Rasmus, while Luke Voit homered in the sixth to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

Rasmus punched in the third run of the game with an RBI triple in the sixth, while the last tally was scored on an RBI single Valera in the bottom of the seventh. Valera's two-out knock pushed the lead to 4-2, as the Manatees scored both their runs in the top of the seventh.

With the lead in hand, Sam Tuivailala and Chris Thomas combined for three perfect frames to hold on to the victory. Tuivailala tossed two innings, while Thomas handled the ninth for his first save.

May 24: St. Lucie Mets 5 at Palm Beach Cardinals 2

With the St. Lucie Mets in town, the Palm Beach Cardinals had no answer for the New York Mets' A-Advanced affiliate. The Cardinals dropped their eighth contest of the year against the Mets.

Mike Mayers (L, 2-5) took the loss, allowing two runs on seven hits in six innings of baseball. He left the game in a tight 2-1 contest, but the bullpen allowed three runs in the top of the ninth to give the Mets the win.

In the ninth inning, Aidan Lucas allowed hits to Maikis De La Cruz and Brandon Nimmo, putting runners on first and second. After a hit batter, Jairo Perez hit a sacrifice fly, making it 3-1, while Cam Maron cleared the bases with a two-run double.

May 25: Palm Beach Cardinals 4, St. Lucie Mets 1

The Cardinals finished a strong homestand with another victory, going 5-1 in that span. Nick Petree (W, 3-1) twirled a gem, tossing 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits. He struck out four batters, while lowering his team-leading ERA to 1.07. Danny Miranda (S, 2) closed it, recording his second save, tossing 1 2/3 innings of one-hit, scoreless relief.

Offensively, Martini went 2-for-4 with an RBI. The bottom half of the order went 6-for-16 with all four runs scored and one RBI.

May 26: Off Day

May 27: Daytona Cubs 8, Palm Beach Cardinals 4

After tossing a gem in his last outing, Thomas Lee (L, 4-3) was let down by his defense on Tuesday night. The right-hander went six strong innings, allowing nine hits and five runs. Only one of the five runs was earned as the Cardinals committed three errors on the night.

The Cardinals had a 3-2 lead entering the fifth inning, but the Cubs scored three runs on four hits to regain the lead at 5-3.

Rasmus cut the lead to 5-4 in the top of the seventh with a bases loaded sacrifice fly out, scoring Voit. However, the Cubs added three more runs in the eighth inning to take the opener.

Peachy Petree: In four starts since being promoted to Palm Beach, Nick Petree is 3-1 with a 1.07 ERA. He has recorded three quality starts, while leading the team in ERA. In his last start, he went a season-high 7 1/3 innings against the St. Lucie Mets.

Home Cooking: In their recent homestand, the Cardinals went a combined 5-1 as they swept the Brevard County Manatees and split with the Mets. On the season, the Beach Birds are 16-12 at home.

Where's Washington? In his last five games, David is hitting .071 (1-for-14) with one run scored and one RBI. The first baseman has slipped under the Mendoza line on the season, but leads the team in homers (eight) and RBI (29).

Transactions

5/24/14 C Jose Godoy assigned to Palm Beach from GCL Cardinals
5/24/14 C Casey Rasmus placed on Palm Beach inactive list
5/27/14 C Casey Rasmus activated from Palm Beach inactive list
5/27/14 C Jose Godoy assigned to State College from Palm Beach

On the Horizon

The Cardinals continue their eight-game road trip with three more games at Daytona before traveling to Lakeland to face the Flying Tigers starting on Saturday, May 30.



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