Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2014 Week 12

The Florida State League Cardinals have continued their strong first-half finish into the second-half. Dixon Llorens is having success closing.

The Palm Beach Cardinals have started the second half of the season red-hot, winning five of six and taking sole possession of first place in the Florida State League South Division. Including the close of the first half, the Cards are 15-3 in their last 18 games.

June 18: Rained Out

June 19: Palm Beach Cardinals 6 at Charlotte Stone Crabs 1

After being rained out on Wednesday night, the Cardinals returned to action eager to continue their winning ways. The Beach Birds pounded out nine hits and scored six times to win their straight game and their first of the second half.

Joe Cuda (W, 5-5) won his fifth straight game, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing one run on seven hits. He struck out four and lowered his season ERA to 6.07, the lowest it has been since Opening Day.

Offensively, Breyvic Valera led the squad with two hits and two RBI, while David Washington added one hit and collected his team-leading 40th RBI.

June 20: Palm Beach Cardinals 3 at Charlotte Stone Crabs 1

Silfredo Garcia (W, 4-1) was dominant on Friday night, hurling six innings of one-run baseball. He allowed four hits and struck out four batters. Corey Baker and Dixon Llorens preserved the victory with three scoreless innings of relief.

Alex Mejia led the Cardinals, going 3-for-4 with one RBI, while Ildemaro Vargas and Valera added one RBI each. Charlie Tilson had two hits and scored two runs.

June 21: Palm Beach Cardinals 2 at Charlotte Stone Crabs 1

The Cardinals made it five straight on Saturday night behind a strong pitching performance by Kyle Helisek. The southpaw went seven innings, allowing one hit and one earned run, while striking out three. Helisek did not factor in the decision, as he left the game in a 1-1 tie.

Palm Beach pushed the winning run across in the top of the ninth inning. Mejia started with a single, moved to second on bunt, advanced to third on a single by Jimmy Bosco and scored on an RBI single by Charlie Tilson, giving the Cardinals their first lead since the sixth inning.

Tilson ended the game 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI.

June 22: Palm Beach Cardinals 6 at Bradenton Marauders 3

Palm Beach continued their winning ways by doubling up the Marauders 6-3 at McKechnie Field on Sunday night. The Cardinals were out hit on the night 10-7, but made the most of their opportunities at the plate, going 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Luke Voit started the scoring with a two-run triple in the first, while Washington added an RBI single in the second and one in the fourth. His single in the fourth capped the Cards' scoring and pushed the lead to 6-1.

Palm Beach held on behind a strong pitching performance by Nick Petree (W, 4-2), who went six innings, allowing one run and striking out five.

June 23: Bradenton Marauders 11, Palm Beach Cardinals 6

The Cardinals saw their six-game winning streak snapped on Monday night, as the Marauders connected for 18 hits and scored 11 runs in their rout of the Beach Birds.

Tyrell Jenkins (L, 1-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits in two innings on the mound. The rest of the staff gave up seven runs in the last six innings. Thomas Lee was tagged for six runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 on the mound.

Washington went 4-for-5, hitting his 12th homer of the season. Tilson added three hits and three RBI.

June 24: Palm Beach Cardinals 2 at Bradenton Marauders 1 (12)

It took the Cardinals 12 innings Tuesday, but they finished a strong road trip by taking the finale against the Marauders. Joe Cuda impressed once again, tossing seven innings of one-run ball before exiting in a 1-1 tie.

The Cardinals found a way to scratch the final run across in the 12th. Nick Martini walked with two outs and scored on an RBI double by Bruce Caldwell, giving the Cardinals the lead and the game.

Baker (W, 4-1) won after tossing four shutout innings, while Llorens (S, 5) picked up the save with a scoreless 12th.

The Cardinals were held to four hits. Caldwell went 2-for-5 with one RBI.

Straight Flexin'. David Washington clubbed his 12th homer of the season on Monday night against Bradenton, moving into second place in the Florida State League. In addition to leading the team in dingers, he also leads the team in RBI (45).

Steady Stopper. The Cardinals have gone with a closer by committee all season, but it looks like Dixon Llorens is taking over as the full time stopper. The right-hander is 0-0 with 1.74 ERA and is 6-for-7 in save opportunities. Llorens has struck out 34 batters in 20 2/3 innings.

Happy Trip. The Cardinals won five of six in their last road trip, sweeping the Charlotte Stone Crabs and taking two of three from the Marauders. Prior to the road trip, the Cardinals were 14-21 on the road.

Transactions

6/19 RHP Mike Mayers assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach
6/19 RHP Chris Thomas assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach

On the Horizon

The Cardinals return to the Dean' on Wednesday night for a three-game homestand against the Charlotte Stone Crabs before hitting the road to face the Fort Myers Miracle for three games.



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