Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2014 Week 13

The Florida State League Cardinals have a second-half division lead, with Bruce Caldwell swinging a hot bat.

The Palm Beach Cardinals went 4-3 last week and continue to lead the Florida State League South Division. With 13 second-half games in the books, the Cardinals are looking to make their first playoff appearance since 2008.

June 25: Palm Beach Cardinals 5, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2

The Cardinals continued their winning ways on Wednesday night, scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to stun the Stone Crabs 5-2.

Down 2-1, Alex Mejia singled with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI double by Anthony Garcia, making it 2-2. Nick Martini plated Garcia with a single, giving the Cardinals their first lead of the game. After Gerwuins Velazco singled, putting runners on first and second with two outs, Charlie Tilson cleared the bases with a two-run double.

Dixon Llorens (S, 7) sealed the game, converting the save with a perfect ninth inning. Danny Miranda (W, 3-1) was the victor, hurling three scoreless frames in relief of Silfredo Garcia.

June 26: Palm Beach Cardinals 7, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3

In his A-Advanced debut, Jimmy Reed (W, 1-0) twirled a solid game for the Beach Birds. Reed tossed 6 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits, allowing two runs and striking out four.

He picked up the win as the Cardinals scored seven runs on nine hits. Ildemaro Vargas recorded three RBI with one hit; while Bruce Caldwell went 1-for-4 with two RBI. Tilson and Dante Rosenberg were the only Cardinals to record a multi-hit game.

June 27: Charlotte Stone Crabs 10 at Palm Beach Cardinals 5

The winning streak was halted at three, as the Stone Crabs pounded out 12 hits and scored ten times in their rout of the Beach Birds on Friday night. Left-hander Kyle Helizek (L, 4-3) had his worst start of the season, giving up eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits in three innings. He allowed two walks and struck out one.

Charlotte scored seven runs in the top of the first inning, taking a commanding lead over the Beach Birds. However, the Cardinals fought back, scoring three runs in the second, one in the fourth and one in the night to get to within five runs. Martini led the attack, going 3-for-4 with one run scored and Jimmy Bosco went 3-for-3.

June 28: Fort Myers Miracle 3, Palm Beach Cardinals 2

With a one-run lead and the Cardinals reliable closer Llorens in to pitch, the Beach Birds seemed sure to win the opener against the Miracle. However, the right-hander walked two and hit two batters as the Miracle slipped by the Cardinals for a 3-2 win.

The bullpen let-down overshadowed a dominant performance by Nick Petree. The right-hander went five innings, allowing two hits and striking out six. He left the game with a 1-0 lead, but Corey Baker and Llorens couldn't maintain the lead in the late stages of the contest.

June 29: Palm Beach Cardinals 5 at Fort Myers Miracle 2

In a matchup between highly-touted prospects Tyrell Jenkins and Jose Berrios, it was Jenkins that outshined the FSL All-Star. Jenkins (W, 2-1) tossed six innings of scoreless baseball, allowing three hits, four walks and striking out one.

Berrios had the strikeout pitch working, setting down seven Cardinals in seven innings.

Caldwell went 2-for-4 with two homers and three RBI, while Tilson hit a solo homer in the eighth inning.

June 30: Fort Myers Miracle 10, Palm Beach Cardinals 6

Joe Cuda (L, 5-6) reverted to his old ways on Monday night, giving up seven runs on ten hits as the Miracle snapped his five-game winning streak. The right-hander was tagged for five extra base hits as the Miracle recorded 14 hits on the night in their thumping of the Cardinals.

The Cardinals led at one point in the game. Caldwell hit his third homer of the series as his two-run shot in the third gave the Cardinals an early lead 5-1 lead. Garcia's solo homer in the fourth gave the Cards a 6-4 lead. However it wouldn't last as the Miracle scored six unanswered to win.

July 1: Palm Beach Cardinals 5, Jupiter Hammerheads 3

The Cardinals flexed their muscle, homering twice and cruising by the Hammerheads. Caldwell homered for the third straight game. His solo homer tied the game in the fourth inning, as he became the second Cardinals' player to go deep in three straight contests (Anthony Garcia, April 10-12).

Caldwell wasn't alone on Tuesday night, as Mason Katz delivered a two-run in the fifth to give the Cardinals an early 3-1 lead. The new arrival added a game-winning sacrifice fly in the seventh, giving the Cards the lead after squandering it in the sixth.

Katz finished the day 1-for-2 with a homer and three RBI.

Power Surge: Bruce Caldwell has connected for four homers in the last three games. His recent surge has upped his home run total to six on the year. Prior to Sunday's contest with the Fort Myers Miracle, Caldwell had just two homers and 17 RBI on the season.

Breyvic Blues: FSL All-Star Breyvic Valera was promoted to Double-A Springfield on Tuesday, rightfully deserved, but the infielder will leave a big void in the Cardinals lineup. In 73 games, he hit .333 (98-for-294) with eight doubles, four triples and 37 RBI.

It's never too early to look at standings: The Cardinals enter the week tied for first place. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Transactions

6/25 LHP Danny Miranda activated from the DL
6/25 LHP Jimmy Reed assigned to Palm Beach from Peoria
6/25 SS Cesar Valera assigned to Palm Beach from Peoria
6/26 INF Breyvic Valera assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach
6/26 IF David Washington placed on the DL
6/26 RHP Dylan Hawkins assigned to Palm Beach from GCL Cardinals and returned the next day
6/30 RHP Nick Petree placed on the DL
7/1 IF Mason Katz assigned to Palm Beach from Peoria
7/1 IF Alex Mejia assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach

On the Horizon

The Cardinals return to the ‘Dean' on Wednesday night to face the Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) in a two-game set before welcoming Bradenton (PIT) and Fort Myers (MIN).



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