Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2014 Week 4

A 1-6 week dropped the Johnson City Cardinals into second place in the Appalachian West Division. Casey Turgeon is among the hot hitters.

It was a rough week at the office for the Johnson City Cardinals as they opened with a win before falling into a six-game losing streak. They are currently tied for second place in the Appalachian League West.

Sunday, July 6, at Howard Johnson Field - Johnson City 16, Elizabethton 7

Cole Lankford (4-for-5, 3 RBI) and Casey Turgeon (4-for-6, 2 RBI) led the damage at the plate as the Cards scored a home-opening series win against the Twins to open last week.

Casey Grayson, first baseman Jesus Ustariz and catcher Jose Godoy each added two RBI each to amass the total 13 RBI in the game. Chris Rivera added two hits and scored four times in the route.

Matt Pearce picked up his first win of the season going five innings with five strikeouts and just three hits given up with no runs.

Monday, July 7, at Howard Johnson Field - Elizabethton 15, Johnson City 7

The game matched the offensive output from the day before but it did not come out as the same for the Cardinals.

Home runs from Max Murphy and Tyler Mautner against starter Jordan DeLorenzo helped the Twins square up the series against their league rivals.

Second baseman Casey Turgeon led the Cardinals going 3-for-4 and scoring three times. Though hitless, Casey Grayson lead the scoring with two RBI.

DeLorenzo took the loss in his first start and went four innings, giving up seven runs.

Tuesday, July 8, at Thomas Stadium (ETSU) - Elizabethton 9, Johnson City 3

A 2-2 ball game through three turned ugly for Johnson City as the Twins achieved the sweep by outscoring the Cardinals 7-1 in the final five innings.

Shortstop Oscar Mercado, Right fielder Blake Drake and catcher Jose Godoy each led the Cardinals with two hits but it wasn’t enough to keep the Twins at bay.

Dailyn Martinez’ record dropped to .500 as he picked up the loss. Martinez pitched six innings and gave up five runs on eight hits.

Wednesday, July 9, at Pioneer Park - Greeneville 8, Johnson City 2

Greeneville was an unfriendly host on Thursday by routing the Cardinals.

Second baseman Casey Turgeon tripled and Oscar Mercado tacked on an RBI but it wasn’t enough against Greeneville, which capitalized in the third inning with four runs.

Steven Farinaro went to 1-3 on the year after giving up five runs through the first three innings.

Thursday, July 10, at Pioneer Park - Greeneville 1, Johnson City 0 (10 innings)

Johnson City nearly matched the Astros hit total – six to seven - but were unable to get any runners home. The contest went into extra innings but the Astros prevailed on a walk-off in the 10th.

Starter Ian McKinney had a masterful showing through seven innings, getting touched for five hits but he kept the Astros at bay while striking out three.

Kevin Carlow took the loss in relief in the extra inning.

Friday, July 11, at Pioneer Park - Greeneville 8, Johnson City 3

Johnson City mounted a two-run rally in the eighth inning against Greeneville but were unable to get the job done and were swept by their Appy West rivals.

Right fielder Devante Lacy scored twice for the Cardinals. Shortstop Oscar Mercado scored the other run.

Blake Drake, from the DH spot, and second baseman Chris Rivera each went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Third baseman Cole Lankford, catcher Jose Godoy and left fielder Anthony Ray had the only other Cardinals hits. Greeneville actually had more errors than Johnson City, 3 to 2, but leveraged 10 hits to bring across their eight runs.

Juan Perez received his first loss on the season going five innings. He allowed two runs on three hits and rang up seven batters. Relief pitchers Jeff Barkley and Josh Wirsu combined for two innings and allowed the other six runs.

Saturday, July 12, at Burlington Athletic Stadium - Burlington 3, Johnson City 1

The Cardinals were only able to muster up two hits and an RBI walk from Chris Rivera in their series opener loss to Burlington on Saturday. Blake Drake did the damage going 2-for-4 at the plate and scored the lone Cards run.

Starter Matt Pearce took the loss - giving up all three runs on eight hits in six innings of work with four strikeouts. Landon Beck closed out the final two frames and allowed just two hits with four strikeouts, as well.

Who’s Hot

Casey Turgeon - Turgeon was a bright spot for the Cardinals’ last week with three multi-hit games under his belt and currently leads the team with a .385 batting average.

Blake Drake - Drake has 25 hits on the season including eight last week. While seeming small at 175 pounds, the Cardinals outfielder came up with timely hits in the seven games played.

Landon Beck - Beck boasts a 1-0 record and a 3.24 ERA and showed what he can do in relief work. After a misstep against Elizabethton July 8, Beck turned things around on Saturday tossing two innings of shutout ball.

Who’s Not

Jesus Ustariz - After picking up some steam early in the week, the Cardinals’ infielder dipped as the days went on with no RBI and went hitless in the second game of the series against Greeneville.

Steven Farinaro - Farinaro dipped this week following his loss against Greeneville. The pitcher is currently 1-3 on the year with a 4.91 ERA.

Carlos Torres - Torres was on a tear the past two weeks but has dropped off as of late. Last week, the normal heavy hitter was limited to just four hits in five games with no multi-hit games under his belt.

Kevin Carlow - The Cardinals relief man gave up six runs in his two outings last week and is working with a 9.00 ERA through seven games this season.

JC Notes

* Casey Turgeon leads the way at the plate for the Cardinals with a .385 batting average and sits third in the Appy League.

* The Cardinals have the third best batting average in the league at .268 while the pitching staff has an overall ERA of 3.54, also third from the top.

* In what may go down as the wildest scenario for Johnson City ever, the Cardinals received national attention when their bus driver walked off his job following Friday’s loss at the Greeneville Astros, temporarily stranding the team.

Team Transactions

The Cardinals added pitcher Jeff Barkley to the squad last week, down from State College. The righty is a native of Charlotte, NC and was an undrafted free agent signed by the Cardinals in January.

Right-handed reliever Anderson Gerdel was promoted to State College. In 11 innings over eight games this year, the Venezuelan native allowed just two runs. He fanned 10 and did not issue a walk while holding opposing hitters to a .220 average.

Team Awards

The Cardinals took both the Player and Pitcher of the Week Awards for the Appalachian League for the period of June 30 through July 6. The winners are first baseman Casey Grayson and pitcher Ian McKinney.

Grayson leads the team in RBI with 16 on the season and had 10 last week alone, while batting .405. McKinney sits head and shoulders above the League with the lowest ERA, 0.36, with 21 strikeouts to his credit while allowing just 11 hits in four games.

Team Injuries

Bladimil Franco has appeared in just three games this season with no official word on his current status. Once updated, we’ll have the news.

Appalachian League Standings

Appy League West

1) Elizabethton Twins 15-8
2) Greeneville Astros 11-11
3) Johnson City Cardinals 11-11
4) Kingsport Mets 10-13
5) Bristol Pirates 6-15

Appy League East

1) Danville Braves 13-9
2) Princeton Rays 12-10
3) Bluefield Blue Jays 12-11
4) Pulaski Mariners 12-11
5) Burlington Royals 10-13

The Week Ahead

The Cardinals continue their road trip at Burlington before an off day on Tuesday. They will be back in the friendly confines of Howard Johnson Field for the remainder of the week. Wednesday-Friday the team will tango with Pulaski before Saturday’s opening game series against the Bristol Pirates.

Follow Curtis Carden on Twitter @CurtisCarden_ER.

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