If the season ended today, the Palm Beach Cardinals would be in the Florida State League playoffs as they lead the FSL South by a half game. Even if the Fort Myers Miracle, the first-half winner, surpasses the Beach Birds in the standings, all the Cardinals would have to do to clinch is to log an overall record better than the other four teams in the division.
It looks like the race will be tight all the way to the end, as the Cards have a 1.5 game lead on the St. Lucie Mets for the second-best mark in the league, the first tie-breaker.
July 23: Daytona Cubs 6 at Palm Beach Cardinals 2
Daytona took the finale, winning three of four games against the Beach Birds. Kyle Helisek (L, 5-5) had another rough start for the home squad. The lefty tossed four innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out three.
Helisek had an especially difficult time with Cubs’ slugger Dan Vogelbach, as the first baseman clubbed two homers and went 2-for-3 against him.
The Cardinals bats were silenced by Rob Zastryzny, who went six scoreless innings in the win.
July 24: Brevard County Manatees 7, Palm Beach Cardinals 4
Beach Birds dropped their second straight game on Thursday night. The Manatees clubbed 16 hits and scored seven runs in their win.
Tyrell Jenkins (L, 4-2) suffered the loss. The right-hander allowed six runs on 13 hits in five innings. It was Jenkins first loss since June 23 and it was the most hits and runs allowed by Jenkins in any of his seven starts.
Palm Beach jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but trailed the rest of the way. Mason Katz went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI, falling a homer shy of the cycle. Ildemaro Vargas added three hits and an RBI in the losing effort.
July 25: Palm Beach Cardinals 13 at Brevard County Manatees 7
Beach Birds returned the favor on Friday night, scoring 13 runs on 16 hits in their rout of the Flying Tigers. Each player in the lineup recorded at least one hit, while seven of the nine had multi-hit games on the evening.
Katz delivered a big blow in the first inning, clubbing a three-run homer and capping a five-run frame for the Cardinals. He finished the game 2-for-5 with one run scored and three RBI.
Luke Voit pushed across the 11th run of the game on a solo homer in the fourth inning. He finished the night 2-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBI. Nick Martini went 3-for-4 with three runs scored from the top of the order.
July 26: Postponed
July 27: Palm Beach Cardinals 7 at Brevard County Manatees 4 (7); Brevard County Manatees 4, Palm Beach Cardinals 2 (7)
After rain washed away their contest on Saturday night, the Cardinals and Manatees returned to the field of play on Sunday for a doubleheader. With a bevy of fresh arms available for the double dip, both teams took advantage of their pens’ to split the day.
In the first game, the Cardinals tossed 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to win. Gerwuins Velasco’s grand slam in the top of the first inning proved to be more than enough as the pen shut the Manatees’ offense down.
In the second game, the Beach Birds bullpen faltered, allowing two runs on three hits in two innings. Danny Miranda (L, 4-2) yielded the go-ahead run and an insurance run in the fifth and took the loss.
July 28: Palm Beach Cardinals 11, Lakeland Flying Tigers 0
The Beach Birds were excited to get back to the ‘Dean’, clubbing three homers, collecting 14 hits and scoring 11 runs in their rout of the Flying Tigers.
Martini led the way, connecting for a solo homer in the fourth to give the Beach Birds a 6-0 lead and put the game away with a grand slam in the Cardinals’ five-run eighth inning. The outfielder finished the night 3-for-5 with two runs scored and five RBI.
Voit added a two-run homer in the third, his sixth of the season.
July 29: Lakeland Flying Tigers 7 at Palm Beach Cardinals 1
Again the tables turned as the Flying Tigers clubbed three homers, connected for 11 hits and scored seven runs in their rout of the Cardinals.
Beach Birds starting pitcher Helisek (L, 5-6) dropped his second game of the week, allowing seven runs (six earned) on ten hits in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander was plagued by the long ball, giving up three. Helisek has allowed at least two home runs in each of his last four starts.
Offensively, the Beach Birds were held to three hits and one run.
We’re not at Home Anymore: Tyrell Jenkins has turned in an impressive 2014 campaign. In seven starts, he is 4-2 with a 3.50 ERA. He has struck out 13 batters in 36 inning since returning from a shoulder injury. However, the right hander has struggled away from the ‘Dean’. In four road starts, he is 2-2 with a 5.68 ERA, while he is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA at Roger Dean Stadium.
Not So All-Starish: FSL All-Star Kyle Helisek is having a rough second half. After going 4-2 with a 2.58 ERA and earning an FSL All-Star Game invitation, Helisek is 1-4 with a 6.03 ERA. He has been hurt by the long ball, allowing 10 homers in the second half.
Found a Home: Charlie Tilson was promoted to Double-A Springfield last week, and the Cardinals lost their leadoff hitter. They may have found a suitable replacement in Nick Martini. He is batting .354 (17-for-48) with five doubles, three homers and 10 RBI from the top spot.
7/23 INF Greg Miclat added from Springfield
7/24 INF Cesar Valera moved to Peoria
7/25 C Dante Rosenberg added from Memphis
7/26 C Frankie Rodriguez moved to GCL Cardinals
7/27 LHP Jimmy Reed promoted to Springfield
7/27 RHP Thomas Lee activated from the DL
On the Horizon
The Cardinals finish their four game series with the Flying Tigers on Thursday before they hit the road for a four game series against the Dunedin Blue Jays. The Cards return home on August, 5th, opening up a six-game homestand with Charlotte (TB).
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