Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2014 Week 19

The Beach Birds remain in the thick of the playoff hunt with Ildemaro Vargas helping carry the offense.

The division race is heating up and the Palm Beach Cardinals are staying in the thick of things with a 4-3 week. Entering Wednesday night’s game, the Cardinals sit a game behind the Bradenton Marauders in the Florida State League South standings.

August 6: Charlotte Stone Crabs 6 at Palm Beach Cardinals 1

Corey Littrell (L, 0-1), a part of the trade that brought John Lackey from the Boston Red Sox, made his Cardinals debut with Palm Beach on Wednesday night. The hurler tossed seven innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits. He walked one and struck out six, and suffered the loss.

Charlotte scored one run in the fourth, two in the sixth and seventh and a final run in the eighth to take the victory. Palm Beach’s lone run came in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Jimmy Bosco drove in Luke Voit with a groundout.

August 7: Palm Beach Cardinals 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs 1

Tyrell Jenkins got back on track on Thursday night, hurling six innings of one-run baseball to collect his fifth win of the season. The right-hander’s lone blemish came in the fourth inning, an RBI double by Josh Sale. He settled in nicely after that, finishing the game with a season-high seven strikeouts.

Offensively, the Beach Birds connected for nine hits to pick up their first win of the series. Bruce Caldwell went 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI, while Aldemys Diaz went 1-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. He connected for his first home run with Palm Beach in the third inning.

August 8: Palm Beach Cardinals 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3

Palm Beach took the finale, as they came from three down in the middle innings to stun the Stone Crabs.

Charlotte jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings against Luke Weaver. The first rounder out of Florida State struggled in his second start of the year. He gave up three runs on six hits in just 1 2/3 innings.

The Cardinals answered after he left the game, scoring three runs to tie the game in the fifth and one in the sixth to win it. Nick Martini doubled two runs, while the third run scored on a fielding error. Gerwuins Velasco delivered the eventual game winner in the sixth as he singled home Bosco.

Andrew Morales (W, 1-0) picked up the win with 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Chris Perry (S, 4) added his fourth save since joining the Cardinals with a perfect ninth inning.

August 9: Fort Myers Miracle 4 at Palm Beach Cardinals 0

The Beach Birds were blanked by the Miracle on Saturday night as three Fort Myers hurlers combined for the shutout.

Palm Beach spoiled a solid start from Nick Petree (L, 5-4) who went eight innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He struck out seven, but was victimized by Byron Buxton and Adam Walker.

Buxton went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Walked connected on his FSL leading 24th homer of the season in the first. His two run blast was all the run support the Miracle needed.

August 10: Fort Myers Miracle 9 at Palm Beach Cardinals 1

Jimmy Reed (L, 4-1) dropped his first game in his FSL career on Sunday night as he was roughed up for six runs on seven hits in three innings.

The Miracle attack was relentless on Sunday, connecting for 15 hits and scoring nine runs in their rout of the Cardinals.

August 11: Palm Beach Cardinals 4, Fort Myers Miracle 3

In a heavy rain, the Cardinals salvaged a game against the Miracle by taking the finale 4-3.

Palm Beach fell behind early when Buxton hit a two-run homer in the top of the first inning against Silfredo Garcia.

The Cardinals answered with two homers of their own. Diaz hit a solo shot to put the Cardinals within one run at 3-2, before Greg Miclat hit a two-run blast to give the Beach Birds their first lead of the game.

Thomas Lee (W, 8-3) picked up his team-leading eighth win of the season with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

August 12: Palm Beach Cardinals 7, Charlotte Stone Crabs 6 (10)

The Cardinals scored seven runs on 11 hits to clip the Stone Crabs in the series opener.

Palm Beach came back from two runs down to take the lead in the top of the eighth inning. However, Chris Perry allowed the tying run to cross the plate in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extras.

In the 10th, the Cardinals broke through with a run on two hits. Mason Katz started the inning with a double and scored on a double by Ildemaro Vargas to make it 7-6. Corey Baker (S, 2) notched his second save with a scoreless tenth.

Vargas went 2-for-5 with two RBI.

The Martini Running Dry: After getting off to a great start from the leadoff spot, Nick Martini has fizzled of late. In his last 10 games, he is batting .195 (8-for-41) with five runs scored, one homer and six RBI.

Slow Start: Luke Weaver was drafted in the first round of the 2014 free agent draft from Florida State. In two starts, he has gone a total of 3 1/3 innings, allowing 11 hits and eight runs. His ERA is 21.60.

Magical Maro: Ildemaro Vargas has helped to carry the Beach Birds offensively in the last 10 games. The infielder is batting .308 (12-for-39) with two runs scored and four RBI.

Transactions

8/6 OF David Popkins assigned to Springfield from Palm Beach
8/6 SS Aledmys Diaz assigned to Palm Beach from Springfield
8/6 LHR Danny Miranda released
8/7 1B David Washington sent to Gulf Coast League for rehab
8/9 RHR Dixon Llorens promoted to Springfield from Palm Beach
8/10 1B David Washington activated from DL

On the Horizon

The Palm Beach Cardinals will continue their three-game series with Charlotte before traveling to Fort Myers for a three-game weekend set against the Miracle. The Cards return to the Dean’ on Monday, August 18. After a day off, three games against the Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) will follow.



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