Connor Jones (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Insider news from the St. Louis Cardinals’ Florida State League affiliate in Palm Beach for the period of April 26-May 2.

The Palm Beach Cardinals went 5-1 on the week and pulled into a tie for first place. Connor Jones has lowered his team-best ERA to 1.13.

Game Summaries

4/26: Palm Beach Cardinals 9 at Florida Fire Frogs 8

After getting blasted 22-2 the previous night, the Cardinals rallied with three runs in the eighth inning, picking up a nice bounce back win over the Fire Frogs. Down 7-6 entering the top of the eighth, the Cardinals loaded the bases following a Darren Seferina walk and singles from Chris Chinea and Edmundo Sosa. After the score was tied on a wild pitch, Thomas Spitz put Palm Beach ahead with RBI single scoring Sosa and Seferina. Juan Perez picked up the win in relief while Landon Beck finished off the Florida with a six-out save.


4/27: Palm Beach Cardinals 4 at Florida Fire Frogs 2?

Zac Gallen needed 100 pitches to get through five innings, but pitched well enough to get the victory. Gallen allowed just two runs on six hits and two walks. 61 of his 100 pitches were strikes, striking out six. Ian McKinney pitched the final four innings, allowing just one hit to pick up the save. Magneuris Sierra, Jeremy Martinez and Randy Arozarena all had two-out RBI singles.


4/28: Jupiter Hammerheads 4, Palm Beach Cardinals 1

For the second straight game, the Cardinals’ starter completed five innings of work, but Derian Gonzalez’ season slump continued. The right-hander remains winless on the year, dropping his third game after giving up four runs on eight hits through 96 pitches. Casey Turgeon went 2-for-4, including an RBI single in the sixth inning. The Cardinals got the two men on base in the top of ninth, but Chinea, representing the tying run, popped out to center to end the game.


4/29: Palm Beach Cardinals 4 at Jupiter Hammerheads 2?

Aided by early Hammerheads errors, Palm Beach climbed into first place in the FSL South Division with the victory, taking a 0.5 game lead over Bradenton. Errors from Jupiter second baseman Angel Reyes resulted in runs scored by Martinez and Danny Diekroeger in the first inning. Runs were tacked on during the top of the fourth and seventh innings, which provided just enough run support for Ryan Helsley to capture his first win of the season. The 23-year-old right-hander was strong, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out seven in six solid innings.


4/30: Palm Beach Cardinals 7 at Jupiter Hammerheads 1??

Connor Jones earned his second win of the season as Turgeon, Chinea, Spitz and Leobaldo Pina each had two hits. Jones was efficient, facing the minimum in four of his five innings of work. The right-hander from Hartford, Connecticut allowed just a run on one hit and one walk with three strikeouts through 66 pitches. Toward the top of the lineup, Turgeon was 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. Chinea went 2-for-4 with two doubles. Pina, struggling through the first month, was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI single.


5/1: Palm Beach Cardinals 8, Florida Fire Frogs 6??

After Palm Beach jumped out to a 6-1 lead, Florida tied it with five runs in the top of the sixth. The Cardinals responded in the bottom of the inning with the help of two players who were a terror for Fire Frog pitchers all night. After Jose Godoy notched his third hit of the game with a one-out double and Spitz walked, Sierra cleared the bases with his second triple of game. Both Godoy and Sierra went 4-for-4 with two RBI. Despite being charged with a blown save, Steven De La Cruz picked up the win in relief.


5/2: Palm Beach Cardinals vs. Florida Fire Frogs: Postponed

Tuesday’s contest was postponed due to inclement weather. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday night.


Three Up?

Connor Jones: Jones was sharp in his last outing, allowing an unearned run in his April 30th win over Jupiter. While his stats don't qualify yet to be among the league leaders, the Cardinals 2016 second rounder from the University of Virginia currently holds a 1.13 ERA and is holding opponents to a .164 average this season.

Magneuris Sierra: In the six games since returning from the disabled list on April 25, Sierra is hitting .360 (9-for-25), with three extra base hits, six RBI and six runs scored. The 21-year old from the Dominican Republic is tied for second in the league in triples (4) and 10th in OBP (.400).

Jose Godoy: Despite limited time as the backup catcher, Godoy has made the most of his opportunity. Appearing in only eight games, Godoy has notched hits in his last five, including a 4-for-4 performance last time out, on Monday. The 22-year-old from Venezuela has committed only one error and a passed ball during his time behind the plate.


Three Down

Darren Seferina: Seferina’s numbers continue plummet after hovering over .300 the couple weeks of the year. He has only six hits in his last 40 at bats, with splits of .150/.209/.275 over his last ten games.

Derian Gonzalez: Gonzalez remains winless on the season after dropping his last start against Jupiter. In each of his four starts, Gonzalez has given up first inning runs. His season ERA is 7.65.

Luke Dykstra: Before landing on the seven-day DL, Dykstra was hitting .182 (6-for-33) in his last ten games. The first month on the season wasn’t much better as a whole (.200/.222/.267).



5/1: Palm Beach Cardinals placed 2B Luke Dykstra on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to April 30, 2017.??



5/2: Ross Vance was returned to Palm Beach Cardinals from Springfield Cardinals. The lefty had been moved up on April 20 and tossed two scoreless frames in his Double-A debut. With Kevin Herget moving down from Memphis, Vance’s spot on the Springfield roster was needed.

At this point, the player Vance is replacing on the Palm Beach roster has not been named.

5/1: CF Blake Drake assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from Springfield Cardinals. Drake took Dykstra’s spot on Palm Beach’s active roster.


Team stats

Averaging 3.96 runs per game, the Palm Beach offense ranks eighth among the 12 FSL teams. Their .649 OPS is 10th. The team ERA of 3.39 is fifth. The staff is 11th in strikeouts and has issued the fourth-most walks.


First-half standings – Florida State League East

Palm Beach Cardinals (STL) 14 10 0.583 -
Bradenton Marauders (PIT) 15 11 0.577 -
Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 13 13 0.500 2
Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) 12 14 0.462 3
Charlotte Stone Crabs (TB) 11 14 0.440 3.5
St. Lucie Mets (NYM) 10 16 0.385 5


Week ahead??

The Cardinals continue their four-game series against Florida, including a doubleheader on Wednesday, before welcoming Lakeland over the weekend for a three-game set. After ten consecutive games at Roger Dean Stadium, the Cardinals will hit the road, beginning with a series against Fort Myers starting on Monday, May 8.


Follow Patrick Bernadeau on Twitter @PatBernadeau.

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