The Palm Beach Cardinals Report: 04/30/08

Beat reporter Herb Uzzi's update on the 2008 season of the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League (A-Advanced). Steven Hill drove in five runs in six games last week for the first-place club.

Record: 17-8 season, 4-2 week

Longest Streak: W3


The Palm Beach Cardinals picked up where they left off last week and are quickly transforming a red-hot start into a great first half of the season. 


The Redbirds finished off their lengthy homestand with a sweep of the Vero Beach Devil Rays, capitalizing from a solid, five-inning start from Brandon Dickson in the series finale. 


In the first game, however, the Cardinals got through on Tampa Rays ace Scott Kazmir, who was making a rehab start for Vero.  Palm Beach posted four runs on Kazmir in 4 2/3 innings.  Tyler Henley led off the game with a line-drive homer, and Steven Hill followed with a triple a few batters later.  In the fifth inning, Hill knocked Kazmir out of the game with a two-run homer of his own.


They did suffer a minor set-back in St. Lucie, of all places, where the Cards dropped two of three games to the last place Mets.  In the second game, Palm Beach survived a rocky outing by starter Kyle Mura, in part to eight scoreless innings turned in by David Kopp, Jon Mikrut and Marco Gonzalez out of the bullpen. 


The two teams played to a stalemate through 13 innings, before the slumping Tommy Pham delivered a pinch-hit, RBI single to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead. 


Reliever Francisco Samuel stayed in to try and secure the win, but instead relinquished a two-out, walk-off, three-run homer to Brahaim Moldonado, and Palm Beach fell 6-4.  


In the series' final game, the Cardinals managed to fend off a sweep and salvage a winning week.  Kyle Sadlowski turned in five innings of two-run ball and the offense did the rest as the Cardinals rolled 9-5.


Welcome back


Outfielder, base-stealer and newly-discovered power hitter Daryl Jones was activated from the disabled list this week, and the 20-year-old Jones didn't skip a beat. 

He's hit in all four games since being activated and is batting .375 (6-for-16) during that span.  He also has a double, triple and three RBIs.  


Who's Hot


Steven Hill, C/DH:  Hill is becoming a weekly staple in "Who's Hot," but he is putting together a very solid season.  This week, he hit his third homer of the year and drove in five runs in only six games.  He also walked five times in only 17 at-bats. 


Tyler Henley, OF:  Henley is excelling in the lead-off role, hitting .313 on the year.  He hit his third home run this week and is tied with Hill for the club lead.  He also tripled his stolen base total by stealing two this week.   


Cooling off


Brandon Buckman, 1B:  Buckman, who has been strong all season, suffered through a 4-for-25 week at the plate.  Buckman did drive in three runs, all in the same game, but didn't record an extra base hit in that span.  He is still hitting .300 on the season, and will most likely revert to his run-producing ways in the weeks to come. 



The Week Ahead


The Cardinals close out the month tonight at Vero, where they will continue their current road trip.  After three with the Devil Rays, the Cardinals will return home for a 14-game home stand, starting with a four game set with Sarasota. 



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