The Palm Beach Cardinals Report: 05/30/08

Beat reporter Herb Uzzi's update on the 2008 season of the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League (A-Advanced). Andrew Brown and Tony Cruz are swinging hot bats for the first-place club.

Record: 5-3 week, 33-20 season
Longest Streak: W3

After another week above ground level, the Palm Beach Cardinals have managed to open up a five-game lead in the Florida State League East division.

Kyle Mura helped end the Cards' tandem-starter system by, well, pitching too well to be taken out. Mura took a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning in a 5-2 Cardinals win over Jupiter on Tuesday. In all, Mura went 8 1/3 innings, allowed six hits and only two earned runs while striking out six. Francisco Samuel recorded the game's final two outs to pick up his sixth save of the season. Needless to say, it was the longest outing for any Palm Beach pitcher this season.

Comings and Goings

As per usual for Advanced-A ball, the Palm Beach Cardinals experienced some roster changes during this past week. Outfielder A.J. Van Slyke was released outright by the club, while Richard Castillo was promoted from extended spring training. Also, pitcher David Kopp has been placed on the 7-day DL retroactive to May 23.

Who's Hot

Andrew Brown, 1B: Brown did an admirable job filling in for injured first-baseman and fellow Nebraska Cornhusker Brandon Buckman, since activated from the DL. In the 11 games since his promotion from the Quad Cities River Bandits, Brown is hitting .333 (14-for-42) with four doubles, three home runs and eight runs batted in. His OPS (on-base plus slugging) is an alarming 1.034 with the Cardinals, and .902 on the season.

Tony Cruz, C/3B: Cruz didn't hit for a high average this week, (8-for-33, .242), but the third-baseman and catcher did drive in six runs, and now leads the team with 28 RBI on the season.

The Week Ahead

The Cardinals will stay at Roger Dean Stadium for a three-game set with the lowly (11-42) St. Lucie Mets, before welcoming in Daytona for three, as well. After that, the Redbirds will travel to Florida's West Coast for a showdown with Tampa.

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