It was going to be a busy week for the Palm Beach Cardinals with eight games in seven games on the docket. The weather helped ease some of the strain with three of the contests wiped out due to wet conditions.
The Cardinals got the week started with a 3-2 victory over the Jupiter Hammerheads. Kevin Thomas turned in 5 1/3 strong innings while reliever Ramon Delgado picked up his first victory of the season with two shutout innings. Charlie Cutler led the offense with three hits while Alex Castellanos chipped in a pair.
Palm Beach was on the losing end the next night while Scott Schneider was tagged with his first Florida State League defeat. Bradenton plated four runs on six innings against Schneider as the right-hander fell to 2-1.
The team's next game was washed out and Palm Beach probably wishes its Tuesday night game would have been rained out as well. The Pirates shut out the Cardinals 9-0 as Bradenton outhit Palm Beach 10-4. The Cards didn't help themselves either with three errors and four free passes. Fortunately, the team had a chance to lick their wounds as the second game of the double header was once again lost to the weather.
The team returned to the friendly confines of Roger Dean Stadium to hook up with Jupiter. Richard Castillo picked up his sixth victory of the season by allowing three runs in seven innings of work. Five Cardinals collected a pair of hits while Castellanos and Luis De La Cruz each drove in a pair of runs.
The team finished the week with an 8-1 drubbing of the Hammerheads. Brett Zawacki turned a brilliant seven-inning performance. The right-hander allowed only a run on four hits while picking up his third victory. Niko Vasquez led the offense with three hits and five RBIs. Chris Swauger and Charlie Cutler each added three hits as well.
The Cardinals are now 8-5 in the second half of the season. The team sits in a second place tie with Bradenton only a half game behind St. Lucie.
Swauger continues to torment Florida State League pitching. The Citadel product is hitting .315/.377/.503 with four home runs and 26 RBIs this season.
In his last 10 appearances, David Carpenter has picked up two wins and two saves while posting an ERA of 1.59. In 11 1/3 innings during this span, the converted catcher has logged 12 strikeouts.
Charles Cutler has a slash line of .300/.378/.455 with five doubles in his last 10 games. During that span, he has five multi-hit games and three games in which he has collected three hits.
Since returning to the Cardinal organization, Cory Rauschenberger has put up an ERA of 16.20 in two appearances covering 3 1/3 innings.
On the Move
To fill the roster spots of the Pham and Curtis, catcher Luis De La Cruz and infielder Niko Vasquez were promoted. Both Cardinals prospects got off to tremendous starts in the FSL. De La Cruz is hitting .417 in his first 12 at bats while Vasquez is hitting .400/.471/.500 in his first four games at Palm Beach.
Palm Beach will finish off a three-game set "on the road" against Jupiter, its housemates at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals then will host Bradenton for three before heading back on the road again for a four-game series at Lakeland.
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