The Gulf Coast League Cardinals started the week off with a 6-4 victory over the Nationals in a postponed game from July 1. Trevor Martin reached base four times with a pair of hits and a pair of walks. Roberto De La Cruz helped the offense with a solo shot, his second home run of the season.
The team wouldn't be so lucky in the second game of the night. The Nationals shelled the Cardinals for nine runs while hometowners could only manage to plate a pair.
Ben Freeman was tagged with the loss even though he put together a solid performance. The southpaw allowed only one run while striking out four in three innings of work. Moises Colorado was roughed up for four runs in only 1.2 innings.
On July 8, the Cardinals finished a game that had been postponed on the third. The team took the 7-4 victory behind strong pitching performances from Michael Santana, Cole Brand, and Manuel De La Cruz. At the plate, Steven Ramos collected three hits and stole a base.
In the night cap, the Cardinals put 16 runs on the board to help overcome four errors in the field. Anthony Bryant led the offense with three hits while five other Cardinals batters collected a pair of hits each.
The team forgot the offense the next night when they welcomed the Astros to town. The Cards could not take advantage of four errors from the visitors and lost 4-2. Kevin Moscatel collected two hits in a losing effort while Jose Pasen struck out six in four innings but still got charged with the loss.
Amaury Castillo continued to struggle and the Cardinals dropped the next game to the Marlins 8-2. Castillo was charged with five runs though he allowed only one hit but gave four free passes in three innings of work.
The Cards ended the week on high note with a 4-3 victory over the Nationals. Roberto De La Cruz and Anthony Bryant each had a pair of hits to pace the visitors. On the hill, Manuel De La Cruz picked up his third victory with two shutout innings.
Over his last 10 games, Starlin Rodriguez is hitting .357/.400/.524 and five of his 15 hits have gone for extra bases.
Twenty-second round pick Steven Ramos struggled to find his way at Johnson City but has found his stroke in the Gulf Coast League. The outfielder is hitting .318 and has four steals in only seven games.
In his last five games, Anthony Bryant is hitting .385/.529/.385 after hitting only .111 in his first five professional games.
Michael Santana has spun 11.2 innings while racking up 12 strikeouts and has yet to yield a walk.
Cole Brand has made eight appearances and has yet to yield a run.
Richard Mendoza has pitched seven innings and sports an ERA of 15.43. The 18-year-old has allowed three or more runs in four of his seven outings.
Around the League
The Cardinals are now 9-7 and sit a half game out of first place.
Starting pitcher Javier Avendano is eighth in ERA and is tied for fourth in the league in strikeouts.
Manuel De La Cruz is tied for the league lead in wins with three and is tied for the most appearances with nine. De La Cruz is also tied for third in the league with three saves.
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