The Palm Beach Cardinals started the week off on the right note with a doubleheader sweep over Lakeland. In the first game of the night, Kevin Thomas led the charge with 5.2 innings of shutout baseball. David Carpenter followed with his 10th save of the season. Leadoff man D'Marcus Ingram led the offense with three hits while Charles Cutler added a pair.
In the nightcap, Jared Bogany singled, doubled, and scored two runs. Ingram continued his hot streak with two singles and a pair of RBIs. Xavier Scruggs blasted his 13th home run of the season. On the mound, Jared Bradford returned to a starting role with five shutout innings.
The next night, the Flying Tigers were able to split the series with a 6-2 victory over the Cards. Scott Schneider suffered through his third straight rough outing as Lakeland touched him for four runs on seven hits in five innings of work. At the plate, Alex Castellanos had three hits including his fourth home run of the season.
Palm Beach returned home to steal a victory from Brevard County. The Cardinals managed only four hits but still managed to beat the Manatees, 2-0, behind starter Arquimedes Nieto. The right-hander threw 8.2 innings while allowing only three hits and seven strikeouts. Carpenter closed it out to pick up save number 11.
The visitors turned the table the next night and doubled up Palm Beach, 8-4. Richard Castillo was tagged for six runs, three earned, in only four innings on the bump. D'Marcus Ingram and Niko Vasquez each had a pair of hits for the Cardinals. Ingram added three RBIs as well.
Tuesday night's result was no better as Brevard County topped Palm Beach, 5-1. Brett Zawacki was charged with four runs on five hits in six inning of work. The young right-hander was helped by four double plays. Xavier Scruggs and Castellanos each chipped in a pair of hits.
The Cardinals salvaged a split in the series with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday. Kevin Thomas had another fine outing, allowing only one run on five hits in seven innings. Ramon Delgado was credited with his 10th hold on the season while Carpenter picked up his 12th save. Castellanos was the man at the plate with four hits including his 26th double of the season.
The team tried to finish the week off on a high note but Tampa pitcher Dellin Betances would have none of that. The 6'8 right-hander picked up his fifth victory of the season for the hosts. Scott Schneider lost his fourth straight decision after giving up three runs on eight hits in only four innings of work. At the plate, the Cardinals managed only five hits while striking out 13 times.
During the week, pitcher Arquimedes Nieto was promoted to Double-A Springfield while postion players Devin Shepherd and Oliver Marmol were released. To fill their roster spots, Ryan Jackson, Ryde Rodriguez, and Deryk Hooker were promoted from Quad Cities.
After struggling to find any consistency, Alex Castellanos has been on fire since the beginning of July. In 61 at bats, he is hitting .377/.412/.689 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. Of his 23 hits this month, 12 have been for extra bases.
Kevin Thomas is now 5-0 with a 0.78 ERA since being plugged into the starting rotation. He has allowed only 23 hits in 34.2 innings during this time.
In his last 10 appearances, David Carpenter has allowed only one run while picking up a win and four saves.
During the month of July, Xavier Scruggs is hitting only .217/.280/.333. He has only two home runs and five RBIs, by far his lowest totals for a month this season.
Even though he is playing almost every day, Domnit Bolivar is struggling to find his stroke. In his last 10 games, the infielder is hitting .172 with nine strikeouts and only two walks.
Around the League
The Cardinals are now 14-12 and are tied for third in the Florida State League South Division. The team is two games behind first place St. Lucie and one game behind second place Bradenton.
Scruggs has fallen to seventh in slugging percentage while he remains second in home runs and fifth in the league in RBIs. The UNLV product also ranks seventh in total bases. Castellanos is tied for the top spot in the FSL in doubles and is tied for fifth in triples.
Before being promoted, Nieto had the second best win total in the league with eight victories. Carpenter ranks seventh in the league with 12 saves.
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