They are seventeen weeks into the Florida State League season and the Palm Beach Cardinals are struggling with consistency. The team lost three and won three during a week in which the pitching staff really struggled in two of the losses.
The Cardinals started the week with a rough loss to the Cubs, 11-2. Last season's ace, Richard Castillo, was tagged with seven runs on 11 hits in only four innings. At the plate, D'Marcus Ingram collected three hits while Alex Castellanos added a pair.
The team rebounded with a 3-1 victory over Clearwater on Saturday. Brett Zawacki was solid with only one run allowed in 6.2 innings of work. He earned his fifth victory of the season while Ramon Delgado was credited with his 12th hold. David Carpenter picked up save number 14 after striking out two in a perfect ninth.
At the plate, Ryde Rodriguez and Luis De La Cruz collected two hits each. Rodriguez led the way with a pair of RBIs while De La Cruz hit his first home run of the season.
Palm Beach must have liked those results because they started off the month of August with a duplicate 3-1 victory. Alex Castellanos and Jarred Bogany combined for four hits and two RBIs. One of Castellanos' hits was his eighth home run of the season.
On the bump, Kevin Thomas captured his seventh win after lasting six innings. Carpenter picked up his 15th save with a scoreless inning.
Clearwater broke the Cards momentum when they beat starter Scott Schneider 2-1. Schneider was good enough to win but his team's lack of offense cost him. The young right-hander allowed two runs on five hits while striking out five in six innings of work. His team managed only three hits. Domnit Bolivar's solo home run was the team's only extra base hit.
The Cardinals made up for their lack of offense with 11 hits that led to seven runs the next night. Charles Cutler had three hits and scored three runs. Ryde Rodriguez had three hits and drove in three runs. Deryk Hooker picked up his first victory with Palm Beach after lasting 5.1 innings. Jared Bradford picked up his first save after hurling 3.2 scoreless innings.
The team then hit the road to face always-tough Dunedin. The Cardinals appeared to get the upper hand with a two-run top of the first. But the Blue Jays did not play the role of gracious hosts and answered the Cardinals with seven in the bottom of the frame.
Rich Racobaldo had three extra base hits including a two-run home run and drove in five. D'Marcus Ingram had a single, two doubles, a stolen base, three RBIs, and two runs scored.
Castillo suffered his second consecutive rough outing. The right-hander could not make it out of the first and was lifted after allowing six runs.
Thursday's game was rained out.
In his last 10 appearances, David Carpenter has not yielded an earned run. Along the way, he has posted seven saves and his fourth victory.
D'Marcus Ingram seems to have found his stroke. The outfielder really struggled after being promoted from the Quad Cities but has been on a tear during his last seven games. Ingram is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with a steal and three runs scored.
After setting the league on fire when he was promoted, Niko Vasquez has fallen back to earth. The infielder is hitting only .125 over his last 10 games with only one extra base hit during that time.
In his last 4.2 innings, Richard Castillo has allowed 13 runs, 12 earned, on 18 hits.
Around the League
Palm Beach is now 19-19 and in second place in the FSL South Division. First place Bradenton is a game and a half up on the Cards.
Alex Castellanos is tied for second in doubles while he ranks eighth on the circuit in slugging and tied for fourth in triples.
David Carpenter ranks third in appearances and tied for fifth in saves. Richard Castillo has given up 139 hits this season, the second highest total in the league.
The week starts with a doubleheader at Dunedin before finishing up the four-game set on Saturday. The team then travels home to host Bradenton for three games and then welcomes in St. Lucie.
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