Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2013 Week 13

After a sluggish start to the second half, the Palm Beach Cardinals reeled off four wins in a row and now are half a game back in the Florida State League South Division second-half standings.

June 27: Palm Beach Cardinals 10 at St. Lucie Mets 6

The Cardinals offense jumped all over Mets starter Angel Cuan, pounding out nine hits and scoring nine runs in the first five innings. Palm Beach took a 10-1 lead after six innings behind the bats of Danny Stienstra, who picked up three hits and four RBI, and Jonathan Rodriguez, who added a single and two RBI.

Zach Petrick (1-0) recorded his first Florida State League win, scattering five hits, allowing one run and striking out three. The Mets wouldn't go away easy, scoring five runs in the final three frames of the game, including a three-run homer against reliever Jay Voss. However, Ronnie Shaban would keep the lead intact, tossing one inning of relief.

June 28: Palm Beach Cardinals 5 at St. Lucie Mets 2 (10)

With the Cardinals down to their last out in the top of the ninth inning, David Popkins smacked a solo homer against T.J. Chism to tie the game at 2-2. The Cardinals then took the lead in the top of the tenth inning, scoring three runs. Casey Rasmus came up big, delivering a two-run single with the bases loaded and no one out.

Dean Kiekhefer recorded his second victory of the season, tossing 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, while striking out three. Shaban shut it down on consecutive nights and recorded his team-leading 11th save of the season.

June 29: Palm Beach Cardinals 5 at Bradenton Marauders 0

Former Arizona Wildcat Kurt Heyer (2-2) tossed a gem, hurling seven shutout innings, scattering two hits and striking out seven. The right-hander gave up two weak singles and walked three, but limited the damage as the Marauders went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

Ronny Gil provided more than enough offense as he knocked a two-run home run in the top of the second inning to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. The Cards scored two more in the top of the third and took the opener from Bradenton. Anthony Garcia, Rasmus and Colin Walsh had three hits each as the Cardinals outhit the Marauders 12-2.

June 30: Palm Beach Cardinals 7 at Bradenton Marauders 5

We can call it a winning streak, as the Cardinals won their fourth straight game and second consecutive game over Bradenton. The Cards got off to a fast start, scoring three runs in the top of the first, one in the second and third to take an early 5-2 lead.

Kyle Hald (4-6) rolled with the early cushion, tossing six innings, yielding six hits and allowing three runs. He picked up the win as the Cards added two more runs later in the game and fended off the Marauders. Aidan Lucas (S, 1) recorded his first save of the season, tossing two scoreless frames, while picking up three strikeouts.

David Popkins and Danny Stienstra led the offensive attack; Stienstra went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI, while Popkins went 3-for-4 with two runs and two doubles.

July 1: postponed – to be played as part of an August 13 doubleheader at Bradenton

July 2: Off day

July 3: Charlotte Stone Crabs 15, Palm Beach Cardinals 0

After a 30 minute rain delay, the Cardinals were pounded by the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The Tampa Bay affiliate picked up 19 hits, scoring 15 runs to coast to an easy victory. Ryan Sherriff (1-2) suffered the loss, going five innings, scattering nine hits and allowing five earned. The bullpen didn't fare as well, as they allowed ten runs on ten hits.

Offensively, the Beach Birds were handcuffed by Charlotte starter Roberto Gomez, as he tossed a complete game one-hit shutout. Stienstra collected the lone Cards' hit in the top of the second inning.

Double Honor - Anthony Garcia picked up his second FSL Player of the Week award after hitting .429 (12-for-28). Garcia recorded two home runs and four RBI during the span from June 24 through June 30. The outfielder was also awarded with the St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month and The Cardinal Nation Player of the Month for his contributions during June. In 17 games, Garcia hit .385 (25-for-65) with eight doubles, seven homers and 14 RBI.

Swag Back - Missing all of the 2012 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, right hander Jordan Swagerty returned to the mound on Wednesday night. The right-hander did not fare so well, allowing four runs in 1/3 inning, but he a made a huge leap in his recovery, which officially began with a rehab stint in the Gulf Coast League.

Second Half Magic? - After finishing the first half in the bottom of the South Division standings, the Cardinals are off to a great start in the second half. They are currently half a game back of the front-running Stone Crabs and could jump them with a good series at home.

Not Your Average Walsh - Entering Thursday night's game, Colin Walsh has played in all the Beach Birds games. He has been a solid contributor, hitting .266 (79-for-297) with 18 doubles, four home runs and 32 RBI.

Transactions

6/28/12- P Logan Billbrough sent on rehab assignment to GCL Cardinals
6/29/12- P Jordan Swagerty assigned to Palm Beach from Springfield
7/2/12- P Iden Nazario sent on a rehab assignment to GCL Cardinals

On the Horizon

The Cardinals finish of their home series with the Charlotte Stone Crabs before playing a three-game set with the Jupiter Hammerheads, starting Saturday night. They will welcome in Bradenton for a three-game series on Tuesday, July 9th.



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