The Palm Beach Cardinals continued their downward trend, as they dropped five of seven this week. After splitting with the first place Dunedin Blue Jays, the Cardinals dropped four straight at Tampa (NYY). Palm Beach (19-26) is in sixth (last) place, 7.5 games behind the St. Lucie Mets.
May 14: Palm Beach Cardinals 9, Dunedin Blue Jays 2
Palm Beach pounded out 13 hits and scored nine runs in their rout of the Blue Jays. After falling behind 2-0 in the fourth inning, the Cards scored three runs in the fifth, four in the sixth and two in the seventh to win their second straight against Dunedin.
Thomas Lee (W, 4-2) was the beneficiary of the offensive surplus, as he tossed six innings, scattering seven hits, allowing two runs and striking out four.
Offensively, the Cardinals received big nights from Anthony Garcia, Ildemero Vargas, Breyvic Valera, David Washington and Alex Mejia as they connected for two hits each. Valera recorded three RBI, while Washington and Mejia added two each.
May 15: Dunedin Blue Jays 4 at Palm Beach Cardinals 1 (8)
With heavy rains in the area, the Blue Jays and Cardinals contest was cut down to eight innings. Dunedin took advantage as they captured the finale and split the series with the Beach Birds. The Cardinals offense was limited to one run and six singles, as they could not muster one extra base hit.
Joe Cuda (L, 0-5) on the other hand was below average. The righty gave up four runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He dropped his mark to 0-5 on the season, as the Cardinals didn't even get a chance to rally in the final two frames due to the weather.
Valera finished the contest 2-for-4 and was the only Cardinal with two hits.
May 16: Tampa Yankees 7, Palm Beach Cardinals 6 (18)
After being cut short the night before, the Cardinals got more than they bargained for on Friday night as they played 18 innings. Infielder Bruce Caldwell (L, 1-1) tried to win his second game in relief, but the right-hander gave up an unearned run to take the loss. He tossed 3 1/3 innings, allowed three hits, one unearned run and struck out three.
Despite losing the contest, the Cardinals outhit the Yankees 17-to-14.
Breyvic Valera finished the night 5-for-7, while Starlin Rodriguez went 4-for-8 with three run scored. David Washington added two hits and three RBI. His eighth homer of the season in the second inning gave the Cardinals a brief 2-0 lead.
May 17: Tampa Yankees 3, Palm Beach Cardinals 2
The Cardinals bats were silenced on Saturday night, as Conner Kendrick (W, 1-1) tossed five innings, allowing one run on four hits with four strike outs to record his first win of the season. Brett Gerritse (S, 1) recorded the save, tossing four innings of one run ball.
Silfredo Garcia (L, 0-1) took the loss in his FSL debut. The right-hander tossed five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, while walking four and striking out two.
Offensively, the Cardinals were held to two extra base hits and two runs. Mejia and Rodriguez both had two hits on the night.
In the seventh inning, the Cardinals had a chance to tie the game but fell short. Mejia doubled to start the inning, and a walk to Jesus Montero put runners on first and second with no outs. After a fly out put runners on the corners, Luis Perez singled home Mejia, cutting the lead to 3-2. However, Vakera hit into the inning-ending double play and kept the Cardinals from tying the game.
May 18: Tampa Yankees 5, Palm Beach Cardinals 4
In need of a win, the Cardinals received an inspired effort from right hander Mike Mayers. He tossed seven innings, allowing four hits, one unearned run with nine strikeouts. Mayers left the game with a 4-1 lead, as the Cardinals offense came through with four runs in the third inning.
With runners on first and second, Valera connected for an RBI single to bring in Perez, while Rodriguez doubled two in to make it 3-0. Casey Rasmus singled to cap the scoring and make it 4-0.
However, reliever Kyle Barraclough (L, 0-1) was roughed up for four runs on two hits and two walks in the bottom of the ninth to turn the table.
May 19: Tampa Yankees 2, Palm Beach Cardinals 0
Dan Camenera handcuffed the Cardinals all night, as he tossed six innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed one hit and struck out three on the night. Three Yankees' combined to finish the one-hit shutout.
Washington's single in the sixth was the lone Cardinals hit on the night.
Nick Petree (L, 2-1) took the loss, allowing one run on two hits in four innings. He walked a season-high four batters and struck out six.
May 20: Palm Beach Cardinals 1, Brevard County Manatees 0 (11)
The Cardinals snapped their five-game losing streak as the pitching staff combined to toss 11 innings of scoreless baseball to beat the Manatees at Roger Dean Stadium. Thomas Lee twirled a gem, tossing eight inning of scoreless baseball before turning the ball over to the bullpen. The right-hander struck out three and walked three.
Former first rounder Jed Bradley of the Manatees was equally outstanding, as the southpaw tossed nine innings of scoreless baseball before turning the game over to the bullpen. The former Yellow Jacket gave up three hits and struck out four.
In the 11th, Caldwell and Valera started the frame with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Vargas and an intentional walk to Rodriguez, newcomer Luke Voit delivered the game-winning RBI single.
Road UNKIND: After splitting with the Dunedin Blue Jays at Roger Dean Stadium, the Beach Birds hit the road and were swept by the Tampa Yankees. The Cardinals lost three one-run contests and were shut out in the finale.
Valera Hitting Machine: Breyvic Valera has been on fire of late. In his last five games, the second baseman is hitting .565 (13-for-23) with one run scored and one RBI.
Powerless: The Cardinals have hit one home run in the last ten games and have scored 26 runs in those contests. They are 3-7 in those games.
Lee Dealing: In his last two starts, Thomas Lee has gone 14 innings, allowing two runs on ten hits. The right-hander is 1-0 with seven strikeouts. In his latest start, Lee tossed eight shutout innings against Brevard County.
5/15 OF Luis Perez to Palm Beach from State College
5/15 RHP Silfredo Garcia to Palm Beach from Peoria
5/15 RHP Chris Thomas to Palm Beach from Peoria
5/16 OF Luis Perez to State College from Palm Beach
5/17 OF Anthony Garcia to 7-day DL
5/17 RHP Mitch Harris to Springfield from Palm Beach
5/17 INF Ronnierd Garcia to State College from Palm Beach
5/17 OF Luis Perez to Palm Beach from State College
5/17 RHP Josh Lucas to Palm Beach from State College
5/17 RHP Luis Perdomo to Palm Beach from Johnson City
5/20 RHP Luis Perdomo to State College from Palm Beach
5/20 1B Luke Voit to Palm Beach from State College
On the Horizon
The Cardinals will have three more games with Brevard County at Roger Dean Stadium before they welcome in the St. Lucie Mets on Saturday for a two-game set. The Beach Birds will hit the road on the May 27th, as they open a four-game series with Daytona.
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The Florida State League Cardinals lost five of seven and saw considerable roster churn last week.
The Florida State League Cardinals lost five of seven and saw considerable roster churn last week